2014 NFL Draft Rumors: Oakland Raiders Might Be Better Off Trading Down

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, the speculation about what teams might do with their first-round picks is heating up. For most teams, football fans can see their genuine areas of need and can hazard a relatively educated guess as to where they’ll spend that pick.

When it comes to the Oakland Raiders though, because the team still has quite a few holes to fill, there is no obvious pick. Will it be a quarterback? Offensive lineman? Linebacker? Receiver? GM Reggie McKenzie certainly hasn’t tipped his hand, and what he plans to do with the pick is a complete mystery.

There are as many theories as there are fans in Raiders Nation, but one rumor that seems to have been gaining some ground lately is the idea that Oakland will trade down out of the fifth spot — possibly to the tail end of the first round.

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to make a big move in the draft. Rumor has it that the 49ers are desperate to get their hands on Texas A&M standout receiver Mike Evans, and are willing to deal to make it happen. What’s more, the rumors go on to say that McKenzie and the Raiders are listening.

San Francisco has a loaded draft board with the 30th overall pick in the first round, two picks in the second (56, 61), three picks in the third (77, 94, 100), a fourth-round pick (129), a fifth-round pick (170), and three in the seventh (242, 243, 245). What might be on offer isn’t known at this point, but if it came to fruition, the Raiders could potentially come out of a possible deal with a pretty healthy load of picks.

And for a team with as many holes to fill as the Raiders do, every pick helps.

The idea that the Raiders would trade down out of the fifth pick isn’t without precedent. Just last year, they held the third overall pick and traded with the Miami Dolphins, dropping themselves to the 12th pick where they chose D.J. Hayden, the player McKenzie said he’d wanted all along. In addition, Oakland also got Miami’s second round pick (42 overall) and used it on OT Menelik Watson. If he continues to develop, Watson could become a dominant lineman in the league.

With such a full slate of picks, San Francisco might be willing to offer up more than just a second-round pick, especially if the Raiders are willing to move from the fifth slot all the way down to San Francisco’s pick at 30. And if the 49ers are as desperate to move up to take Evans as Mortenson is hearing, the Raiders could command quite the king’s ransom from them in exchange.

Assuming that Khalil Mack and Jadeveon Clowney are already off the board at five, the Raiders are believed to also be very interested in Clemson‘s Sammy Watkins and Evans. However, with the chance to upgrade the team by obtaining more picks from San Francisco, and with a draft as deep and rich in receiving talent as this one appears to be, McKenzie might be better off making that deal, padding his draft slate, and picking another impact receiver to upgrade the passing attack.

It’s a deal that makes some sense, and could potentially be considered a win-win for both Oakland and San Francisco.

Kevin Saito is a fiction writer, sports junkie, history nerd, and NFL contributor to RantSports.com  He’s just a “clown with an opinion,” and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or on Google


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  • rob

    I guess Saito has been reading my posts. I have been saying for a long time now that the Raiders need to make a deal with SF. It only makes sense for both teams. SF gets either Watkins or Evans to put them over the hump. In the highly unlikely scenario that both are gone by #5, SF would still have the opportunity to draft an impact player. The Raiders could pick up at least a second and third round pick plus SF’s #30 (first round). The Raiders need numbers, as they only have four picks in the first six rounds.

    • Aaron

      What you propose is a bad deal. A fairer trade — at least in terms of
      responsibly accepted trade values — is the #5 (1700 points) for the the
      #30 (620), #56 (340), #61 (292), and #77 (205), which still tilts in
      SF’s favor (1700 vs 1457). Regardless of value however, I just don’t
      see SF making that trade. They will probably target a pick in the 20s
      to get the WR they want, if they feel they need to trade at all. It is just too expensive to rise that high in the draft.

      • Spencer Walker

        How about sf first round 2 round 61 and first round next year and 3rd next year seems pretty fair

        • Aaron

          Yes, that trade works almost exactly the same. 1700 for the #5 compared to 620 (#30) + 292 (#61) + 450 (#30 2015) + 100 (#94 2015) or 1462 points. Again, teams just use the points to gauge relative value but don’t rely heavily on it as there are many other negotiating factors. I’d think the 49ers would prefer all the picks coming from this year, while the Raiders might prefer that extra 1st rounder next year. Either way, the Niners would be dramatically better if they move to #5 and get WR Watkins or Evans, while the Raiders would have a lot more flexibility with so many additional draft picks. Is it a good trade for both teams? I’m not sure on either count.

          • Spencer Walker

            I think raiders would If any trade happens would come from the giants or browns now the browns would be interesting we get there 25th pick a first round next year and a 3rd this year

  • Archie Colvin

    Who could the Raiders get at #30 compared to staying at #5 and grabbing a immediate impact player.Extra picks would be nice but hate the thought of helping 49ers.

  • Lar Dog

    NO WAY. We will get an impact player at #5. #7 We could still get Evans. #5 we might get Watkins. I think after pick #4 we will be entertaining traded offers before the selection made. I think we will stand pat and get a great player at #5