Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recognizes West, Texas and Boston Marathon victims and first responders during the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders Draft Strategy: Should Reggie McKenzie trade down?


No matter which you spin it, the best possible scenario for the Oakland Raiders is to trade down in the draft.  It would be nice to get Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack or Sammy Watkins, but the odds are those players will be long gone.  The Houston Texans will more than likely grab Clowney, the St. Louis Rams will probably go after Watkins, the Jacksonville Jaguars are more than likely going to take Khalil Mack, one of the big name offensive linemen will more than likely go to the Cleveland Browns, and that leaves the Raiders at #5 looking at either an offensive lineman, defensive back, or a defensive tackle.

However, the best possible move the Raiders could make would be to trade down with either the San Francisco 49ers or Detroit Lions or St. Louis Rams or Minnesota Vikings.  Trading with the Vikings and Lions would allow the Raiders to remain within the top ten picks (#8/#10), so that may be the best possible landing spot.  Of course dropping to #13 by trading with the Rams isn’t that bad either.  With the depth at many of the specialist positions, falling to the #8, #10, or #13 spot isn’t that bad.  The 49ers have a ton of draft picks to offer up, and the Raiders may even consider falling back to the #30 spot if the offer is right, but that’s a little unlikely.  Landing a couple extra draft picks in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th rounds is a win, win in my book.

Let’s face it, the Raiders need the extra draft picks to bring in young talent to help back up the older talent that they acquired in free agency.  This would assist in solidifying the so-called lack of young depth.  Should a veteran go down due to injury, there would be a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th rounder to step in and help out.  Of course that is the best case scenario.  This is all hinging on whether or not General Manager Reggie McKenzie can spot the talent or diamond in the rough that will be around for the long haul.

The jury is still out on whether or not the Raiders staff can draft well or just get lucky.  Still, players like Sio Moore, Mychal Rivera, and Miles Burris are promising draft choices, but there are still a lot of questions with others like D.J. Hayden, Tony Bergstrom, Jack Crawford, Latavius Murray, Menelik Watson, Brice Butler, Stacy McGee, Juron Criner, and Chimdi Chekwa, etc…  This doesn’t cover all the draft picks that this organization started drafting in 2012, but it gives a basic overview of who the team has started to build with.

Truth be told, the Raiders seem to do better with undrafted free agent rookies like Rod Streater, Greg Jenkins, Matt McGloin, Ryan Robinson, and so on so forth.  In the end, it comes down to production on the field.  Basic, common knowledge, I know, but it’s the measure of every player.  It’s also the measure of every team and organization.

No doubt the Raiders need to have a winning year in order to stop the media harassment, please Raider Nation, and close the door on all the non-believers.  This began with free agency this year.  It will continue into the draft starting on May 8th.  Yes, McKenzie and the rest of the Raiders staff will need to have one hell of a draft, but I believe this organization is doing the right thing.  I believe the draft will make Raider Nation happy and surprise the haters.

The Raiders are back in 2014 to start a winning trend that will continue into the future.  There’s no doubt in my mind that the right path has been started by McKenzie, and he will do Raider Nation proud.  Go Raiders!

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie

  • Bob

    May be a make or break year for Reggie. He has traded three picks for QBs over the last two years already. With the deep draft Reggie can’t have anymore Tyler Wilson type picks. The future is now.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Don’t be surprised when one of the draft picks is a quarterback. 2nd or 3rd round, McKenzie will more than likely pick a QB.

  • B Christopher

    I’d like the Raiders to trade UP with St. Louis, to #2, not trade down. There, are, supposedly 4 “can’t miss” picks, and the Raiders have a #5 pick. One of those “can’t miss’s” will be there when it comes time to pick. One team’s “can’t miss” is not another team’s “can’t miss”. I think that’s been proven year after year in the draft. There are a lot of surprises. I won’t even get into the fact that the “can’t miss’s” turn into the Ryan Leafs, and the J. Russell’s and the Rolando McClains, don’t they? Thank God for collective bargaining….. No more Loser Lotto winners that show up fat & outta shape, and cost ownership for a decade into the future.
    I somehow don’t see that happening with this regime in Oaktown!

  • B Christopher

    You think McKenzie will draft a QB? Really? Which one? Myself, I’d like to see Blake Bortles in Oakland. But, I’d much rather see Mack or Clowney in Silver & Black.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    The Raiders have been high on Derek Carr, but he may not be there in the 2nd round. However, if Carr falls to the 2nd round, and he is available when the Raiders pick at #36 overall, then I believe McKenzie will scoop him up. Remember, McKenzie, D.A., DeFillipo, and Olson attended Carr’s Pro-Day. Now, if Carr is gone, look for the Raiders to draft a prototypical pocket passing QB; i.e., Blake Bortles, AJ McCarron, David Fales, Zach Mettenberger, or maybe Garrett Gilbert. The fact is, the Raiders aren’t looking for a “start now” QB, they are looking for somebody to learn behind Schaub. This may not be what some fans want, but it’s what is necessary given the fact that the Raiders have missed so much on QB’s in the draft. Still, look for McKenzie to grab a QB somewhere in the 2nd or 3rd round.

  • csmith719

    You people trip me out when it comes to commenting on the draft. Why is it that everyone keeps passing by the fact that we need to get Clowney? We pick at 5. The top 4 teams dont need Clowney. The Texans need a qb so do Cleveland and Jacksonville. St.louis doesnt need a de. If we grab Clowney the rest of the draft will fall in our favor. Ee can trade back in the second and still get what we need. Rather its qb,db,or wr.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    The fact is, most of us don’t believe that Clowney will be available at #5. It is more prudent to trade down and take the best available player. Would love for the Raiders to get Clowney, but I don’t think he’ll fall our way…

  • Bob

    I won’t be happy with Reggie using five picks in two years on QB’s. Think the Raiders should not take one this year and draft defense.

  • Chris Schroeder

    To many QB needy teams this year. Maybe not for instant starters but for developmental projects behind aging starters as well. This is a pretty good draft to pick a QB I think. I see about 4 QB’s going in the first round this year. I think the Texans take one, Jacksonville, and the Browns take one in the first round. If they don’t then the QB there were high on may be gone by the second round. Tampa Bay needs one, Vikings need one, Saints need one behind brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are both getting old. If the top teams allow these quarterbacks to slide thinking they will fall to the second round I wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t there so they should be inclined to select one for that reason. I might be trippin, but good QB’s are hard to come by as we see more flops in that position than anywhere else. Texans, Jags, and Browns would be fools to pass on a top QB prospects IMO. If that’s the case the Raiders may have more options than we think at 5, or maybe they too will shock us and take a quarterback.

  • Jared Myers

    Agreed. If Clowney is somehow magically there at #5, it should take Reggie all of 6-to-9 seconds to get their selection to Goodell. But that’s a pipe dream at best.
    Overall, a trade-down scenario hinges on two things: 1) Who’s available at #5, and 2) What kind of deal can we get by trading down.

  • Raider Grant

    If Clowney, Mack, or Watkins are gone in first four picks, then I would agree on trading back! If McKenzie doesn’t trade to far back we could still land one of the top 3 linemen, or one of top tier wide receivers! I would be happy with either of the positions being addressed as priority. No to QB, we have wasted too much to continue to gamble on another QB! We are rebuilding a team & need to address other key positions then QB. Excited but nervous for 2014 draft. Go Raiders

  • Gregg Brennan

    If Watkins is gone, trade back. A deal with the 49ers for a boatload of picks wouldn’t be bad, as this draft is loaded and deep and we need help pretty much everywhere.

  • Trevor

    Wait… So you want us to ‘trade up’ to get a “cant miss” prospect… But then go on to say how overated “cant miss” prospects are?? Dont understand your comment lol also who do you suggest drafting @2? Also you feel that player is worth giving up our 2nd round pick?! Come on, man

  • Trevor

    Trading down is the ONLY way to go… Hell id even trade down TWICE if it meant getting 2 second rounders in the process! This is the deepest draft in AWHILE. We desperately need LOTS of quality young talent. Id love to see us trade down and draft a guy like hageman or donald in the first.Then in the second (assuming we got another 2nd for trading down) draft kyle van noy and then duane buccanon or desir… Our defense is old and needs to have younger guys in waiting. Id hate to see us draft watkins when WR is Not only our youngest but also most talented positon group.

  • bigninaross

    High 1st round picks are best used to acquire 2nd, 3rd and 4th round picks, unless you’re getting an Andrew Luck or a player of that caliber. I say trade down and get extra 2nd and/or 3rd rounders. The 2nd round is when the draft really begins! #RaiderNation

  • Bob

    At least you have reasonable expectations about the number of picks the number five can get. Some use the point system and expect to get five picks for the number five pick. Just won’t happen.

  • bigninaross

    I agree. That’s pretty unrealistic.

  • rob

    If Watkins is available, make a deal with the 49ers for three high to mid-round picks (and one in 2015) plus their first pick at #30. SF has 11 picks; giving up three this year still leaves them with picks in the second, third, fourth, etc. The Raiders have ONLY 4 picks in the first six rounds. If they don’t do a trade, then maybe they get one starter this year and one that grades out better than a C. They clearly need numbers.

    Now if Watkins is not available, they still need to trade, but within the top 9 (maybe 10), and then take Donald for a additional second (or possibly third and later round pick in 2015). No WAY should they take an OT at #5. btw: the 49ers may still provide the Raiders a trading partner if they want Evans bad enough.

    No WAY should they take Carr at #5. No way should they take any QB at #5. I have no problem with Manziel in the first round if they can get additional pick(s) by trading down.

  • rob

    What does that say about the Raiders when a number of their better players are undrafted free agents?

  • G Clem

    If Watkins is not available, get Evans. Schaub needs a big target and he fits the bill. Don’t trade down again and not get anything like last year Reggie.

  • Ricky Bobby

    This regime DIDNT draft Chekwa, that was Al’s 4th rd pk in 2011

  • Ricky Bobby

    No he won’t, they have went all in on Shaub & MM AS BACKUP, if they do take a QB it will be in the 7th rd

  • Ricky Bobby

    For Carr to sit the bench all season? RM ISN’T KEEN ON STARTING ROOKIE QB’s & they have 2 WIN THIS YR. if they take a QB @ all it will be in the 7th rd unless they get pks in the 5-6th rd, def not in 1-4th rd.

  • Ricky Bobby

    ACTUALLY RM SAID HE WOULD HAVE TAKEN HAYDEN @ 3 so if anything TRADE DOWN.

  • Ricky Bobby

    SAYS U CAN’T DRAFT WORTH A FUKC…

  • KloverJane

    Clowney, Mack, Watkins, or Evans. Trade down? I think we can all agree to disagree. We need the fantasy player type. Sadly the other 31 teams opposing fans will continue to bash us along with the media, until we have a point master in our midst. Maybe he’s there already. Time to silence the f^*****s! Raider Nation stand up.

  • Nicholas Spencer Baker

    It’s hard thinking to trade down year in and year out. You fall in love with these players who appear as “can’t misses”. The truth is, a team doesn’t win on one premier play maker. RM wants as many possible hits as possible. It’s like throwing a dart at a dart board and the later on in the draft, the further away you throw. You can still hit a bulls eye in the later rounds… Also, teams are solidified (like Seahawks/49ers) from an array of picks from ALL over the draft. Trade down RM, boost the team as a whole and use your keen on eye on guys who’ll translate to the NFL.

  • B Christopher

    Are you kidding me SS? Why would Raiders fans not be happy with a guy like Blake Bortles or Mettenberg in the 2nd round or later? BOTH those guys would be steals in round 2. I would even consider either one of those guys in the 1st round. These run all over the place QBs never seem to last, and they rely on their feet far too much. Something that a good D will be able to stop over time. They never seem to win the big ones. Give me a stand up pocket passer with accuracy and a head on his shoulders, with some fight in his soul, and I’ll show you a winner!