I don’t share the opinions of others when they say that trading down is not the answer for the Oakland Raiders. History has proven that the first 10 or even 15 picks in the first round for the Oakland Raiders has been unfruitful. Don’t believe me? Here’s why:
First and foremost, whoever was drafting players from 2004-2012 was not doing their homework (I know, Al Davis), and they were drafting on speed and size alone. That will not work in the NFL today. Speed and size are not the only two factors that dictate a great NFL player. From 2004 through 2012, the Oakland Raiders have missed on draft day. They missed on Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Ben Roethlisberger, and Earl Thomas. To be completely honest, the last 1st round draft pick that did anything for the Oakland Raiders happened in 2003-Nnamdi Asomugha.
In place of those other wonderful players were names like Robert Gallery (2004-Missed on Larry Fitzgerald, Ben Roethlisberger, Vince Wilfork, and Jason Babin), Fabian Washington (2005-Aaron Rodgers, Roddy White, Logan Mankins, and Heath Miller), Michael Huff (2006-Missed on Donte Witner, Haloti Ngata, Chad Greenway, Johnathan Joseph, Tamba Hali, and Nick Mangold), Jamarcus Russell (2007-Missed on Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, and Marshawn Lynch), Darren McFadden (2008-The jury is still out on him. When healthy, he is an outstanding running back), Darius Heyward-Bey (2009-Missed on B.J. Raji, Brian Orakpo, Brian Cushing, Jeremy Maclin, Alex Mack, Percy Harvin, Kenny Britt, and Clay Matthews), Rolando McClain (2010-Missed on C.J. Spiller, Earl Thomas, Jason Pierre-Paul, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Lupati, Sean Weatherspoon, Demaryius Thomas, Bryan Bulaga, and Dez Bryant), and No draft pick in 2011 or 2012 due to giving it to New England for Richard Seymour and Cincinnati for Carson Palmer.
The first round of the draft has not been kind to the Oakland Raiders. Therefore, I have no problem with the Oakland Raiders trading down to any spot. 6th to 30th is fine by me. There are those that do not agree with me, and that is the way it is. I don’t expect anybody to. I will say this though, don’t be surprised if the Raiders trade down to #30 with the 49ers. It’s not unheard of, especially if the price is right. The 49ers have 11 draft picks to use in the draft, and I guarantee they will be looking to move up. The Raiders are a likely moving location for the 49ers.
I am not taking away from players like Khalil Mack, Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins, Greg Robinson, or Jake Matthews, but there are still quality players left around the 30th pick in the 1st round. Players like Anthony Barr, Darqueze Dennard, Timmy Jernigan, or Calvin Pryor. If the draft wasn’t as deep at talent this year, then I would be changing my attitude toward trading down, but the talent allows me to have the opinion that I keep.
I don’t know what the Raiders will do come draft day, but I believe that trading down is a likely scenario. Either way, I think the Raiders should do the best thing for the team. More draft picks equal more young players to come in and compete for a starting job, or more players to come in and develop behind the talent that was brought in during free agency. In any scenario, the only way the Raiders will climb out of the cellar is to win. Winning will change everything.