Should the Oakland Raiders trade up in the 2019 NFL Draft?
By Brad Weiss
The Oakland Raiders hold the most early draft capital of any team in the NFL, but should they use those pieces to trade up even earlier than No. 4.
The Oakland Raiders have been all over the news since the 2018 NFL season came to a close, as the attention switched to the NFL Draft after the Super Bowl ended. Thanks to the trades they made prior to the 2018 season, and during, Oakland holds three first round picks, and head into the draft on a high after dominating free agency.
During his first year as the team’s general manager, or any teams general manager for that matter, Mike Mayock has turned this roster on its head. He traded for Antonio Brown, and then went out and filled a bunch of holes on both sides of the ball in free agency, improving the roster in a big way.
As the team heads into the 2019 NFL Draft, they hold three of the first 27 picks, including the No. 4 overall selection, which they earned by going 4-12 last season. There has been a lot of talk of the Raiders moving up to No. 1, and selecting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, but that has to be a smokescreen at this point.
While trading up for Murray makes no sense, the team could trade up for an edge rusher, as they may want to ensure they can get Nick Bosa earlier than No. 4. However, that could cost them too much, and with a bunch of holes still left to fill on the roster, staying put at No. 4 may be the best option for Mayock and company.
So should they trade up?
The answer to this question is not an easy one, because it depends on which pick we are talking about here. To trade up from No. 4 would cost the Raiders too much draft capital, and with the amount of talent at the positions they are lacking in available in this draft class, they should stay put with that pick.
Now, if we are talking about packaging some of their other early picks, say 24, 27, or 35, then it would depend how far of a jump up the first round. If they can trade up into the top-15 with the later picks, then that is a possibility, but the more likelihood is that a team is going to try and grab one of their three first rounders, giving Oakland even more draft capital in the second and third round.
I believe the first time the Raiders pick later this month will be at No. 4, as they will likely have their choice between two elite talents in Josh Allen from Kentucky, and Quinnen Williams from Alabama. If they go with Williams, who plays in the interior of the defensive line, they can always add a tremendous edge rusher later, as there are plenty of guys who should be impact players at the next level available.