Since the Oakland Raiders' bye week in Week 5, the team has put together an impressive run. In three games, the Raiders have won two games while dropping one.
In the first game back, the Raiders gave Atlanta everything they had, but came up short against the undefeated Falcons.
In the next, the Raiders fought through a very sloppy game and won the game with an overtime field goal.
The third game proved to be much different, as they dominated in every phase of the game. Instead of having the game go down to the wire like the other two games, the Raiders were in cruise control by the fourth quarter.
However, there is always room for improvement. If there are ever any transaction moves that could help the team, then I'm all for it. Here, I've put together a list of trades that I personally want the Raiders to make.
Dwayne Bowe is one of the most underrated wide receivers in the game today.
Bowe is a very physical wide receiver who can make all the catches you want. He can go over the middle and take the big hit. He can run downfield and beat almost any cornerback in the league. He can make the acrobatic catch in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown when you need it most.
Bowe is the same type of receiver as Brandon Marshall. Both are physical possession receivers and have had great moments against the Raiders.
Like Marshall, I believe Dwayne Bowe can be had for two third-round picks. Bowe is a great receiver, but at 28, he is no longer worth a first-round pick. A second is also an adequate trade offer, but the Raiders used that pick to trade for Carson Palmer.
But unfortunately, Scott Pioli is a smart man and would never trade a weapon like Bowe to the Raiders. It's a shame. Adding Bowe to Palmer's arsenal would be scary.
I have been extremely hard on Rolando McClain, and up until the bye week, most of it was deserved.
Since the bye week, the coaching staff has cut down on McClain's playing time, limiting to the base defense only and taking him out on nickel formations.
This has worked wonders. In limited playing time, McClain looks like he actually wants to play and doesn't jog as he used to. He's out there showing the potential he has and making nice plays.
But then that brings up the question; why would we trade him?
I still don't think McClain is going to have a nice, productive future with the Raiders. We should consider trading him now when he's hot in order to get some decent value in return.
At this point, coming off a couple of nice games, teams that are in need of a two-down linebacker could give up to a fourth-round pick for McClain. A few weeks ago, I'd say we would have been lucky to get a sixth or seventh for the guy.
Mark Ingram is a potential-filled machine waiting to break out. The only problem is that he plays for an offensive system with three other running backs and the quarterback has thrown over 35 passes in every game this season.
Ingram is a powerful runner who is smart and very patient. He has good acceleration and can be a very productive runner in the right system.
That said, I think Ingram would be great with the Raiders' zone-blocking scheme. He is a patient runner who has good vision. I watched one game by the Saints in the preseason and I saw Ingram make a play that I wish McFadden would. He started by letting his blockers block, then cut back in the lane and sprinted for the end zone.
Also, I think that it's effective to always have a back who is considered a power runner. McFadden can lay the wood on underestimating defenders, but it's best that he uses his speed instead. Despite all of his struggles, no one has questioned whether or not it's because Michael Bush left in free agency.
As I stated earlier, Ingram plays on a team where he is not valued very highly. He has only received 47 carries this season. Drew Brees has thrown more than that number three times and has come close to reaching it two other times. This leads me to believe that Ingram could be dealt for a relatively low draft pick, such as in the fourth- or fifth-round pick. It's definitely worth a shot.
Larry Grant is a player I've wanted since last year when Patrick Willis was injured. I was especially disappointed when he went unwanted in free agency, even though he was worth only a sixth-round pick.
Grant, when filling in for All-World Patrick Willis, was dominant. He was fast, he was physical and he was just what I expected from a San Francisco-coached inside linebacker.
For the Raiders, Grant would be a rotational player. He is a player who moves to the ball efficiently. If I were to compare him to a player, it'd be Aaron Curry, but better in pass coverage. I remember the first time Grant got my attention was when he was covering the middle and the quarterback tried to throw it to a receiver behind him. Grant leaped into the air, much higher than a man of his size should be jumping, and knocked the ball down.
The Raiders would have a lot of leverage in trading for Grant. He went unnoticed in free agency. The only highlight he made this year is a blocked punt vs. the New York Jets, and seriously, who isn't blocking their kicks with a quarterback as their punt protector?
For Grant, I'd give a sixth-round pick at the highest.
Tommy Kelly had a good game this past weekend. He was constantly in the backfield causing Matt Cassel to run for his life. However, before this game, his name was not called all that often. Kelly is truly one of the league's finest up-and-down defensive tackles.
In his time with the Raiders, Kelly has been one of the better pass-rushing defensive tackles. Undisciplined at times, he can make or break a drive with his plays. When motivated, it's hard to stop the man.
Teams know this, but they also know that he is turning 32 this year. They also know that he is not a huge factor in the run game unless he's motivated. But there are teams who are in desperate need of a pass-rushing defensive tackle who can play on a rotation. If that's your game, Kelly is your man.
This is also a good time to trade Kelly because he shares the same recent success as McClain. He is coming off one of, if not his best game of the season and to trade now means we can get a higher return. Trading Kelly now would result in a mid-to-late draft pick or a player that can help the team at another need.
I remember quite vividly in the offseason when a false rumor broke about Mike Jenkins being traded to the Oakland Raiders. Personally, I wished it happened. I'm thankful it didn't happen, however, as Jenkins had an injury to start the season.
Now, Jenkins is healthy and playing when he can. The Cowboys have opted to start rookie Morris Claiborne and demoted Jenkins to nickel and dime formations.
The Raiders need cornerback depth. It's possible that Bartell returns by the time the Raiders play the Ravens, but it would be a smart move to have another cornerback on the roster. Jenkins has a lot of potential and is not happy with his situation in Dallas.
As a Raider, Jenkins could come in and make an immediate impact. If Michael Huff stays at cornerback, pairing him with Jenkins could give the Raiders a lot more opportunities on defense.
ESPN's Todd Archer believes Jenkins could be had for a fourth-round pick, which is reasonable for a potential starting cornerback. The only thing I would want as well is Jenkin's commitment, as he is in the last year of his contract.
Before you start questioning me, hear me out. Brandon Myers is a good tight end. He's reliable in the passing game, was a blocking specialist coming out of Iowa and has been clutch in the fourth quarter. But he has zero touchdowns. Not just this season, either. He has zero touchdowns in his career.
I am personally sick of all the drives on offense that lead to red-zone field goals. The Raiders have a lot of success moving in between the 20-yard lines, but once they get close, they choke.
Ed Dickson is a good, young tight end for the Ravens who has fallen behind Dennis Pitta on the depth chart. In his career, Dickson has six touchdowns in three seasons. Keep in mind that he has been second or third on the depth chart his entire career as well.
Teams don't value second-string tight ends as much. The Raiders could get Dickson for a cheap price, such as a seventh-round pick.
I love Taiwan Jones. After growing up a die-hard Raider fan, I have caught Al Davis' love for the measurables. When I play Madden, I look for the biggest, baddest and fastest players in respect to the late owner. However, I know when something is up.
So far this season, Taiwan has not recorded a single rush. He has been regulated to special teams, and has actually come up with some nice tackles on punt coverage. But that's not why the Raiders drafted him.
In preseason, Jones and Goodson were battling it out to become McFadden's backup. Both were given their chances and looked average at best. Since the season started, Goodson took his chances and ran, impressively might I add. Jones has simply not received that chance.
With blazing speed, it would be easy to think that Jones would make an effective return man too. Goodson has also come in and showed natural return abilities as well, making Jones a non-factor.
On the other hand, Jones does possess unnatural speed and has good size. While he isn't working in our system, he could thrive in another. Therefore, I have to believe he would receive at least a seventh-round pick.
Obviously, these are just the wishes of a die-hard Raider fan who wants to see his team get better. It wouldn't be a surprise at all if Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie did nothing before the trade deadline.
Feel free to agree or disagree. All I want is for the Raiders to improve on their base even more and become the great team we all know they can become. Thanks for reading and go Raiders!