Every year in the draft, there is an athletic player who sneaks up on teams in the draft and becomes a hot target. A player starting to warm up is BYU's Ezekiel Ansah.
Actually, he's at a nice boil right now. A solid performance at practice and in this week's Senior Bowl likely assures the phenom from Ghana a spot in the first round.
The Raiders have size, but they lack speed and a game-breaker on defense. Ansah is drawing favorable comparison's to New York's Jason Pierre-Paul because of his frame (6'6", 270 pounds) and his constant motor and raw ability.
For every Mike Mamula, there is a JPP. Ansah has the measurables, the freakish athletic ability and the desire to be a pass-rushing star for whoever gets him.
As a No. 3, he is just too high for the Raiders to take him. But with the right partner, they could position themselves to make a run at a player like Ansah and get some help down the line.
If there is one team who would gladly make the jump up, it would be the Arizona Cardinals. Last year, they couldn't protect anyone, making shaky quarterback play look downright atrocious.
Moving to No. 3 would enable them to go after a player like Luke Joeckel to better protect whoever is under center for them. In return, the Raiders could collect a bounty.
Based on the common chart for draft picks and their value, this move would cost the Cards 650 points. And with the Jets, Titans and Dolphins all likely interested, this is just the spot the Raiders might want to be in to land an impact player like Ansah.
As a point of reference, a No. 1 pick at No. 28 or lower would be 650 points. In other words, the Raiders could turn this No. 3 pick into the No. 7 pick this year, and either a Round 2 pick this year or a first-round pick next year. They would also likely get a mid to late round pick (5th perhaps) as well.
More realistically, the Raiders will likely get Arizona's second-round pick from this year.