5 Creative Moves the Oakland Raiders Can Pull on Draft Day
Whether it’s selecting a quarterback early on, or exploring any and every trade possibility, such creativity will expand their options throughout.
In need of significant improvement in short order, a conventional and “safe” approach to this draft may not be the best course of action.
Here are five creative moves the Oakland Raiders can pull on draft day.
Trading Down in the First Round
For the Raiders, a team in need of plenty of talent throughout the roster, receiving additional picks in return for a trade down may be the ideal scenario heading in.
In fact, if they are set on stockpiling draft selections, trading down more than once within the first round could bring even more value overall.
Of course, any trade down is dependent upon another team’s willingness to trade up, and this option requires the most creativity on the part of the Raiders as a result.
While Reggie McKenzie was successful in finding a trade-down partner in last year’s draft, the task could prove even more difficult this time around with such a deep and talented group of prospects.
Either way, if the Raiders receive trade offers that would land them one or more additional mid-round selections, it would have to be something they consider.
Add 2014 Draft Picks by Trading Future Selections
If the Raiders want to add to their crop of 2014 draft selections, currently without picks in the fifth and sixth rounds, they can still do so without having to trade down.
Although the trading of future picks is rarely considered a good move, this year may present a different situation entirely.
Not only is this year’s class considered extremely deep at a number of key positions, but ownership in Oakland is also putting pressure on the Raiders’ staff for substantial improvement in the coming season.
If moving future picks can afford the Raiders’ front office the opportunity to select more prospects they see as impact players, it is something else they need to consider.
Of course, this would also require other teams willing to trade, and thus creativity on the Raiders’ part, but moving future picks to add to this year’s draft could bring plenty of value.
Take a QB in First Round
With the addition of an established veteran quarterback in Matt Schaub, the Raiders’ first round options are wide open.
While they are no longer desperate for a quarterback in 2014, the long-term question marks do still remain.
As such, despite the doubts many seem to have about this year’s quarterback class, the Raiders taking one in the first round would be hard to argue against.
Many will prefer that they fill an immediate need with their selection at fifth overall, but settling the future of the quarterback position could be considered an immediate need itself.
While there are certain to be franchise-caliber quarterbacks in future drafts, having another high selection should not be in the plans of this Raiders regime.
If the front office and coaching staff are comfortable enough with one of the quarterbacks available at that fifth spot, they should certainly make the pick.
Doing so would be a surprise to many, and thus can be considered a creative move for this rebuilding Raiders team.
Trade Up into End of First Round
Should the Raiders stay at fifth overall, and go in any direction other than quarterback, trading back up into the late first round for one becomes a possibility.
The further any of the draft’s top quarterbacks fall, the more real that possibility becomes.
Again, if the Raiders are targeting a quarterback they feel is a fit for their system, and one they believe will lead this franchise for quite some time, there is no such thing as a reach.
The creativity comes into play during trade discussions and determining what the correct value is in any such deal.
Although it is difficult to envision the Raiders making a significant trade up in this year’s draft, doing so from the early second round into the late first is a realistic possibility.
Having the potential to land one of the draft’s top pass-rushers at fifth overall, and then one of the top quarterbacks later on in the first, just may turn out to be the Raiders’ ideal draft scenario.
Trade Mid-Late Selection for Veteran
The 2014 draft represents one of the deepest groups of prospects we have seen in quite some time.
While adding selections is the ideal way to take advantage of that, the value other teams will put on such picks is something to be considered as well.
If mid-late round picks for this year’s draft are considered more valuable in trade discussions, the Raiders would be wise to continue exploring the trade market for veterans.
For example, should a team like the Buffalo Bills add a receiver anywhere within the first two rounds, does the more expensive contract of Stevie Johnson make him available for trade?
If so, the Raiders would have to be among the teams interested, and especially so if a mid-late round selection becomes the asking price like we see for so many veterans around the league.
Of course, adding impact rookies will be the team’s primary focus, but the value in the veteran trade market that emerges as the draft unfolds is something the Raiders can’t ignore either.