2010 NFL Draft: Should the Oakland Raiders Trade Down?

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2010 NFL Draft: Should the Oakland Raiders Trade Down?
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One rumor buzzing right now is that an unnamed team is interested in trading up with Oakland and is offering a second-round pick this year and a first-round pick next year.

A first-round pick in 2011 would offset the pick traded by the Raiders to the Patriots for Richard Seymour.

I personally would love such a move, because at eighth overall, the Raiders are in a state of limbo where it is unlikely that the Raiders can fill a need with an impact player. 

The best choices all seem to be offensive tackles, so trading down would allow the Raiders to potentially select a tackle at a cheaper price and then add more talent in the second round. With an extra pick in the second round, the Raiders could fill two needs at nose tackle and center.

Nevertheless, Al Davis generally does not trade down in the first three rounds. I think the last time was in 2007, when the Raiders traded down the second round to let Arizona take DT Alan Branch, while the Raiders took TE Zach Miller.

Clearly the Raiders got the better end of that trade.

Yet Mr. Davis seems to believe that you can't get better value by trading down because all the best players go early. That, though, does not account for all the ways a team can botch its draft pick and let a better player slip by.

Dan Marino, for instance, went last in the first round, behind several other quarterbacks, including Tony Eason and Ken O'Brien.

A big reason why the Raiders passed on Michael Crabtree for Darrius Heyward-Bey in 2009 is that the Raiders had already invested heavily in two top picks, JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden, and weren't interested in a me-first receiver.

Only time will tell if that move will prove sound.

At this point in the Raiders' long road back to respectability, the Raiders really don't need A-list players. The Raiders need to fill all holes with players that are willing to do thankless jobs that make others into stars.

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