Many, including myself, expected the Raiders to trade up into the back of the first round. Al Davis loves his first-round talent, and it has been years since the Raiders did not make a pick in the first round. However, as the first round of the 2011 draft came to a close, the Raiders not only didn't trade up, but there wasn't even any talk of them trying to trade up.
I was actually very happy that the Raiders did not trade up. If they had, I believe it would have been for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. I think that Kaepernick could be a very good QB in the NFL, but he is still a big risk, like any QB, and we have positions with much bigger needs than the QB position.
With that being said, do not be surprised if the Raiders trade into the top of the second round in order to get Kaepernick.
The way I see it, it is highly likely that Davis decided to sit and watch how the first round went, only moving into the back end if there was a run on QBs that put Kaepernick at risk of being taken. Early in the draft it looked like that might happen when four QBs went in the first 12 picks.
However, when the next 20 picks went by without another QB being chosen, Davis likely knew that he had the ability to wait until the top of the second as there are still two QBs that many put ahead of Kaepernick in Andy Dalton and Ryan Mallett.
In addition, waiting until day two and trading into the top of the second means that the Raiders would be able to use players as well as draft picks to trade up. This was not true in the first round as the NFL had not yet released the rules for player transactions, which it is supposed to do today.
Since the Raiders have needs, if they can work out a trade involving a pick and a player, maybe someone like Thomas Howard, then we would still be able to walk away from this draft with five rookies as opposed to walking away with two or three, had we traded into the first round.
No matter what happens, the Raiders are definitely going to add some new players tonight and I am excited to see who it will be.