Is a Draft Day Trade Up for the Raiders feasible?

With the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine coming to a close on Sunday, the Las Vegas Raiders are left with a multitude of paths to approach the draft. General manager Mike Mayock has harped on the value of picks, but there are certain players and various scenarios that will present themselves during a fluid draft night process.

Should these scenarios arise, the Silver and Black front office will find themselves in a favorable position to make the most of the situation.

This past week provided teams with more than generous amount of information on prospective players. Between interviews, medical exams, and various workouts; 32 front offices will be putting the finishing touches on their big boards for April’s draft. The Raiders find themselves in the middle of the pack in terms of draft positioning, possessing the 12th and 19th overall selections, which may allow them to make a trade into the top 10 if desired. It begs the question, is a trade into a higher draft position possible without giving up too much of the precious capital Mayock covets?

A Useful Measuring Tool

Considering that both quarterbacks and offensive tackles tested and interviewed exceptionally well at the Combine this past week; the Silver and Black may find incredible deal appeal on draft night. Likely trade targets for the Raiders in the top 10 would include the Giants fourth overall selection, and the Panthers seventh overall choice. Neither team is necessarily in the quarterback market and would more than likely entertain offers from teams that desire to move up.

For this articles sake, I will base a Raider trade with both Carolina Panthers and New York in separate scenarios using the following chart.

The Rich Hill Model NFL Trade Compensation Chart

A fair trade with the Giants would look something like this:

  • Raiders receive: #4 (491) overall & #36 (166) overall
  • Giants receive: #12 (347) overall, #19 overall (248) & #80 overall (56)

Based off the model in the link above, this trade would have a six point difference.

A trade with the Panthers could result in this outcome:

  • Raiders receive: #7 overall (426) & #110 overall (28)
  • Panthers receive: #12 (347), #80 (56) & #81 overall (55)

This trade generates a four point deficit, another realistic trade based off the Rich Hill Model. In reality, the Raiders have the means necessary to trade up for a player they are high on without having to give up a king’s ransom. Keep in mind that the model is just a measuring tool, but it is still a fair estimate. With that being said, there are three players Las Vegas could become aggressive for on draft night.

Derrick Brown – Auburn Tigers

♦ Height: 6-4 5/8”

♦ Weight: 326 pounds

♦ Hand: 9 ”

♦ Arm: 34 2/8”

♦ Wingspan: 80 7/8”

If the Raiders desire to get the best interior defensive lineman in the draft, the answer is Brown; the 2019 SEC Defensive Player of the year was a terror for opposing offenses. It didn’t matter how many blockers were schemed to stop him, he found a way into the backfield more often than not.

Head coach Jon Gruden said he had nightmares during Raiders training camp in 2019 and Brown has proven to be more than one. The 326 pound behemoth had an incredible combine in all phases.

https://twitter.com/FTBeard1/status/1233876659385692160

At his size, he showed he is the entire package. As the Raider defense looks to improve, he is a worthy target to trade for.

Jeffrey Okudah – Ohio State Buckeyes

♦ Height: 6-1 1/8”

♦ Weight: 205 pounds

♦ Hand: 9 1/8 (left), 8 1/2 (right, pinky deformation)

♦ Arm: 32 5/8”

♦ Wingspan: 78 5/8”

Okudah is one of the most complete players in the entire class. Gruden asked him the following during a NFL Combine interview:

“Hey, man, are you from Planet Earth?”

To say that the head coach wouldn’t be intrigued with the idea of adding Okudah is an understatement. He has deservedly high praise for a man that only allowed a 38.5% completion rate versus Power 5 collegiate opponents. Pairing of Jeffrey and sophomore Trayvon Mullen would greatly benefit one of the worst secondaries in the NFL.

The possibility of the Ohio State corner playing in Las Vegas is an enticing one; one that could ultimately change the entire outlook of the defense. Look for the Raiders to be in the running for impact players on draft night.

Isaiah Simmons – Clemson Tigers

♦ Height: 6-3 5/8”

♦ Weight: 238 pounds

♦ Hand: 9 5/8”

♦ Arm: 33 3/8”

♦ Wingspan: 81 7/8”

Simmons was a Combine warrior, a linebacker that ran a 4.39 second 40 yard dash and the type of defender the Raiders have been waiting for. In a division with tight ends such as Noah Fant, Hunter Henry, and Travis Kelce, Las Vegas needs a counter. Simmons had the tools to be the solution for a defense that allowed the third most touchdowns to opposing tight ends in 2019.

As you know, the new Raider regimes loves Clemson playerd. Simmons would be the most likely target on this list in a trade up scenario.

Honorable Mention: Chase Young – Ohio State Buckeyes

♦ Height: 6-4 7/8”

♦ Weight: 264 pounds

♦ Hand: 10”

♦ Arm: 33 6/8”

♦ Wingspan: 80 5/8”

The best defensive player in this class is Ohio State’s Chase Young. He didn’t participate in any workouts at the 2020 NFL Combine, but he still conducted interviews, measurements and medical exams. It is improbable that he makes it past Washington’s second overall selection. However, crazier things have happened before. Should he be available at three, the Raiders may become overly aggressive. For a team that traded All-Pro Khalil Mack two years ago, gaining 2020’s top defensive product from the assets gained in the Mack trade, it would be the ultimate full circle.

Related: Should Raiders use a mid round pick on a RB?

It is guaranteed that there would be a multitude of other teams trying to acquire his services, but Las Vegas has the draft capital on their side should they choose to enter a bidding war.

You had better believe if the Raiders have a sliver of opportunity to acquire Young, they will conduct due diligence in avenues of acquiring him.

In Review

Given the above scenarios, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Raiders conjure a reasonable trade for a player they highly desire. With draft capital and wanting the first season to be a success in Las Vegas, do not be shocked if they make an aggressive push on draft night. This class is full of impact players at the top, and the Raider front office knows they need to keep up with the 2019 Super Bowl Champions in the AFC West.

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