Why the Raiders Could Be Forced to Trade Up in 1st Round of 2014 NFL Draft

No one really knows what the Oakland Raiders are going to do with the fifth overall pick. Everyone probably knows what general manager Reggie McKenzie would like to do and that’s draft linebacker Khalil Mack, wide receiver Sammy Watkins or defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

Every team would love to land one of the top few players on its draft board, but that’s not always realistic. It’s becoming clearer every day that the players the Raiders want are not going to fall to No. 5 barring some kind of miracle.

That leaves the Raiders three options: stay at No. 5 and take the best player they can, trade down to get more picks or trade up to get the player they want. Virtually no one expects the Raiders to step through door No. 3, even though that very well could be their best option.

Would trading up be out of character for McKenzie? There is no doubt that it would be, but McKenzie has also never been in this exact situation before. The stars could also align in such a way that McKenzie would be crazy not to consider it.

There are no built-in excuses for the Oakland Raiders in 2014. McKenzie can’t blame the salary cap or a lack of draft picks for the lack of talent on the roster. Head coach Dennis Allen can’t blame the lack of talent for his team not being competitive.

If the team doesn’t perform, owner Mark Davis may decide McKenzie and Allen are to blame. There is no guarantee that McKenzie or Allen will return in 2015 if they don’t turn things around.


Trade Down, Just Not at No. 5

When McKenzie was with the Green Bay Packers, the highest they ever drafted was No. 5 overall in 2006. That just so happens to be the same pick the Raiders have in 2014, but the situations couldn’t be more different.

The Packers replaced head coach Mike Sherman with Mike McCarthy that offseason in what was also Ted Thomps...

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