Depending on how the top-three picks in the upcoming 2015 NFL draft play out, the Oakland Raiders could very well be trade-down candidates.
It’s likely that their primary target at this point is USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, who most experts conclude is the best all-around defensive player in the draft.
However, there’s a decent possibility that the Tennessee Titans (should they keep the second pick) will select Williams. If not, Gus Bradley’s Jacksonville Jaguars may look at adding the talented defensive lineman.
That would leave the Raiders in a somewhat unenviable situation. The team’s primary needs are along all levels of the defense as well as wide receiver. Considering the team selected linebacker Khalil Mack in the top five last year, the edge pass-rush position doesn’t seem to be a need. This means Oakland would either have to reach for a wide receiver or look to trade down.
So it shouldn’t be too surprising that general manager Reggie McKenzie is reportedly fielding calls for the fourth overall pick (via CSN Bay Area).
Previous reports also indicated that the New York Jets plan to call each team picking ahead of them in the top 10 to gauge any interest in a potential trade down. The Jets pick at six, and are said to be interested in Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
The days leading up to the draft can be the most annoying for football fans. Reports on top of reports suggest numerous trade scenarios, most of which are concocted in the minds of click-bait happy “writers.”
However, McKenzie’s unwillingness to deny that he has fielded calls should be something to focus on.
Oakland has absolutely no need for a quarterback with Derek Carr on the roster. So if Marcus Mariota were to fall to No. 4 overall, the Raiders would be smart to trade down. This would enable them to still acquire one of the top pass catchers in the draft while adding another high-value pick.
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