The Las Vegas Raiders head into April’s NFL Draft armed with five picks within the first 100 – two in the first round, three in the third. That’s a lot of good capital for a team on the rise, but that might not be enough to satisfy them. Second-round picks are very valuable and the Raiders don’t have one because of the Khalil Mack trade.
Fortunately for them, having two picks in the top 20 could get them a second-rounder without having to get out of the first round. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Raiders are keen on trying to get into the second round:
It’s no secret that the Lions are open for business with the third pick. And they’re not alone. Early word is this year’s draft is no different than most—with more teams near the top willing to move down than up. The Jaguars are another team that’s kicked around the idea of moving down. The Raiders too, a team that could well be looking to replace the second-rounder they lost this year, with the final pieces in the Khalil Mack trade finally in play.
Potential Trade Raiders Could Make
If the Raiders are set on trying to get a second-round pick, they are probably also set on keeping two first-round picks. That means they’ll probably have to package a first and a third to get a first and a second. Vic Tafur of The Athletic proposed an interesting trade idea with the Minnesota Vikings:
We called the Vikings and mentioned all the great tackles still on the board. Bada bing bada boom — the Raiders traded the Nos. 19 and 81 picks to Minnesota for Nos. 25 and 58. Mayock loves the second round and now he has a pick in that round, with two left still in the third.
That wouldn’t be a bad move for the Raiders as they’d only move down six spots in the first round and then they’d get into the second round.
Las Vegas could also trade down from 12 if they aren’t planning on drafting a quarterback early. However, there aren’t many quarterback-needy teams with first-round picks that come after the Raiders.
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Second Round Targets
If the Raiders get a second-round pick while keeping two picks in the first round, then they have more flexibility. Wide receiver and cornerback are the two biggest needs, but it’s possible they go after a safety or defensive tackle in the first round. If they skip on wide receiver early, they could still find a day one starter in the second round.
Michael Pittman out of USC is an exciting option and should be available for most of the second round. Laviska Shenault out of Colorado is a wide receiver who could easily go in the first round but could drop because of how deep the draft class is. He’d be a steal for the Raiders in the second round.
Quarterback is also very possible for Las Vegas in the second round. It’s no secret they are big fans of Jalen Hurts. He was originally supposed to be available in the third round but has been very impressive since the college football season ended. If the Raiders want him, they may have to pick him up in the second round.