Blockbuster Trade Proposal Has Raiders Land No. 1 CB in NFL

patrick surtain

Getty Patrick Surtain with Amon-Ra St. Brown.

If the Las Vegas Raiders can’t get a quarterback they like, there’s a strong chance the team will use their first-round pick on a cornerback. However, the Raiders are well aware of the risks of drafting a first-round cornerback as the last four that they’ve taken that high never got a second contract with the team.

Las Vegas needs a cornerback and could take advantage of a rival that needs a quarterback. Denver Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain has cemented himself as one of the best defenders in the NFL and has already made two Pro Bowls. However, the Broncos need draft capital and a quarterback. Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine pitched a wild trade that would send Surtain to the Raiders for their first and second-round picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

“Instead, this move would let the Broncos take a major risk on a quarterback prospect in this draft while the Raiders continue to build an elite defense,” Ballentine wrote in a March 27 column. “Broncos head coach Sean Payton recently told media that it would be “realistic” for them to trade up from No. 12 to get a quarterback.

“The problem for them is they are short on draft capital. They rank 19th in Tankatahon’s rankings. A deal that would give them a first and second could be just what they need to have the ammunition to move up and take a quarterback. Meanwhile, the Raiders would have a blue-chip player that would elevate an already-high ceiling for the defense.”

Trading within the division is a rare occurrence and it’s hard to see Sean Payton being willing to send one of his best players to the Raiders. That said, Denver could be desperate to move up for a quarterback and Las Vegas may have a chance to take advantage of that.

Patrick Surtain Was Ranked No. 1 CB Before 2023 Season

Though the Broncos have struggled for several seasons now, Patrick Surtain has been arguably the best cornerback in the NFL. In fact, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler polled people around the NFL heading into last season and many agreed that Surtain is the No. 1 cornerback in all of football.

“He’s separated himself, and I don’t think it’s close,” an AFC scout told Fowler last year. “If you’re picking a team, you’re taking him first.”

Surtain is still only 23 and played at a high level in 2023 so there’s no reason to believe he’ll fall down the list.

Las Vegas Raiders Need a CB Either Way

The idea of the Raiders adding Patrick Surtain feels like a longshot. The Broncos have no reason to want to help Las Vegas. The teams finished with the same record last season so it’s not like they’re in totally different places.

Also, Sean Payton is an old-school coach and those guys don’t typically like to deal with rivals. While Surtain is likely not a realistic target, it doesn’t change the fact that the Raiders need a starting cornerback. Xavien Howard is still a free agent and could be an option but he’d only be a short-term solution. The Raiders could very well use their No. 13 pick on a cornerback. If not, they could also look to the second round. Expect Las Vegas to be aggressive in trying to find a cornerback in the coming weeks.

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