By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, April 11th, 2009 at 3:23 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders have never been shy about making deals at draft time, whether it be with picks or players on the current roster.
Last season, Oakland dispatched the No. 104 and No. 213 picks to move up four spots and take Tyvon Branch at No. 100. They dealt cornerback Fabian Washington for a fourth-round pick which turned out to be wide receiver Arman Shields.
Branch has been lightly penciled in as the starter at strong safety, while the hope is Shields can be a more recent version of Michael Bush _ a potential starter who rehabbed an injury for a year and will turn out to be a bargain.
They’ve had their share of swings and misses.
They dealt the No. 7 overall pick in for Randy Moss well in advance of the draft.
They acquired Mike Williams and Josh McCown for a fourth-round draft pick in 2007. (Although, remarkably, the Raiders got the better end of the deal _ if there is such a thing. A.J. Davis, the cornerback the Lions drafted, failed to make the team, landed on the practice squad, and was waived. He’s trying to catch on with the Houston Texans).
They traded up to get Mario Henderson, traded up to get Sam Williams. Back in 1997, they moved up to get Ricky Dudley.
The Raiders have already acquired their probable starting center, Samson Satele, by swapping fourth round picks and sending a sixth-rounder to the Miami Dolphins.
There is conjecture this could be the year Al Davis deviates from his normal mode of trading up in the draft and instead trades back to acquire more picks.
The Baltimore Sun reports the Raiders had an on-site visit with Darrius Heyward-Bey, the most impressive size-speed receiver in the draft out of Maryland. The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock has the Raiders taking Heyward-Bey as a surprise at No. 7.
They won’t be high enough to get Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry, who’s selection at No. 3 to Kansas City appears to chiseled in stone. (The Raiders don’t have a particular need at weakside linebacker _ although Curry might be good enough to play anywhere _ but he’s considered possibly the best football player in the draft).
For virtually anyone else, it would behoove Oakland to seriously consider trading back and adding picks.
If they like Heyward-Bey better than Crabtree or Maclin, they can trade back.
It’s not a tactic the Raiders have employed in the past, but then again, this entire postseason has been one of a common-sense approach and adding young talent, with the notable exclusion of signing veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Trading back, getting more picks and building that young talent base makes sense.
Follett, Meredith, etc.
Both likely would merit second-day consideration.