As it stands, the Raiders won’t have a draft pick in the first round for the first time since 1989.
However, as Steve Corkran writes in today’s Bay Area News Group papers, owner Al Davis has a history of trading up and it wouldn’t be shocking if he were to package draft picks to get into the first round Thursday night if there is a player on the board he wants.
And here’s a move that is strictly conjecture on my part but so very Raider _ swinging a deal with the New England Patriots to get the 17th pick back that was surrendered in the trade for defensive tackle Richard Seymour.
Oakland is an active trade partner with New England, including dealing up to get Mario Henderson, trading Randy Moss for a fourth-round pick and dealing Doug Gabriel to New England for a draft pick.
Teams are now free to make trades with players after Judge Susan Nelson’s injunction which at least temporarily ends the lockout. Owners may want to wait until an appeal is heard, but it’s not like Davis hasn’t broken ranks before. Even if Davis doesn’t want to use players, he can package draft picks from this year’s draft or future drafts, although the latter scenario is somewhat risky given there is no guarantee of a draft in future years.
If Oakland were to move up, my guess for a target would be Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith, a long and lean press coverage corner who has some issues but could be an instant replacement for Nnamdi Asomugha, expected to depart in free agency.
It will be interesting to see if any teams begin making offers to Asomugha in light of the injunction. Not doing so would risk a collusion charge.