ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. thinks it would be wise for the Raiders to trade down and get additional picks for the second consecutive year.
Last season, the Raiders held the No. 3 overall pick and then traded back to No. 12 in order to get a second-round pick at No. 42.
So instead of getting only cornerback DJ Hayden, whom general manager Reggie McKenzie said the Raiders would have taken at No. 3, they also got Florida State offensive tackle Menelik Watson at No. 42.
A similar maneuver could pay off for McKenzie again, given that the Raiders currently don’t have selections in the fifth and sixth rounds. After the Raiders fourth-round pick at No. 109, they aren’t scheduled for another pick until No. 219 in the seventh.
The Raiders have two additional picks in the seventh round at No. 235 and No. 247 for deals involving quarterbacks Carson Palmer (Cardinals) and Terrelle Pryor (Seahawks).
“I like the trade down possibility a lot,’’ Kiper said. “They’ve got holes at wide receiver, defensive tackle, outside linebacker, corner. The list goes on and on. They let some really good players go. Lamarr Houston is a real good player. Jared Veldheer is a real good player.’’
Kiper sees Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins as a “no-brainer’’ if Oakland stays at at No. 5, but ranked Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans, Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan and Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack as the most likely available picks.
In Kiper’s most recent mock draft, he had the Raiders getting Mack, a 6-foot-2, 251-pound outside linebacker that some analysts see as the best player in the draft.
McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen have said they will look at add a quarterback. Kiper’s most likely candidates from the second-round or later to wind up in Oakland include Jimmy Garappolo of Eastern Illinois, A.J. McCarron of Alabama, Aaron Murray of Georgia and Tom Savage of Pittsburgh.
Kiper rates local product David Fales, considered a third-round possibility by ESPN analyst and former quarterback Trent Dilfer, as a fifth-round possibility.