Oakland Raiders fans sat and watched the Los Angeles Rams make another move this week. The Rams traded their first round and a sixth round pick in this year’s draft to the New England Patriots for Brandin Cooks and a first round pick. This gives the Patriots four picks in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft. These are four picks the Patriots can use to retool their roster that lost a few key veterans this offseason.
However, the trade gives the Patriots enough firepower to trade up in the upcoming NFL Draft. Oakland could make sense as a trade partner since they love draft picks.
New England possesses the 23rd, 31st, 43rd, 63rd, and 95th picks in the draft. That gives them five picks in top 100, which should make Reggie McKenzie’s mouth water.
Why the Pats would consider a trade?
The Pats might consider the move since they traded the franchise quarterback heir Jimmy Garoppolo during the 2017 season. Trading up for the Raiders’ No. 10 pick might put them in a position to draft any quarterback that is about to slide out of the top-10.
Currently, there are six consensus quarterbacks who could go anywhere in the first round. That includes Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield, and even Mason Rudolph. Rosen, Darnold, and Allen seem like locks for the top-five since the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants, New York Jets and Denver Broncos could all take a quarterback. That means three or four QBs with a first round grade could slide out of the top-10. Jackson, Mayfield, and Rudolph could go as high as the top-10 of the first round if a team loves them or as low as the second or third round depending how the demand unfolds.
Either way, there are plenty of wild card teams who may consider a quarterback before the Patriots select at No. 23. That includes the Bills at No. 22 and No. 12. Washington (13), Arizona (15), and the Chargers (17) might also look at selecting a signal-caller to develop into the face of the franchise.
New England might have extra incentives to consider the trade with the Raiders at No. 10 since that puts them in front of their NFC East rivals. The Buffalo Bills have the No. 12 pick and they desperately need a quarterback. Even the Miami Dolphins are a small threat to take a quarterback at No. 11. They have Ryan Tannehill who is solid but coming off injury and he was drafted by the previous regime.
Any team from the back of the draft will have to leapfrog Buffalo as well as Arizona, Washington, Miami and LA who are in prime positions to take a quarterback who stumbles. That becomes much more likely if Allen, Darnold or Rosen somehow slip out of the top-five picks. It would not be that crazy since we have seen franchise QBs slated in the top-10 fall out like Aaron Rodgers. One could argue that Jackson and Mayfield might even be worth trading up into the top-10 for.
Not to mention, all five or six quarterbacks could go in the first ten picks of the draft. That means an elite defensive prospect; running back or offensive lineman might fall into the Raiders laps at No. 10. A team might come calling to trade for that pick if there is a prospect that they really want. It would not be very crazy for New England to do that since they have needs at pass rusher, running back and offensive line as well as backup QB.
Thus, there are plenty scenarios were the Patriots could trade into the top of the draft. If they do, the Raiders are a more than willing trade partner.
We all know that McKenzie’s prime possession is draft capital. We saw him trade back in the 2013 draft and get the player he wanted (D.J. Hayden). McKenzie could pull off a similar and more fruitful plot this year if the Patriots call offering two first rounders for the tenth pick.
How the Trade Happens
The Oakland Raiders No. 10 pick is currently at 1300 estimated value, per DraftTek.com. New England’s first round picks (31 and 23) are worth a combined 1360. That means the Raiders could easily get a trade done for both of New England’s picks.
Of course, the Pats lose in that scenario. However, they would have to trade the two first rounders to move up. They do not have a ton of picks after the first 100 rounds.
Nonetheless, Oakland and New England could swap the 41 and 43 pick, which would allow the Pats to move up two spots in the second round and gain 20 points of the difference from packaging the two picks.
Alternatively, the Raiders and Patriots could agree to swap third rounds picks. In addition to the Pats trading their two first rounders they could add the No. 95 pick that is worth 120 points for the Silver and Blacks’ No. 75 pick, which is worth 210 points. In that scenario the Raiders lose 35 points but they could chalk that up to the cost of getting two first rounders.
Either way, New England could even offer picks in the 2019 draft to make a trade up happen. They might even make the Raiders throw in some picks from the final days of the draft since Oakland has multiple picks in the fifth and sixth round.
Ultimately, anything can happen come draft day. The Patriots may find a better trade opportunity by making an offer to the Colts, Buccaneers, Bears, or 49ers that might be as willing to trade back as the Raiders. In that scenario, New England may get a slightly higher pick with the same offer that would entice Oakland.
Oakland might consider other trade partners like the Bills, Colts, Browns, and Chiefs who have added draft capital in the first couple of rounds of the next two drafts. The Browns and Colts might not need a QB at No. 10 but they might consider moving back into the top-10 if there is a prospect they really want.
The point is, do not applaud what the Pats or the Rams are doing until draft day. That is when Reggie and the Raiders can make their biggest splash. With the No. 10 pick and many teams with multiple picks in the first round, the Raiders can find a trade partner. Still, they are best off starting with the Pats.