As of now, the Las Vegas Raiders sit outside of Round 2, looking in. With no picks between the nineteenth and eightieth picks, you must know that Gruden and Mayock will make a move. In assembling a roster, teams need to use the draft as the backbone of any operation. The Las Vegas Raiders can make a sensible move into the second round. While it may not be a popular notion, it would accommodate a move and make sense for all involved: Trade Gabe Jackson to the Baltimore Ravens.
Gabe Jackson is a Pro Bowl-caliber guard, without question. At 28 years old, he enters the prime of his career with the balance of his skills at an above-average level. Lamar Jackson needs interior protection. On March 10th, the Ravens lost eight-time Pro Bowler Marshal Yanda. Yanda, at age 35, decided to hang up his spikes, leaving a cavernous void in the Baltimore offense. Many consider the Ravens a threat to represent the AFC, whenever the Super Bowl occurs. Also, at nine million dollars a year, by trading Jackson, the Raiders escape a contract with no dead cap hit.
The Ravens own the 55th and 60th overall selections. The Raiders could package Jackson and the 80th overall pick for the 60th pick and 170th overall. Moving up 31 picks and gaining a fifth seems fair for all involved. Now, the 60th pick makes sense because the Ravens still maintain the higher pick. To Mayock, that 170th pick could turn into a backup running back, into the mold of AJ Dillon or Lamical Perine.
If the Raiders ship Jackson, as many seem to believe, who takes his spot? That is where the team enjoys options. First, Denzelle Good presents an in-house option that Tom Cable prefers. Good knows the scheme, meshes well with Rodney Hudson, and brings a power element. Or, the Raiders could use one of their remaining selections to draft Jackson’s replacement. On the surface, Lousiana’s Robert Hunt or Michigan’s Ben Bredeson could settle into Jackson’s spot, and the Raiders may not miss a beat. On the other hand, should Las Vegas want to wait until Day Three, LSU mauler Damien Lewis could give the Silver and Black a playable option on the interior.
Gabe Jackson entered the league the same year as Derek Carr. That Number 66 jersey helped usher in a new era from the previous era. Yet, he isn’t a Mayock or Gruden pick. As a result, that contract sticks out. Now, that doesn’t diminish his skillset, contribution, and possible future with the team. However, anyone who knows the Raiders’ braintrust, understands that moving up into Round 2 remains a top priority.