How Carolina Panthers wide receiver situation could help the Raiders in the draft

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The Carolina cut long time franchise WR Steve Smith and lost WR Ted Ginn Jr to the Cardinals in free agency on the same day. Brandon LaFell is also a free agent and is reportedly drawing interest from several teams. With these losses and only an estimated 4.49 million in available cap space entering the 2014 season, they are sure to be interested in drafting a wide receiver.

The market is getting thin and they are in a tough situation with regard to free agency. There have been no reports of the Panthers being interested in any of the remaining free agents.

The 2014 draft is still 2 months away, but it is never too early to start pondering trade scenarios. The Raiders are looking to build through the draft and bridge gaps with free agents. Their signings thus far are evidence of this.

Trading down to get more picks is the best scenario for a team like the Raiders looking to rebuild through the draft. If WR Sammy Watkins falls to the 5th pick, the Panthers may be willing to trade up to get him. How would it benefit the Raiders to trade with them?

Take a look at the commonly used Draft Trade Value Chart for the answer:

Rd 1 V Rd 2 V Rd 3 V Rd 4 V Rd 5 V Rd 6 V Rd 7 V
  1 HOU 3000   33 HOU 580   65 HOU 265   97 HOU 112   129 HOU 43   161 HOU 27   193 HOU 14
  2 STL 2600   34 WSH 560   66 WSH 260   98 WSH 108   130 WSH 42   162 WSH 27   194 WSH 14
  3 JAX 2200   35 CLE 550   67 OAK 255   99 ATL 104   131 TB 41   163 JAX 26   195 CLE 13
  4 CLE 1800   36 OAK 540   68 ATL 250   100 TB 100   132 JAX 40   164 CLE 26   196 OAK 13
  5 OAK 1700   37 ATL 530   69 NYJ 245   101 JAX 96   133 CLE 40   165 OAK 25   197 ATL 13
  6 ATL 1600   38 TB 520   70 JAX 240   102 CLE 92   134 SEA 39   166 ATL 25   198 TB 12
  7 TB 1500   39 JAX 510   71 CLE 235   103 OAK 88   135 ATL 39   167 CHI 25   199 JAX 12
  8 MIN 1400   40 MIN 500   72 MIN 230   104 MIN 86   136 MIN 38   168 MIN 24   200 MIN 11
  9 BUF 1350   41 BUF 490   73 BUF 225   105 BUF 84   137 BUF 38   169 BUF 24   201 BUF 11
  10 DET 1300   42 TEN 480   74 NYG 220   106 STL 82   138 JAX 37   170 TEN 23   202 CAR 11
  11 TEN 1250   43 NYG 470   75 STL 215   107 DET 80   139 TEN 37   171 NYG 23   203 STL 10
  12 NYG 1200   44 STL 460   76 DET 210   108 TEN 78   140 NYG 36   172 STL 23   204 DET 9.8
  13 STL 1150   45 DET 450   77 SF 205   109 NYG 76   141 STL 36   173 DET 22   205 TEN 9.4
  14 CHI 1100   46 PIT 440   78 DAL 200   110 JAX 74   142 NYJ 35   174 MIA 22   206 DAL 9
  15 PIT 1050   47 DAL 430   79 BAL 195   111 NYJ 72   143 MIA 35   175 CHI 21   207 PIT 8.6
  16 DAL 1000   48 BAL 420   80 NYJ 190   112 MIA 70   144 CHI 34   176 PIT 21   208 DAL 8.2
  17 BAL 950   49 NYJ 410   81 MIA 185   113 CHI 68   145 PIT 34   177 KC 21   209 IND 7.8
  18 NYJ 900   50 MIA 400   82 CHI 180   114 PIT 66   146 DAL 33   178 BAL 20   210 NYJ 7.4
  19 MIA 875   51 CHI 390   83 CLE 175   115 DAL 64   147 JAX 33   179 NYJ 20   211 MIA 7
  20 ARI 850   52 ARI 380   84 ARI 170   116 ARI 62   148 ARI 32   180 ARI 19   212 OAK 6.6
  21 GB 800   53 GB 370   85  B 165   117 GB 60   149 GB 32   181 GB 19   213 GB 6.2
  22 PHI 780   54 PHI 360   86 PHI 160   118 PHI 58   150 PHI 31   182 NE 19   214 PHI 5.8
  23 KC 760   55 CIN 350   87 KC 155   119 CIN 56   151 KC 31   183 CIN 18   215 DAL 5.4
  24 CIN 740   56 SF 340   88 CIN 150   120 KC 54   152 CIN 31   184 KC 18   216 CIN 5
  25 SD 720   57 SD 330   89 SD 145   121 SD 52   153 SD 30   185 SD 17   217 SD 4.6
  26 CLE 700   58 NO 320   90 IND 140   122 NO 50   154 IND 30   186 NO 17   218 STL 4.2
  27 NO 680   59 IND 310   91 NO 136   123 CLE 49   155 NO 29   187 IND 17   219 SF 3.8
  28 CAR 660   60 CAR 300   92 CAR 132   124 CAR 48   156 CAR 29   188 CAR 16   220 SF 3.4
  29 NE 640   61 SF 292   93 NE 128   125 SF 47   157 PHI 29   189 SF 16   221 NE 3
  30 SF 620   62 NE 284   94 SF 124   126 NE 46   158 SF 28   190 NE 15   222 SF 2.6
  31 DEN 600   63 DEN 276   95 DEN 120   127 DEN 45   159 DEN 28   191 DEN 15   223 DEN 2.3
  32 SEA 590   64 SEA 270   9  MIN 116   128 SEA 44   160 SEA 27   192 SEA 15   224 SEA 2

 

Each numbered pick carries a point value. General Managers use these values as a baseline when negotiating trades. The Raiders hold the 5th pick which is worth 1700 points and the Panthers hold the 28th pick which is only worth 660. This is a differential of 1040 points. This means that the Raiders should try and get picks from Carolina that total this number.

One example would be a second round pick in the next two drafts for 600 and a third round pick in the next two drafts for 264 for a total of 864. This leaves 176 points in favor of the Raiders which can be made up with later round picks or it can be left on the table to sweeten the deal.

There are many ways to break it down besides that scenario, but any way they work the trade, the Raiders would get the additional draft picks they want and the Panthers would get their star wide receiver. Of course, this depends on Sammy Watkins or any of the top wide receivers that may appeal to the Panthers at risk of being gone from the board when they get on the clock. It would also depend on whether or not the Panthers are willing to play ball.

Raider fans may remember the 2013 draft in which the Raiders traded the third pick to the Miami Dolphins for the 12th and 42nd picks. In this deal, the Raiders left 520 points on the table.  They could have gotten another pick or two in the later rounds out of this trade. It would appear on paper that they got ripped off, but there were a couple of factors to consider. The draft last year was not one of the strongest and the Raiders were dealing from the disadvantage of having no second round pick.

That is not the case in this draft. Any team wanting to trade up will have to pony up more picks in a draft so rich in talent at most positions such as this one.

There are several prospects in the late first as well as the second rounds and beyond that will be the best player available and will fill any of the Raiders many needs with young players. When draft day comes and depending on how the rest of free agency goes, Raider fans should be hopeful and optimistic that GM Reggie McKenzie is open to trading down for more picks to build their team with. He has proven to be fairly good at finding gems in the later rounds of the draft. If he can trade down for more picks, he will get a few opportunities to do just that.

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  • Walter Spargo

    UPDATE: After this article was submitted, The Panthers offered free agent WR Hakeem Nicks a $4.5 million contract over an unknown amount of years.