The Oakland Raiders have always thought outside of the box when it came to the NFL Draft. For most of their history, it was a product of having a maverick owner in Al Davis. But when he passed away and his son Mark Davis hired Reggie McKenzie as the general manager, things did not really change. Last year, with his first ever first round pick as a general manager, McKenzie took cornerback DJ Hayden, a guy many had removed from their draft boards entirely due to an injury that nearly ended his life.
This year’s draft is already setting up to be one of the most unpredictable drafts in years. There is virtually no consensus as to who the number one pick should be. Hell, there is not even a consensus on who the best quarterback in the draft is, and given the importance of the position and the attention paid to it, that is rather shocking. With an incredibly deep draft, it is incredibly hard to predict what teams will do at the top of the first round let alone throughout the rest of the draft. From differing views on the value of players to the desire to compile picks for value later in the draft, things could be crazy when the NFL takes over Radio City Music Hall.
But while I would not dare venture to guess what the Raiders will do with their number five pick, I am more than confident in predicting what they will NOT do with it. You heard it here first and should not be shocked in the least:
The Raiders will NOT trade up from the number five pick in the draft.
Hell, normally I would even venture to be more bold and say they would not trade up AT ALL throughout the entire draft. But once again, this year’s class is so unique that McKenzie could potentially step out of his comfort zone to trade back into the end of a round if someone were to fall. But for all those hoping for a movie-esque scene where he trades to the number one pick and grabs Jadaveon Clowney will be seriously disappointed.
McKenzie needs all the picks he can get to rebuild this team. Even if he is obsessed with Clowney, he would need to believe that Clowney is so much better than everyone else available in the draft that it is worth potentially damaging the future of the Raiders to get results now. That is just not how McKenzie works. He has shown a penchant for patience and will not likely depart form that tendency now.