In his press conference on May 1st, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie stated that his phone lines will be open on draft day. I have already identified a few teams that could call. Another likely caller could be Cowboys Owner and GM Jerry Jones.
The Dallas Cowboys currently hold 11 picks including 3 compensatory 7th round picks. I have included the value of the picks from the trade value chart although it is only a guide. There is no requirement for the teams to match point for point when making trades and many teams will leave points on the table. The Raiders are no exception.
From a salary cap standpoint, there is not a whole lot of incentive for Jones to trade up. The Cowboys have just over 12.7 million in cap room, which should be enough to sign their draftees. What would motivate them to trade up with the Raiders? There are a couple of reasons why Jones would trade up.
One would be to get a playmaker at wide receiver to compliment Dez Bryant. Jason Whitten is a great receiving tight end, but a pair of bookends at WR is something Jones would want to do. Doing so would help QB Tony Romo quite a bit. A rookie WR who is a strong prospect would also be cheaper than re-signing WR Miles Austin or going after a free agent. They did sign Darius Byrd from the Cardinals, but they are still in need of a difference maker. There will most likely be one in either Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans available at the 5th pick.
Another reason is that the Cowboys have to find a replacement for LB DeMarcus Ware who signed with the Denver Broncos. Ware’s departure has left them a little thin in the pass rush department and a solid prospect is just what the doctor ordered. The free agent market is not very rich in talent at this point. Getting one with the 5th pick would seem to make more sense than waiting to see who goes undrafted or gets cut during training camp.
There is enough motivation for Jones to trade up, but what would he be willing to give up in return for Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Kahlil Mack, Aaron Donald or Anthony Barr? There is a precedent for Jones trading up to get a specific player he is high on. Jones traded up from 14 to 6 to take CB Morris Claiborne in the 2012 draft. The Rams went pretty easy on him, only getting a second round pick in the trade.
The Raiders would (and should) get more than just a second round pick. It is feasible that they get at least 2 picks from the Cowboys in trade. The 47th and 78th picks would be a pretty fair trade, but there are a number of picks that are reasonable for Dallas to give up in this trade. If they were to give up a 2nd and 3rd round pick in the trade, it would look like this:
|RAIDERS RECEIVE:||POINTS||COWBOYS RECEIVE:||POINTS|
|16th Overall Pick (R1)||1000||5th Overall Pick (R1)||1700|
|47th Overall Pick (R2)||430|
|78th Overall Pick (R3)||200|
Reggie McKenzie could substitute the 119th overall pick (R4) to make the deal more appealing, but he wouldn’t need to since this trade would leave the Cowboys with plenty of draft picks. If the trade went down like the table above, The teams would have a draft that looks like this:
|16th Overall Pick||1||5th Overall Pick||1|
|36th Overall Pick||2||119th Overall Pick||4|
|47th Overall Pick||2||158th Overall Pick||5|
|67th Overall Pick||3||229th Overall Pick||7|
|78th Overall Pick||3||231th Overall Pick||7|
|107th Overall Pick||4||238th Overall Pick||7|
|219th Overall Pick||7||248th Overall Pick||7|
|235th Overall Pick||7||251st Overall Pick||7|
|247th Overall Pick||7||254th Overall Pick||7|
The most burning question is would the Cowboys be willing to sit out the second and third rounds to get an elite player? CEO, Executive Vice President and Director of Player Personnel, Stephen Jones is of the belief that if you want to get an elite player from the 14th hole as was the case in the 2012 trade to draft Claiborne, it will cost you something. There is no reason to think that he has changed his stance regarding the 16th pick.
Reggie McKenzie will have his phone lines open on draft day. It could benefit both the Raiders and Cowboys if Jerry Jones picks up the phone and gives Reggie a call. The Raiders need every pick they can get.
If McKenzie makes this trade, he could trade any of the picks he gets in this deal to a number of teams looking to move up in any round. That would get even more picks for the Raiders, which would do them a lot of good in this deep draft. There are a lot of possible scenarios and as Reggie put it in his press conference, the draft is a Chess match and is a very exciting time.