The Raiders did something they hadn’t done since 1989. Or rather they didn’t do something they had done every year since 89. That is draft a player in the first round of the draft. The Patriots had the Raider pick at 17th overall and they took Nate Solder out of Colorado. Which is appropriate considering the last time the Raiders had a Patriots draft pick the Raider took offensive tackle Mario Henderson in the fifth round.
The last time the Raiders entered the draft without a first round pick was 2005 when they had traded the seven overall pick to the Vikings for Randy Moss. But the Raiders couldn’t wait for their guy to fall to them and traded up into the first round to grab speedy cornerback Fabian Washington.
While the Moss pick turned sour quickly, the Seymour trade has yielded much better results. And the pick they gave up for Seymour was ten selections lower than the one they surrendered for Moss.
It is the Seymour types of trades that are indicative of the higher expectations of this team. Adding quality, proven character guys. Giving a round one pick for Seymour, a round 3 pick for Kamerion Wimbley, and a round 5 pick for Jason Campbell are all extremely wise uses of a draft pick. Unproven talent for proven talent.
There was a moment near the end of the first round when the entire press room’s ears perked up near the end of the first round. It was when the Ravens at the 26 pick were taking a while to get their pick in and it appeared as if they were working out a trade. It seemed like the moment the Raiders were going to pounce.
They ended up running out of time and the Chiefs put their pick in quickly to take the 26 pick while the Ravens dropped to 27. And ironically, the Ravens chose cornerback Jimmy Smith who the consensus had the Raiders taking should they attempt to trade up into round one. Is it possible it was the Raiders on the other end of the phone trying to get into the first round? It’s quite possible according to coach Hue Jackson
“There was so much phone calling going on in that room,” said Jackson. “Like you wouldn’t believe. There was a lot of opportunities but nothing that really fit for us and exactly what we wanted to accomplish. Obviously the player has to be there when you want to trade with somebody and there were several phone calls but it just didn’t fit for us at this time.”
But if you look at the team the Raiders have become, trading up into the first round is not really who they are anymore. Last year they had one of their best drafts ever and they traded down several times in round two and still got their guy in Lamarr Houston.
And when you consider the last time they let the first round go by without a pick was just a few years removed from their last Super Bowl win, perhaps these new Raiders are more like the Raiders of old afterall.