There have been numerous discussions, some partially stoked by a question asked Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie. Here’s the link to the article and here is the question and response given by McKenzie:
Q: What are the chances of your trading into the first or second round?
A: “You know what, there’s always ways of trading up, trading into, trading back. It’s just a matter of what you’re willing to give up, or what do you want to receive out of the deal. So, if a team comes to ask for something huge, just to offer me if I want to get into the first round but I got to give them my first born, that’s not going to happen.”
McKenzie didn’t say that he wanted to trade up but, prudently, didn’t rule it out either.
However, a look at the trade ammo indicates that it’s pretty unlikely.
The Raiders currently have 5 2012 draft picks, 3 of which are compensatory picks. Compensatory picks are not able to be traded.
Therefore, in order to make a trade to go up into the 2nd round, if the Raiders were so inclined, they have 3 trade options that they could combine – their 5th and/or 6th round picks, players currently under contract or future draft picks.
McKenzie has already all but ruled out trading future draft picks, however. In the same article this question was asked next and answered this way:
Q: What’s your philosophy of trading future draft picks?
A: “I do not want to trade future picks. Usually, you consider that if it’s a future seventh if you need a guy going into the season, something happens. But, I don’t like to even consider trading future picks, especially high ones.”
So, if we rule out future draft picks as a possibility, that leaves the Raiders 5th and 6th round picks and players under contract. The 5th and 6th round picks don’t carry much trade value, so they will not, alone, allow the Raiders to trade into the 2nd round, so it’s unlikely that McKenzie would trade them, valuing draft picks as he says he does.
This leaves players on the team. Looking at the roster, there aren’t many players that have the right combination of skill and contract value.
Players that would be worth a second round pick or more include Carson Palmer and Darren McFadden, definitely. They might include LT Jared Veldheer or Tyvon Branch. Branch is not, at this time, eligible for a trade as he has not signed his franchise tender and is therefore not under contract.
Even were he not ineligible, it seems unlikely the Raiders would want to trade one of their cornerstone players. Outside of those players there doesn’t appear to be any player whose play and contract would bring a 2nd round pick in a trade.
Rolando McClain has potential and a good contract number but his play has been sub-par and his value would probably not be a 2nd rounder at this time.
Stefen Wisniewski would be worth a 2nd rounder after his stellar first season but again, not a player the team would want to give up.
Tommy Kelly is productive but is due $6 million this season – no team will trade for that contract with Kelly’s level of pay.
Do you see the issue? There are no expendable players the team would trade that would also net a high draft pick. Therefore, while a player or two may be traded during the draft, it’s unlikely that the Raiders will trade up even into the 2nd round.