Oakland Raiders: Anthony Barr

Totally spit-balling here, like just about every other draft prognosticater out there, but if the Dallas Cowboys are as hot and heavy for Johnny Manziel as Twitter would have you believe, the Oakland Raiders might be sitting in prime position.

So long as two scenarios play out.

The first, obviously, is that Manziel is still on the board when it comes time for the Raiders’ choice at No. 5 overall.

The second, is that both Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins are already gone, because if either of those guys are still available, that has to be Oakland’s pick, at least, in this corner.

In that combined development, though, the Raiders could reach out to Jerry Jones and offer up that No. 5 selection for a boatload of picks. Using the Trade Value Chart, the No. 5 pick is worth 1,700 points. The No. 16 pick, which is where the Cowboys currently sit, is worth 1,000 points.

So, for the swap to work, the Cowboys would have to come up with 700 more points in draft picks, or a player. Dallas’ second-rounder this year (No. 47 overall) is worth 430 points and its third-rounder (No. 78) is worth 200 points, while its fourth-rounder (No. 119) is worth 56 points. That gives the Raiders two seconds, two thirds and two fourths, but still nothing in the fifth or sixth rounds to go with three seventh-rounders. It also still leaves the Cowboys needing 14 points to make up the difference.

Of course, the Trade Value Chart is more of a guideline for teams than a hard fast rule, and the Cowboys would have to stomach gutting the middle of their draft, though they could conceivably involve future picks in such a deal.

Plus, from the Raiders’ perspective, going from No. 5 to No. 16 is a pretty big drop (last year, they went from No. 3 to No. 12). Because as has been mentioned in this corner, Oakland needs an impact player with its first pick, rather than a developmental one like in general manager Reggie McKenzie’s first two seasons in Tony Bergstrom and D.J. Hayden.

So who could potentially be there at No. 16? Think UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr, or Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert, or Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III, or USC receiver Marqise Lee, or even Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr.

Or should the Raiders simply stay put at No. 5 and take the best player available?

Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Raiders 

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
Holding the No. 5 overall selection in the upcoming NFL draft could be seen as a both a blessing and a curse for the Oakland Raiders. After all, to get such a prime pick, the Raiders had to have a down season the year before ... and going 4-12 qualifies as such, meaning they have many needs. Even after signing 11 free agents from other teams, plus four of their own, and acquiring quarterback Matt Schaub in a trade since free agency opened March 11.

In his fourth mock draft , which is on ESPN Insider today, Todd McShay addresses a couple of needs for the Raiders, which should satisfy fans and Oakland's front office -- if it does indeed go this way.

Five more for Raiders to chew on

February, 25, 2014
Feb 25
A brief look at five more intriguing players who worked out at the NFL combine Monday in Indianapolis, and who could draw interest from the Oakland Raiders, who hold the No. 5 overall pick in the draft ...

DE Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)

The 6-foot-5, 266-pounder put on a show with an unofficial 40-yard dash time of 4.47 seconds that was later changed to an official 4.53 seconds. He also had a vertical jump or 37.5 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 4 inches. Clowney “only” 21 reps in the 225-pound bench press on Sunday. Athletically, he seems to be the top pick in the draft.

OLB Khalil Mack (Buffalo)

While the Raiders seem set at linebacker, Mack would only improve the unit as a pass rusher. At 6-2, 251 pounds, he is sleek and fast. He ran the 40 in 4.65 seconds, had a 40-inch vertical jump, a 10-8 broad jump and ran the 20-yard shuttle in 4.18 seconds.

OLB Anthony Barr (UCLA)

Did not blow anyone's doors off at the combine with a 4.66-seconds 40-time or his 34.5-inch vertical jump, but his 6.82 seconds in the three-cone drill was third best among linebackers. Like Mack, the 6-5, 255-pound Barr, who began his college career as a running back, would add a sorely-needed pass-rushing element from the outside.

DT Aaron Donald (Pittsburgh)

Not really considered an early first-round prospect, the 6-1, 285-pounder may have changed a few minds with his combine measurables. Donald had the best numbers for a defensive tackle in the 40-yard dash (4.68 seconds), bench press (35 reps) and three-cone drill (7.11 seconds).

DE Michael Sam (Missouri)

Sam did not flop, necesarrily, but his relatively slow 40 time (4.91 seconds), combined with a 25.5-inch vertical jump and a 9-6 broad jump just might cause the co-SEC defensive player of the year's stock to drop. The Raiders do like getting undervalued players, though, and he showed he can rush the passer in college football's most NFL-like conference.