Oakland Raiders: Justin Gilbert

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.

Manziel
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?

Might Raiders be in market for CB?

February, 26, 2014
Feb 26
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The Oakland Raiders used their top draft pick on a cornerback last season in D.J. Hayden, and big things are expected of him in his second season, what with his being healthy enough to have a full offseason. And while three other corners will be unrestricted free agents in Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and Phillip Adams, it does not seem likely Oakland will again take a cornerback with its first pick, at No. 5 overall. Then again, if a quality corner falls into their lap, perhaps.

A look, then, at three cornerbacks who intrigued the masses at the NFL combine on Monday ...

CB Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State)

Widely seen as the top cornerback in the draft, he cemented said status with a show in Indianapolis. The 6-foot, 202-pound Gilbert ran a 4.37-second 40-yard dash, fastest among defensive backs. He also showed strength in getting 20 reps in the bench press, which was the second-highest number among corners, and explosiveness with a 35.5-inch vertical leap and a broad jump of 10-6. Scouts rave about his ball skills and physicality.

CB Jason Verrett (TCU)

Verrett also did a lot to improve his draft stock at the combine. Besides showing speed in the 40 (4.38 seconds), he also had a 39-inch vertical (third best among corners, seventh best of the entire combine). Still, at just 5-9, 189 pounds, his future seems to be in an NFL slot, and it would be difficult to see a team using their lone first-round pick on a nickelback, no?

CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska)

OK, so, many critics think Jean-Baptiste stunk up the joint with a 4.61-second 40-yard dash. But he is big. At 6-3, 218 pounds he would not be dwarfed by the bigger receivers in the NFL. His 41.5-inch vertical was the second-best mark of the combine and his 10-8 broad jump was sixth-best in the combine.

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