The Las Vegas Raiders are fresh off a disappointing season in which they finished just 6-11. In that disappointing campaign, they made the decision to move on from longtime starting quarterback Derek Carr. This move planted the Raiders firmly in the quarterback market, not just in free agency, but also through the draft.
While landing someone like Aaron Rodgers might be a sexier move, drafting a quarterback of their own would be a much more sustainable option long-term.
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Fortunately for the Raiders, they can likely get one of the top quarterbacks in the class, but it isn’t a sure thing. If the Raiders want to ensure they get the quarterback of their choice, they might trade up to first overall.
The team that holds the first overall pick, and thus the most power in the draft, is the Chicago Bears. The Bears are in a unique situation because, despite holding the top pick, they already have a promising young QB in Justin Fields.
While they could use that pick to draft a key defensive player, the haul they could get by trading down would be hard to pass up.
Several quarterback-needy teams could trade up to the top of the draft, and Las Vegas is one of them. The Raiders will probably be bidding against the Texans, Colts, Panthers and others for the pick, which might be daunting. However, if they want a quarterback that much, they’ll happily pay that price.
With that said, here is the perfect trade the Raiders must offer the Bears for the first overall pick.
Raiders trade: 2023 first (No. 7 overall), 2023 second (No. 38 overall), 2023 third (No. 70 overall), 2024 first, 2024 second
Quite the haul to give up, isn’t it? Well, that’s the price of the top pick, and by extension, a franchise quarterback. There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s break it down.
As much as it may sting, the Raiders will likely have to give up two firsts to strike a deal. While Houston and Indianapolis could probably get away with one first, there’s a key difference between them and Las Vegas.
The Texans and Colts pick second and fourth respectively, so the Bears could still get Jalen Carter or Will Anderson with those picks. They would not be able to with the Raiders’ seventh pick, leading to the second first and overall higher price.
Additionally, the reason why the draft cost is so high is to avoid losing a key player. It’s important to surround a young quarterback with talent, and trading away current players would undermine that. Giving up more draft capital isn’t ideal for Las Vegas, but it’s better than losing a current key player.
Taking this trade would also make sense from Chicago’s point of view. Michael Renner of PFF wrote about trades the Bears could take for the pick, and this was one of them. According to Renner, this trade would net Chicago 22.7% of surplus value, second-most of the four trades he proposed.
The only trade ahead of it was one with the Colts (No. 4, 35 and 79 overall this year plus a first and a third next year) with 24.5% of surplus value.
Obviously, trading all of this draft capital is a massive gamble for the Raiders. The fact that they traded their first and second last year for Davante Adams only heightens the risk. However, if they want a quarterback that badly, it may be a risk worth taking.
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