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Raiders keeping all options open for NFL draft, including trading up

Updated April 22, 2024 - 7:22 pm

The Raiders have the 13th pick in the NFL draft, but general manager Tom Telesco indicated Monday he has contingency plans for the first round based on scenarios.

Those plans include the possibility of trading up for a quarterback, perhaps for Louisiana State star Jayden Daniels.

Telesco, hired in January after spending the past 10 seasons as the Chargers’ general manager, suggested that the Raiders understand what it will take to move up in Thursday’s first round and perhaps are willing to pay the price for the right player.

“We have a plan right now to go up if we have to and be aggressive with it,” Telesco said during a news conference.

The Raiders have been linked for months to Daniels, whom coach Antonio Pierce recruited out of high school when he was the recruiting director at Arizona State. To get into range to take Daniels, the Raiders would have to move to the second or third pick.

The Commanders have the second pick but have indicated they won’t trade it. The Patriots pick third and have expressed a willingness to trade down. If the Commanders pass on Daniels at No. 2, the Raiders could engage the Patriots on a deal that lands them Daniels.

Daniels reportedly upset

Here’s where it gets interesting.

The Commanders’ decision to bring in Daniels for a predraft visit last week with fellow quarterback prospects J.J. McCarthy of Michigan, Drake Maye of North Carolina and Michael Penix Jr. of Washington reportedly didn’t sit well with Daniels, the perceived second-best quarterback in the draft behind Southern California’s Caleb Williams.

Daniels’ agent, Ron Butler, even “liked” two tweets that criticized the Commanders’ decision to host the four together. That led to reports that Daniels isn’t fond of the idea of playing in Washington and could be leveraging the situation to prevent the Commanders from drafting him.

That plus the connection to Pierce has led to speculation that the 2023 Heisman Trophy winner might try to create a scenario in which he ends up with the Raiders.

If the Commanders take Maye or McCarthy instead of Daniels, the Patriots have a decision to make. They are in full rebuild mode with massive roster holes to fill. Their de facto general manager, Eliot Wolf, said last week the club is open for business at No. 3 and could be swayed by a package that includes multiple draft picks.

“We’re a draft-and-develop team,” Wolf said. “The more picks we have, the better.”

Raiders keeping open mind

The Raiders also could trade up for McCarthy or Maye, but one of them probably would have to fall to at least No. 6 for them to be comfortable about doing so.

Telesco said trading up is just one of the options the Raiders are prepared to entertain.

“We’ve got a plan if we stick and pick, obviously,” he said. “And we’ve got a plan to go back, if it’s within a certain range.”

The Raiders could consider taking Penix at No. 13 or beyond if they trade down.

Telesco said trade talk has unfolded at a typical pace.

“It’s been pretty normal this year, as like other years,” he said. “There’s been conversations with other teams, but it’s probably more general than specific. It really won’t get more specific until usually later in the process — Tuesday, Wednesday, even Thursday. Even sometimes when you’re on the clock.”

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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