INDIANAPOLIS — The Raiders came to the NFL scouting combine open-minded about what direction to go with their first-round pick.
Those options include trading up from pick No. 7 to secure their quarterback of the future, standing pat to take the best player available, or trading down to accumulate more picks while still getting one of their top targets.
The Raiders will have 10 more picks after the first round when the NFL announces compensatory picks. That leaves them in an enviable position no matter what path they take.
That said, the price to move from No. 7 to No. 1 feels a bit prohibitive. But the leap from seventh to third, fourth or fifth could be doable. That could put them in position to grab a highly regarded quarterback such as Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.
The Raiders, who are protective of the draft capital they have built, will be cautious about trading up.
“Once you move up, typically you’re subtracting other draft picks, which are other players,” general manager Dave Ziegler said. “And so that’s the thing that you have to weigh.”
As the Raiders stack their draft board, ideally they will create a comfort level with a handful of players at each selection. That way, depending on how things play out, they will be content selecting which players are still on the board.
That comfort level could motivate them to move back, too, knowing one of their preferred targets would still be available if they dropped down a few picks.
Of course, having a handle on that also means having a firm understanding of what the teams right behind them are thinking. Part of that is dependent on Ziegler and his staff doing their due diligence relative to getting in the heads of their colleagues.
“There’s a lot of I’d say intelligence that goes into trying to answer those questions based on what you feel the needs of other teams are, things that you’ve learned about maybe what the direction other teams are going to go,” Ziegler said. “And so you try to have some insight beyond just your gut in those situations. But I think that’s kind of the dichotomy there of those two decisions that you have to weigh.”