2019 NFL Draft Buzz: Raiders planning surprise pick?

Print

The Oakland Raiders sent home their scouting department before the draft for fear of leaks.

Could that anxiety stem from an expectation that new Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden are planning a bombshell maneuver on Thursday during Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft and want to ensure a report doesn't scuttle the plot?

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport said on Up To The Minute Live that his understanding is what that the "Raiders are looking at is some sort of surprise pick at No. 4 that would necessitate absolute secrecy."

Rapoport expounded:

"That is what I understand. A pick at No. 4 that we are not expecting," he said. "So what that actually is, I do not know. I have some thoughts. Maybe that's Devin White. Maybe it's a quarterback like Dwayne Haskins or Kyler Murray if he's there. Maybe it's an offensive lineman. No one has mocked them there -- a tackle perhaps. But from what I understand it is a pick that should surprise us at 4."

With the Cardinals fielding calls on the No. 1 pick, could Gruden and Mayock be angling to trade up and snag Murray? Could Haskins be the pick at No. 4? Given that most of the scouting staff was part of the regime that brought in Derek Carr, a move to target a QB could warrant a certain level of secrecy.

White is an interesting name at No. 4. The playmaking LSU product is widely considered the top linebacker and would fill a huge hole on the Raiders' defense. Is an LB worth a top-4 pick? Would the Raiders draft a tackle the year after just investing in a first-round pick and spending huge free-agency money on the position?

As the intrigue builds towards Thursday's first round, speculation surrounding what the Raiders and others might do later this week is surely just starting.

Around The NFL is tracking all of the latest buzz on the 84th Annual NFL Draft, which opens Thursday in Nashville. Check back each day for updated nuggets as we pass along whispers from around the league. Here's what we're hearing Monday:

1. The Arizona Cardinals have fielded feeler calls for the No. 1 overall pick, Rapoport reported. The team's brass -- GM Steve Keim, coach Kliff Kingsbury and owner Michael Bidwill -- will have a final meeting over the next couple days to discuss their options with the first pick.

2. NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that the Steelers are not opposed to anything come Thursday night. If they are having those conversations, there's some of that leg work will indeed have been done this week. Starting tomorrow they will be trying to feel out teams, see who may or may not be available.

3. The Seahawks have been talking to several teams about defensive end Frank Clark, including the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, per Rapoport.

4. For the second time in three seasons, perhaps the San Francisco 49ers will trade down from the No. 2 overall pick. The Niners hold the No. 2 pick, but per The Athletic's David Lombardi, their general manager John Lynch speculated that if the right quarterback, likely Kyler Murray, is available it would maximize trade offers. In 2017, the Chicago Bears traded up to No. 2 with San Francisco to select Mitchell Trubisky.

5. If Kyler Murray does not go No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals and Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams are gone by the time the New York Jets draft at No. 3, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo said Monday on NFL Network's Total Access that he believes the Jets will trade down.

6. Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams, who was a left tackle for the Crimson Tide but is projected by some to play guard, could go as early as No. 6 to the New York Giants, former Giants vice president of personnel Marc Ross said on the NFL Network based on what the team has said publicly, among other factors.

7. If Josh Rosen is to be traded from the Arizona Cardinals, NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported that the Washington Redskins could be a suitor.

Print