Raiders and Lions could pull trigger on early draft-day trade
As I said in my latest mock draft, I believe that the Lions must make tackle their top priority on Thursday night. After losing both 2012 starting tackles, the Lions severely lack both talent and experience at the position. In an offense that features so many deep passing plays, tackle is an extremely important position, as pass rushers need to be held in check while deep receiving routes develop.
While Oklahoma's Lane Johnson is a tantalizing prospect, Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel (the likely first overall pick) and Fisher are considered the clear-cut top two tackles. While Joeckel and Fisher going first and second overall is a distinct possibility, there is still a decent chance that Fisher is on the board when the Oakland Raiders select at third overall. If that ends up being the case, rumor has it that the Lions would be seriously interested in trading up from fifth overall to snag him.
Even if Fisher is off the board, the Eagles are a threat to select Johnson at fourth overall, leaving the Lions with no player to fill the biggest hole on their roster. The Lions could still attempt to trade up to get Johnson, making the first three picks in the draft all tackles.
It is no secret that the Raiders are interested in trading down. With arguably the league's worst roster, the Raiders have an abundance of holes to fill, and one impact player won't be the difference between the playoffs and another year drafting in the top five. In addition, the Raiders don't even have a second-round pick this year as a result of Hue Jackson's Carson Palmer trade.
The Raiders could possibly acquire the Lions' third-round pick by trading down, which is something I'm certain they'd be interested in. In moving to fifth overall, the Raiders would still have a shot at drafting one of the top defensive linemen. Whether it be Star Lotulelei, Ezekiel Ansah, or Sharrif Floyd, I strongly believe that the Raiders should go after the defensive player who could help the team the most in the trenches. Even if they drop from third to fifth overall, they could still likely get the top guy on their draft board.
This is one of many potential trade scenarios that we may see on Thursday night, but it is one of the scenarios that, in my opinion, makes the most sense. The Lions need a tackle, and with three tackle-needy teams selecting before them, there's a good chance they'll need to make a move to get one of their desired prospects. The Raiders need to stockpile draft picks to improve a pathetic roster.