Las Vegas Raiders Trade Deadline Preview

Las Vegas Raiders Trade Deadline Preview

by October 22, 2021 1 comment

After impressive wins over the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers to start the season, the Las Vegas Raiders have gone 2-2 over their past four games. They needed overtime to beat the Miami Dolphins while losing 20-9 to the Chicago Bears. However, they face the 2-4 Philadelphia Eagles this week and then head into their bye. With a win over the Eagles, the Raiders will have sole possession atop the AFC West. Will the Raiders look any different after the November 2 trade deadline? Let’s take a look.

Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Trade Deadline Previews.

The Raiders Current Status

Current Record: 4-2

Division Standings: Second in the AFC West

In the Playoff Picture: Yes

Buyers or Sellers: Buyers

Current NFL Draft Slot: 25th Overall

Potential Trade #1: 2022 fifth-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Charles Harris

For years, the Raiders have struggled to get pressure on the opposing quarterback. However, they are seventh in the NFL, with 16 sacks entering Week 7. They are also third in the league in quarterback knockdown rate at 12.7 percent. This means the Raiders are getting to the quarterback but just a second too late to get a sack. Furthermore, the Raiders are in the middle of the league in pressure rate at only 26.2 percent. While Maxx Crosby is tied for 11th in the NFL with five sacks, the rest of the team has only 11 combined. Meanwhile, big free-agent acquisition Yannick Ngakoue has only two sacks and eight quarterback hits this season. The Raiders need to add some pass-rushing help opposite of Crosby.

Meanwhile, Harris’ NFL career has been far from a success. As a former first-round pick in 2017, Harris has played for three teams in the past three seasons. However, he had a previous career-high three sacks in 2020 for the Atlanta Falcons. Meanwhile, Harris leads the Lions in sacks this season with four, counting for just under a third of the team’s total. Furthermore, the Lions have no reason to keep Harris around. Instead, they should trade him for a draft pick and create more playing time for younger pass rushers like Austin Bryant and Julian Okwara.

Potential Trade #2: 2022 third and fifth-round picks to the Houston Texans for Brandin Cooks

Second-year wide receiver Henry Ruggs III has shown promise this season. He leads the team in receiving yards (445) and is tied for first in receiving touchdowns (two). More importantly, he has shown massive improvement from last season to this season. However, the Raiders should explore adding a veteran wide receiver. They signed John Brown to fill that role, but he got released before the start of the season. While the compensation might be high, adding Cooks would give the Raiders a true No. 1 wide receiver, allowing Ruggs to slide into the No. 2 role and thrive. Furthermore, defenses will have a hard time slowing down the Raiders offense with Cooks and Ruggs on the outside, with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow wreaking havoc in the middle of the field.

After their Week 1 upside over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Texans have lost five in a row, losing by 19.2 points per game on average. The only thing left for them to do this season is trade Deshaun Watson and anyone else who can net the Texans future draft picks. Despite the quarterback play in Houston, Cooks is fifth in the NFL with 40 catches and 11th in receiving yards entering Week 7. While Cooks is under contract for next season, any team trading for him can release him with zero dead money against their cap in the offseason. If the Raiders offer enough compensation, they can add Cooks to their offense, putting it on par with the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers in the division.

Potential Trade #3: 2022 second and fifth-round picks to the Miami Dolphins for Xavien Howard

The Raiders added veteran cornerback Casey Hayward in the offseason to lead their young cornerback unit. Despite being the second-most targeted cornerback on the team, Hayward has allowed only 42.9 percent of the passes thrown his way to be completed. Furthermore, the quarterback rating when targeting Hayward is only 51.3 this season. Opposite of Hayward is a former second-round pick, Trayvon Mullen. He has played well this season, giving up a quarterback rating of only 57.4 when targeted. Unfortunately, he is on injured reserve with a foot injury. While Hayward and Mullen have played excellent this season, the Raiders should still consider adding another veteran at the trade deadline. One potential option is the disgruntled Howard.

It’s no secret that Howard asked for a trade out of Miami before the season started. The two sides worked out a restructured contract but will have to readdress his contract in the offseason. Meanwhile, the Texans and Dolphins have discussed a deal for Watson, but compensation is a problem. One way the Dolphins can improve their offer is to trade Howard first. By moving Howard, it would create more compensation needed to add Watson. The Dolphins are currently 1-5 and project to have a top-two pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, their first-round pick belongs to the Eagles. If the Dolphins are going to save their season, they need to trade for Watson. The best way to do that is trading Howard for more draft compensation first.

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Mike Fanelli is the Editor in Chief and fantasy football expert for Prime Time Sports Talk since 2018. He is a featured writer for FantasyPros. Follow him on Twitter @Mike_NFL2 and reach out anytime with any fantasy football questions.

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