NFL Rumors: Raiders one of three teams most interested in Antonio Brown trade

NFL Rumors: Raiders one of three teams most interested in Antonio Brown trade

Jon Gruden wouldn't "take the cheese" on the Raiders' rumored interest in Antonio Brown on Friday. But, he just might have been gouda at playing it coy. 

The Raiders, along with Washington and the Tennessee Titans, are "the three teams that have shown the most interest in" the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday night citing league sources. 

The Silver and Black appears to be in a strong position compared to their reported competitors. 

With just over $72 million in salary-cap space, the Raiders have more cap room to bring in the All-Pro receiver than either Washington or Tennessee. Oakland also has four picks in the top 35 in April's draft, two more than Washington and Tennessee combined. That includes three in the first round, one of which would meet the Steelers' asking price. 

[RELATED: Why Quinnen Williams should ace his NFL combine interviews]

Much like Tennessee and Washington, the Raiders also have a clear need at the position. Brown recorded 104 catches for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns in a "down" season in 2018. Tight end Jared Cook was the Raiders' leading pass-catcher in 2018, and Oakland hasn't had a 1,200-yard receiver since Jerry Rice in 2002. 

Brown is tight with Rice, and he has made it clear on social media he'd like to follow in Rice's footsteps, and join the 49ers. If the Raiders can get a deal done, he'd still be on the Rice path: Oakland was the legendary receiver's second NFL stop, and the same would be true for Brown. 

NFL rumors: Jets 'determined' to trade down from No. 3 pick in draft

NFL rumors: Jets 'determined' to trade down from No. 3 pick in draft

The 2019 NFL Draft is only days away. Between now and Thursday, plenty of things can change. 

There reportedly could be a shaker in the draft sitting between the 49ers and Raiders. Sources told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano that the Jets are "determined" to trade down from the No. 3 pick in the draft. 

"They seem to really, really want to move down," one NFL executive said to Vacchiano. "Maybe they're just keeping their options open, but it sure seems like that No. 3 pick is for sale."

This could affect the 49ers and Raiders in opposite ways. 

Starting with the 49ers, they can use this information to their advantage. If the 49ers decide to move down and add more draft assets, their price for the No. 2 pick has increased. 

In the case that quarterback-needy teams want to move up, 49ers general manager John Lynch can pick up the phone and start demanding a megadeal for his top pick. For the Raiders, however, this could be bad news. 

Raiders GM Mike Mayock has been very protective of his big board and how he sees this draft playing out. But now a team could possibly jump Oakland for the exact prospect the Silver and Black has their eyes on. 

One recent mock draft even has the Raiders trading with the 49ers to get the No. 2 pick and draft ... quarterback Drew Lock. Hey, crazier things have happened. 

[RELATED: Five players Raiders could target at No. 35 on Day 2]

Perhaps more than any other team, however, the Raiders have the greatest package with three first-round picks to move up and select exactly who they want. 

Phones will be ringing on draft day, and the order is sure to change in one way or another.

2019 NFL Draft: Five players Raiders could target at No. 35 on Day 2


2019 NFL Draft: Five players Raiders could target at No. 35 on Day 2

The Raiders will be the NFL draft’s main attraction on Thursday night. They have three first-round draft picks available for use as scheduled or in trades up or down the draft board.

That trio isn’t the only valued piece of the Raiders’ cache. They also own the No. 35 overall pick, coming just three picks into the second round, where the Raiders can select someone considered a top talent.

They don’t have another pick slated for the draft’s second day, though general manager Mike Mayock said he wouldn’t mind getting back into the Day 2 action with an early trade down to accumulate more picks.

“I just think we have a lot of holes that need to be filled,” Mayock said at his pre-draft presser. “I think that’s a really good place to go fishing. If we can, we can.”

That attempt won’t happen until later. Right now there’s only one pick earmarked for the Raiders at No. 35. Let’s take a closer look at five players who might fit the Raiders at that spot, where you’ll see several guys the Raiders are familiar with after working with them at the Senior Bowl.

OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

This might be a great place to grab an offensive guard, one that could play right away and complete an offensive line restructure. There’s a hole at one guard spot with Kelechi Osemele traded to the New York Jets. The side will depend on whether Gabe Jackson stays on the right or returns to a left guard spot he has manned most of his athletic life.

Lindstrom is a good one, a nasty player and athlete who can stand in and protect or make downfield blocks in space. He might be gone at this stage, but he would be a welcome addition at No. 35 and add security to the interior offensive line that was a team strength in recent seasons.

OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State

Like Lindstrom, Risner impressed the Raiders during Senior Bowl week. He’s tenacious, tough, coachable and versatile, a trait the Raiders prize. He could compete to play inside right away, and become an option outside if that’s required down the line. He has played center as well, giving the Raiders plenty of options to find quality starters and backups at each spot. Risner has a mean streak that would be a welcome drive no matter where he played.

DE L.J. Collier, TCU

Catching a Senior Bowl theme here? It’s pretty obvious at this stage. While that college all-star game didn’t have elite prospects, there were plenty worthy of selection in this second-round range. Collier might fit a small trade down from No. 35, he’s a scheme fit at end and could be a solid backup plan on the strong side if there’s a massive run on edge rushers in the first round. He could even be an option if the Raiders get one early, especially an athletic type better suited for the other side. Collier is a strong, nasty bull rusher who could fit into a rotation early and grow with quality coaching a development.

S Darnell Savage, Maryland

Savage is another player the Raiders liked coming into the Senior Bowl. They left with a higher opinion of him. Analysts have called him a Lamarcus Joyner clone, and they could use someone like him to work in when Joyner moves to the slot. He could back Joyner up inside as well or even compete with Karl Joseph to play next to him in time. Savage is a smart, yet aggressive player with good vision – and he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash -- who could fit into a secondary in need of one more key component.

[RELATED: Raiders top five draft needs]

CB Justin Layne, Michigan State

This is a prospect Mayock may be able to grab later in the round, but since they don’t have another draft pick until the fourth round, the Raiders GM takes a player he likes at the spot where he has a selection to grab him. He has a good feel for what receivers are trying to do, and has solid ball skills to make plays downfield.