Raiders

Trent Brown's agent says Bill Belichick made NFL free agency push on vacation

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AP

Trent Brown's agent says Bill Belichick made NFL free agency push on vacation

Newly signed Raiders left tackle Trent Brown got a pretty penny to leave the New England Patriots at the start of NFL free agency last week.

On the same day Brown decided to join the Raiders, his old coach was enjoying a moment in the sun. Literally. 

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was photographed with his girlfriend while vacationing in Barbados on the same day the early negotiating period began. You can't exactly blame the guy, considering the Patriots have won 10 consecutive AFC East titles and three of the last five Super Bowls. 

When your divisional competition consists of the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, you can afford a day off. But it turns out Belichick was on a working vacation, and Trent Brown's agent said the coach was making a push to re-sign the offensive lineman. 

“Don’t let those photos fool you,” Drew Rosenhaus told NBC Sports' Peter King in his Football Morning in America column. “We talked one morning at 4:30 about Trent Brown. They wanted to keep him."

Brown started all 16 regular-season games and all three playoff games for the Patriots last season, and protected quarterback Tom Brady's blind side. New England allowed just 21 sacks in the regular season -- third-fewest in the NFL -- and only one in the postseason. In 2017, the Pats allowed 35 in the regular season.

[RELATED: After upgrading offense, Raiders need more on defense]

It was a different story in Oakland last year, when the Raiders allowed 52 sacks. That tied for the fifth-most in the NFL, and made upgrading their pass protection a priority this season.

The Raiders were able to do so, and weaken a league powerhouse in the process. Still, Belichick's Barbados break is a pretty good indicator that he and the Patriots aren't stressing their standing entering 2019. 

Even if he was working during it.

What Mike Mayock's past NFL draft rankings can tell us about Raiders

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USATSI

What Mike Mayock's past NFL draft rankings can tell us about Raiders

Before joining the Raiders as their general manager back in December, Mike Mayock made his NFL draft priorities clear as an analyst.

He ranked prospects for a decade at NFL Media, becoming a go-to-voice as all eyes in football fixed on the draft every spring. That history could provide some insight into Mayock's plans with the Raiders' top selection, as NFL Media's Ali Bhanpuri observed Friday.

In Mayock's last six rankings of the top 100 draft prospects, defensive ends ranked No. 3 overall on average. Defensive tackles, by contrast ranked No. 7 overall, but defensive linemen were "consistently" at the top of Mayock's big board in each of the last six draft classes he evaluated for NFL Media, according to Bhanpuri.

If there's any draft where that figures to still be the case, it's this one. Top-rated edge rushers Nick Bosa and Josh Allen each met with the Raiders, and so did defensive tackle Quinnen Williams. If the Arizona Cardinals take quarterback Kyler Murray -- which no longer seems like an inevitability -- then the Silver and Black should be able to select one of those three. That's especially true if the New York Jets are able to trade out of the No. 3 spot, which sources told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano is New York's ideal plan, and a team wanting to select a QB moves into New York's place. 

[RELATED: Five players Raiders could target on Day 2 of NFL draft]

As for the Raiders and their reported interest in Kyler Murray, Mayock's history indicates he really would have to be enamored with the signal-caller in order to trade up. In the last six years, Mayock's top five prospects twice included a QB: Marcus Mariota at No. 5 overall in 2015, and Carson Wentz at No. 1 on his big board in 2016. With that in mind, it's difficult to envision the Raiders giving up the draft capital necessary to select Murray if they truly see Derek Carr as their franchise quarterback.

There's much more smoke than fire at this time of year, making predicting what will happen in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday almost as fruitless as predicting at the end of "Avengers: Endgame" when it's released Friday. But Mayock has plenty of recent history to serve as predictive precedent, and the Raiders' first pick Thursday ultimately will show insightful it was.

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 just days away. Between now and Thursday, plenty of things can change, but there reportedly could be a shaker in the draft sitting between the 49ers and the Raiders.

Sources told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano that the Jets are "determined" to trade down from the No. 3 overall 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.

The 49ers can use this information to their advantage. If they 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 possibly could jump Oakland for the exact prospect the Silver and Black want. 

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 the Raiders could target at No. 35 on Day 2]

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

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