The Oakland Raiders do not have a first round pick in the 2012 NFL draft due to the mid season trade for quarterback Carson Palmer. While the Raiders will never admit that the trade was a mistake, it is always fun to think about what could have been if the Raiders still had their first round pick. Hell, even Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said that he plans on deciding who he would have chosen had the Raiders not traded away their first round pick, so we might as well do the same. Here is a look at some of the players available that could have really helped the Raiders.
Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama
Corner back is not a huge area of need for the Raiders as they have two players capable of starting in Shawntae Spencer and Ron Bartell and two young guys with potential in Chimdi Chekwa and DeMarcus Van Dyke. But, Kirkpatrick is a guy who could turn out to be a very solid starting corner back in the NFL. He is better in a zone defense, but can play man as well.
David DeCastro, G, Stanford
David DeCastro is probably the best offensive lineman in this year's draft and would be an instant upgrade over Cooper Carlisle on the Raiders offensive line. Not only that, but he could grow into one of the best interior offensive linemen in the NFL. This, in my opinion, is the most painful guy to have missed an opportunity to draft, he very easily could have gone higher.
Jonathan Martin, T, Stanford
They must be doing something right down on the farm, because they very well could have two offensive linemen taken in the first round, and both project to be very good players at the next level. The Raiders are more in need of a tackle than a guard, so Martin would also make a lot of sense at this point as he is probably the best tackle left on the board.
Kendall Reyes, DT, Connecticut
The Raiders have struggled against the run for years now and Reyes could help with his ability to get behind the line of scrimmage and break up plays before they even begin. He is also versatile and can play in a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 defense.
Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
The Raiders biggest need comes at the outside linebacker position. While the Raiders have guys capable of starting, it is still a position in need of an upgrade and depth. Upshaw is a guy who would push for a starting job right away. He has good pass rushing skills and is above average in his run defense. Like DeCastro, this is a guy that it is a little painful to miss a chance to draft.
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