The Raiders choice at the number 8 pick may have been speculated more than just about any other pick in this draft. The most recent coming from ESPN's Michael Smith via his twitter account. "The Mike Iupati to Oakland @ #8 talk is picking up steam," Says Smith."Two league sources who know the Raiders well tell me that's who they're targeting."
Iupati is widely considered the best guard in the draft. The issue here is that the Raiders need a tackle which means that there is a good chance, if they do indeed draft Iupati, that they will try and convert him to tackle. Many think this could stunt his potential as a Pro Bowl calibre guard. Although, that transition is purely speculation. The Raiders could draft him as a guard with an eye for another player later in the draft to fill the vacant right tackle position.
The connection to head coach Tom Cable is undeniable. Iupati is coming out of the University of Idaho which is where Cable played college ball and later was the head football coach for several seasons. Cable, like Iupati, also played offensive lineman for the Vandals.
Over a week ago, our own guest contributor, Bret Armstrong, had the Raiders taking Iupati in his Mock Predictions of the Entire Raider Draft article. So I guess somebody knows whats up around here.
There has been chatter regarding the possibility of Jason Campbell becoming a Raider ever since Donovan McNabb became a Redskin and effectively ended Campbell's hopes of returning as the starting QB in Washington.
Now, according to the Washington Post, there is "widespread belief" that the Redskins are willing to part with Jason Campbell for a "low pick" in the upcoming draft.
The torn pectoral muscle of Bruce Gradkowski prompted the Raiders to sign free agent QB Kyle Boller but that in no way removes the possibility that they could send a late round pick to the Redskins in exchange for Campbell. Afterall, he was a decent starter for the Redskins. The 'skins are just hoping to get something for him rather than just releasing him for nothing. If he were released, he would instantly be the number one free agent on the market. Also, he would be of greater value than any QB drafted in the low rounds because he wouldn't need time to develop. He can come in right away and compete for the starting job.
If the Raiders get past the 5th round of the draft without drafting a QB, I would expect this deal to happen.