Will Raiders, Chargers be involved in deals?

As the NFL draft approaches, there has been growing speculation that both the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers could be involved in trades early in the process.

The Raiders have been receiving calls for the No. 3 pick and the pick is expected to be a pivot point in the draft. Oakland may get plenty of calls while on the clock. It is interested in trading down to help stock a depleted roster. It has been heavily speculated that Cleveland could move up from No. 6 to No. 3.

That would be a gift to Oakland.

The Raiders would then slide to No. 6 and get solid compensation and then still be able to grab a top defensive talent such as Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd or Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei.

Meanwhile, there has been growing speculation that the Chargers could move way up from No. 11 to grab a top left tackle. That is the team’s most glaring need and there is no way a top left tackle will be available at No. 11.

Still, I think it would be difficult for the Chargers to pull the trigger on one big move up. This is a team that is rebuilding. It needs help at a lot of positions. ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said he thinks the Chargers could even trade their 2014 first-round pick to get in a position to get Texas A&M left tackle Luke Joeckel. A potential trade partner could even be Oakland.

Giving a division rival a first-round pick would be difficult to swallow. I understand the Chargers’ need for a blindside protector for Philip Rivers, but at what price?

These potential big trades add to the drama of the first round in the AFC West.