ALAMEDA -- The Raiders already know who they want with the No. 4 pick in the NFL draft Saturday. Coach Lane Kiffin admitted as much Thursday during a question-and-answer session at team headquarters.

If things go as planned, the newest Raider will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, give or take a few minutes. Then again, we might never know whom the Raiders covet with the first of their five selections in the two-day, seven-round draft.

"A number of great players will be sitting there for us to take," Kiffin said.

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden, Virginia defensive end Chris Long, Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston and LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey are among those who have visited the Raiders or at least are high on their draft board.

At least two of the aforementioned players will be available when the Raiders' turn rolls around -- the Miami Dolphins already signed Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long and will make him the No. 1 pick.

Even so, contrary to managing general partner Al Davis' time-tested philosophy, the Raiders just might go vertical with a pass at No. 4.

"More than ever, not in Raider fashion, we may trade back," Kiffin said. "It hasn't happened before, but it is something we're seriously looking at."

Say what? The Raiders' trading down in the first round? Davis' penchant is for doing just the opposite.

Since 1996, the Raiders traded up in the first round so they could select tight end Rickey Dudley, defensive tackle Darrell Russell, offensive tackle Mo Collins and cornerbacks Phillip Buchanon and Fabian Washington.


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Not once during that time did they trade down in the first round.

The potential change in philosophy stems from the Raiders' possessing picks in the first, fourth, sixth and seventh rounds -- they have two in the latter. They are without second-, third- and fifth-round picks as a result of trades made within the past year.

"It's something we're really looking at and having conversations about because of the lack of picks," Kiffin said for added emphasis.

So far, Kiffin said, numerous teams have inquired about the prospect of acquiring Oakland's No. 4 pick.

"We've talked to a number of teams," Kiffin said, "and a few of those have been very serious conversations."

Keep in mind, though, that this is the time of year when teams are fond of issuing statements that are nothing more than smoke screens. Kiffin's announcement that the No. 4 pick is for sale creates uncertainty among teams behind the Raiders in the draft order and drives up the price for those interested in trading up.

For example, a team such as the New York Jets might be inclined to overpay for the No. 4 pick if it means getting a shot at McFadden. The Jets currently have the No. 6 pick.

Coincidentally, McFadden is the player most often linked to the Raiders at No. 4. This, even though the Raiders already have running backs Justin Fargas, Dominic Rhodes, LaMont Jordan and Michael Bush on their roster.

Kiffin first dismissed the notion, and then left open the possibility of the Raiders' going that route.

"We're so stockpiled at that position," Kiffin said initially.

A few seconds later, Kiffin said the prospect of snaring a dynamic player such as McFadden outweighs any need for help at other positions.

"You, obviously, have to look at (McFadden) because the guy is so good at it, he becomes a need for a star at that position," Kiffin said.

In other words, anything is an option at this point.

Contact Steve Corkran at scorkran@bayareanewsgroup.com.