In the past, one of the best parts of the NFL draft was listening to analysts go delirious over a selection by the Raiders. A reach, a stretch or any other synonym for a bad pick was the norm when it came to the Raiders. The only other suspense was wondering when Oakland would draft the player with the fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL scouting combine. There wasn't much of that at this year's draft. General manager Reggie McKenzie made deals, trading down to pick up more draft choices, a must after the previous regime dealt away picks without care for the future. "The past three days, the one thing we did is we stayed true to the (draft) board," McKenzie said Saturday evening. "And the board kind of dictated a lot of what we did, picking certain players, certain positions, whether it was moving back. "We tried to assess the value of where we are and let the board help dictate what we do." The Raiders didn't use their early picks to upgrade the defensive line as expected, but they did address a major need in the secondary by trading down to select cornerback D.J. Hayden. Trading down was a reason the Raiders addressed so many positions of need. Oakland began the draft with seven selections but picked up three more in three separate deals during the draft, with two trades coming on Saturday. There were no moves up that cost the Raiders future picks, as they needed to value selections to rebuild the roster. The plan was to take the best player available, regardless of position. "From that standpoint, you just hope that it falls right," McKenzie said. "If you get one need, one thing about it, we felt like we had a few needs, so I didn't think it was that hard to address certain areas, because we had needs at a lot of spots. We need to upgrade depth in a lot of spots. We knew if we stayed true to the board we would get good players, and that was the whole factor. Make sure we got good players with each pick." That's especially important at running back, where Darren McFadden has been an explosive player. At the same time, his injury history means the Raiders needed to improve their depth at running back.
No jaw-dropping selections this time
Sacramento Bee | Apr 28