Raiders General Manager talks upcoming draft in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Raiders General Manager Dave Ziegler met with the media to talk about the draft, his philosophies on picking players and whether the time may move up or down in the draft order.
Ziegler said the last two and a half months have been constant work with the scouting and player personnel departments to make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of the organization’s philosophy.
“We took a wide lens view of the draft board, forget the hierarchy of needs that this might be higher here than there,” Ziegler said. “We said let’s just go through the whole thing because this year is going to be a heavy learning component of talking the same language, how we look at different positions, and things like that.”
Currently, the Raiders have five picks in the draft - one in the third round, one in the fourth round, two in the fifth round and one in the seventh round. The team traded their first and second round picks to acquire Green Bay Wide Receiver Davante Adams.
Ziegler is looking for players who are hungry, good teammates, have a high football IQ and are versatile. He said the plan is to draft the best player available and not to go after filling a specific need.
“We want the best player available regardless of position,” Ziegler said “That’s how we want to continue to build the team. I think if you’re drafting good football players, you’re making good choices. When you kind of overextend to draft a need you can often pass over good football players that can help your team and I think that can be a slippery slope if that is the way you’re going to approach it.”
As for whether or not the Raiders will be active with trades up or down the draft board, Ziegler said that remains to be seen.
“I think those opportunities always exist,” Ziegler said. “You can look at some of the statistics of teams that are more willing to trade. Some teams are more willing to trade up, some teams are more willing to trade back. There’s some teams that you look at their draft day history, they’re not willing to trade at all. We go through all of that data to learn some of the trends for certain regimes. We always work through those conversations. If there’s a deal to be made that’s going to benefit the Raiders whether it’s moving up or down, those will always be things we’re open to and will entertain if it ultimately is a good decision for us to add a good football player.”
The NFL Draft takes place next Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas.
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