NFL DRAFT UPDATE: The Las Vegas Raiders used their first round pick at number 17, and selected Alex Leatherwood from the University of Alabama.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The NFL Draft begins Thursday night and the Las Vegas Raiders come in with eight picks including the 17th overall selection in the first round.
The team is looking to fill some needs including a starting right tackle, a strong safety, and a defensive leader at linebacker.
General Manager Mike Mayock said he and head coach Jon Gruden will stick to their draft philosophies when making decisions.
"You have to take everything into account," Mayock said. "You have to take all of the coaches opinions, you have to take all the scouts opinions. Jon and I sit down and gather and grind it together to come to a consensus. But at the end of the day, the best way I feel good about myself is when I know that I feel good about that kid from A-Z. And if I make a mistake, it’s for the right reasons."
The Raiders have one pick in the first round, one in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth. Raiders broadcaster and national radio host J.T. "The Brick" says the team is in position to do what they need to do.
"Here’s my take on the draft," J.T. said. "The Raiders are picking 7th, not 17th, because the first ten players are gone. There’s a run on quarterbacks, I think a panic on quarterbacks. Mac Jones isn’t a third pick overall. Trey Lantz is a project like Jordan Love was backing up Aaron Rodgers. But everyone is going to jump and get them in the first nine picks. Raider Nation should give a standing ovation. That means the player they want is one pick closer to them."
With the first round pick the Raiders could decide to trade up or down depending on how things play out in front of them. But J.T. said it's more likely the team stays put at 17 or trades up rather than trade down.
"This is an 8-8 team that should have won 10 games blindfolded," J.T. said. "They were 6-3, they were a playoff team. Now the offensive line has to be restructured and I don’t think they have the ability to trade back. This isn’t good enough of a team to trade back. If you want the Raiders to go from 8 wins to 10 or 11 and compete, you have to get a great player who is going to start right out of the gate."
Thursday's first round begins at 5:00. On Friday, the second and third rounds will be held. Rounds 4-7 will be on Saturday.