McKenzie: Oakland Raiders on same page entering draft

By The Sports Xchange  |  April 21, 2018 at 2:15 PM
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Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie does not expect any conflicts with new head coach Jon Gruden in the team's war room for the NFL Draft.

With the Raiders owning the No. 10 selection, McKenzie said Friday at his pre-draft briefing that one philosophy will not change with Gruden back on the sideline: "The draft board will still be doing the talking."

Gruden was named coach of Oakland in early January, leaving the broadcast booth at ESPN to return to the franchise where he spent his first four seasons as a head coach from 1998-2001.

McKenzie noted that he and Gruden have similar thoughts on the players they expect to target in the draft. Gruden last coached in the NFL with Tampa Bay in 2008.

"Raiders. The characteristics of that is just being good football players," said McKenzie. "It's not about height, weight, speed or where they come from. It's about who they are as players. Do they love playing football? All those types of characteristics that you truly like about football players."

Oakland has 11 picks in the draft and has myriad needs, the most notable at defensive tackle, cornerback and offensive tackle, according to NFLDraftScout.com.

"It's always a situation where players come up, whether you need them or whether you want them, versus the best player," said McKenzie. "We just try to fill the roster up. If we saw a player out there that we could really go get, that's what we did this offseason.

"We're not going to not get a position player because we signed a certain guy. If there's a player on our board that we really like, we're still going to try to get him."

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