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Quick Hits: Reggie McKenzie Breaks Down Oakland Raiders Draft Picks

Posted Apr 29, 2017

Following the Oakland Raiders 2017 NFL Draft, General Manager Reggie McKenzie met with the media for a press conference.

General Manager Reggie McKenzie

The 2017 NFL Draft has officially come to a close, and following its conclusion, Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie sat with the media for a press conference. He discussed the team’s draft picks and the recent addition of Oakland-native Marshawn Lynch.

Here are the quick hits from his media session:

McKenzie broke down offensive tackle David Sharpe.

“He’s big. He’s a guy that can play both tackle positions. He’s a big man, big wingspan, boatloads of talent, good feet and very coordinated with his hands and feet. He has the ability to move people and also stay in front of the pass-pro guy. We like a lot of things. He’s got a lot of refinement that he has to do, just like any young player, but we like his potential.”

After drafting six defensive players, McKenzie expects the team to compete for playing time

“They’re all going to come in and compete. We’re signing guys post-draft also. We’re going to give them all the opportunity to compete with the veterans that we already have on board. We hope that out of it all, the competition part of it, the cream rises and we have a very good 53-man roster.”

He shared his thoughts on defensive back Shalom Luani.

“That guy is a playmaker. You can look at one quarter of football and you know he loves the game. He’s very aware as a football player. You can tell he’s a student of the game. You can tell he loves the game. He is a, as they say down south, a football playing Jessie. Whatever that means. (laughing) It’s a country saying, but that’s what he is. He’s tough. He’s physical. He has ball skills. He can kind of do it all.”

McKenzie discussed what cornerback Gareon Conley and defensive back Obi Melifonwu bring to the table.

“You have to have speed to play the game the way it’s going now. You have to be able to play in space. You have to be able to match up. We took all of that into consideration when we brought these players in. To the players that you mentioned, Obi and Conley, both of those guys have great range, speed, very athletic. So, they make tackles in space. That’s one of the things that we looked at. Make sure short to medium plays don’t turn into big plays. I think they will help in that scenario.”

He talked about the process of acquiring running back Marshawn Lynch.

“We weren’t rushed for time, but I just wanted to make sure everybody was on the same page and it never wavered. It was just all about the timing of it. We’re extremely excited of the way it turned out. We’re excited, he’s excited, and that’s what excites me, the fact that he’s really ready to put on a Raiders uniform.”