'Depth and competition' are Dave Ziegler's highest priorities in bolstering Raiders roster

Dave Ziegler made it clear Wednesday at the NFL Combine that he desires for the Raiders to have an embarrassment of riches, with every player competing for their job this season.

The Raiders general manger self-admittedly hasn't got much sleep since starting his new role. He's been deep in the process of evaluating the talent currently under contract, as well as scouting draft prospects and free agents to revamp the roster.

While he does have a lot on his agenda from a long-term perspective, he realizes that maximizing on the team's short-term goals is the key at the moment.

"It's a ton of time management, it's really prioritizing tasks," said Ziegler. "I had certain things I thought I wanted to do right away and I was gung-ho about doing them. Then you take a step back and you're like, 'Wait a minute, this can be done two months from now.' So there's a lot of that prioritizing and it's a lot of getting up early, going to bed late, getting up and doing it again. ... It's a challenge, but it's fun at the same time."

One of those tasks Ziegler has in mind for the team is building up as much depth as possible. The GM has taken the mindset of every position as a position of need. The thought process is whoever they can go after who can improve the team, they'll go after.

"In terms of what we're looking for in the draft, free agency, really the entire team. I would say what we're looking at doing is to build depth and competition," said Ziegler. "I think that's a really important part of team building.

"When you have competition through the top of your roster through your bottom of your roster and people are being pushed, that's really the focus. And I think when you build depth in competition throughout your team, you're really going to build position groups that have strengths."

Under Ziegler, the Raiders brought in Champ Kelly as assistant general manager. Kelly brings an extensive amount of scouting experience to Las Vegas after serving as the Chicago Bears' assistant director of player personnel for four seasons. Kelly also interviewed Ziegler for his first NFL scouting job with the Denver Broncos in 2010.

"Champ just embodies a lot of the things that are important to me. Very high attention to detail, has a very high standard for all work that's done, whether it's big or small," Ziegler said. "He's really smart just in terms of football, big picture thinking. I know he's a good evaluator. We have a level of trust and respect to each other. The asset he's been for us so far has been huge.

"It was a no brainer for me. Even thinking before I ever had this opportunity, if this opportunity ever came, Champ Kelly was always someone who was going to – I would hope– would be able to go on this journey with us."

While Ziegler and his staff are not short of things to evaluate in players, he shouldn't have much difficulty selling prospects and free agents of the idea of playing under the brights lights of Las Vegas in the state-of-art Allegiant Stadium.

"The history of Raider football is exciting. It's a historic franchise, I think that's an attractive thing," Ziegler said. "When you talk about Las Vegas, it's warm all year around, we have a beautiful facility, we have a new stadium. There's a lot of things we have in place in terms of our facilities that allow football players to maximize on their potential.

"Players want to be their best and when you can offer players a chance to do that ... that's going to be an exciting thing for players to go somewhere they can maximize their abilities."

Take a look back at current Raiders' appearances at past NFL Scouting Combines.

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