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Five Takeaways From The Raiders Draft Day Three Press Conference


General Manager Reggie McKenzie

The 2016 NFL Draft concluded Saturday afternoon, and following the announcement of the final pick, General Manager Reggie McKenzie held a press conference discussing the totality of the draft class.

Here is what we learned from his time behind the microphone.

McKenzie discussed his reasoning for trading up to select Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook in the fourth round.

"Can you believe I traded up? It's a situation that, you look at the board, and it was a good player that we still had up there. It was a great opportunity for us to explore trying to get up, and we found a partner, and we made the deal. He's a good player. We just felt like he was too good of a player not to try."

"It's always important to have depth. We usually kept three quarterbacks when I was in Green Bay for a long time. You can see the cycle, even as early as last year, a lot of guys went down, so you want to make sure you're prepared, and like I said, he was a good player still sitting there on Day Three. We had a good grade on him and we just wanted to seize the opportunity to at least try to get a good player in here."

He also shared his thoughts on running back DeAndre Washington.

"He's the one guy, that every time you watch him play, it was very difficult for the first guy to bring him down. He had power, quickness and he had speed. He was the kind of guy that can do it all. He's tough, instinctive. We just thought he was a really good football player. We think he's going to help our team a lot."

It would have been nice to draft another cornerback, but he wasn't willing to reach.

"We felt like we had a good group. We wanted to add a veteran. It would have been nice to maybe draft a guy too, but if we didn't like him at that spot, we didn't reach. We think we got a lot of guys that can compete at cornerback. We're just going to throw them all out there and see who can take the job, but it wasn't an intentional thing to do, to not take a corner. It just didn't work out that way."

There are multiple players who can fill the inside linebacker role.

"The coach is going to figure that out, because Malcolm [Smith] can do it, [Ben] Heeney can do it. We got some guys that we can interchange. It depends on who steps up at the weak side and if they want to move Malcolm. Heeney can really do both. We got some guys that are versatile, so we'll just play that by ear. The key is just putting the best two inside linebackers out there; which combination works best that's who they'll probably go with."

There are no lingering health issues surrounding linebacker Neiron Ball, who missed 10 games in 2015. "Neiron, he's doing everything. He's good. We expect him to be ready to roll."

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