The Oakland Raiders are just days away from traveling to Indianapolis for the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, and Head Coach Jon Gruden is fired up.
With three first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Silver and Black have a lot of flexibility; whether Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock decide to trade up, down, or stay put remains to be seen, but Gruden took some time Friday afternoon to talk about free agency and the draft with J.T. the Brick on "The Game Plan" podcast on the Raiders Podcast Network.
"That's what we've been doing the last 10 days," Gruden said when asked about preparing for free agency. "We've been doing nothing but studying free agents. Guys [whose] contracts are up, obviously we aren't looking to add players that are at the end of their career. We're looking for blossoming young players, those guys usually don't get to free agency. The pickings are slim for everybody, but there are a couple diamonds in the rough. We'll see where the market goes, but you don't want to spend all your money that you have on a few free agents, you want to try and keep some of that money available in case a trade might develop during the draft."
Gruden and Mayock haven't been working together for more than a couple months now, but the dynamic between the two should excite Raiders fans. Both are very outspoken about their love of the game, and are committed to constructing the team's roster the right way.
When asked whether the team would consider trading one or more of its first-round picks, Gruden didn't shy away from that possibility.
"I think so," he said. "I think there's a lot of potential for trades, and I think that's one of the things I'm excited about [with] Mike Mayock. What he brings to the table, he's got great resources around the NFL. He's been in every building, he's on a first-name basis, everybody knows Mike and I think he's going to be on the phones quite a bit with the two picks you talked about. Who knows, we may move up with the No. 4 pick, we may move back with that pick. We'll see how it all unfolds."
The Draft isn't for another two months, but Gruden and Mayock are preparing for any situation, and considering all options.
Stay tuned to Raiders.com next week, as Gruden and Mayock will have plenty more to share at the Combine.