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McDaniels on evaluating draft prospects: 'We want guys that work hard and love the game of football'

Josh McDaniels' first NFL Combine as Raiders Head Coach is underway, and the big question, of course, is who will the Silver and Black draft at No. 22?

McDaniels sat down for an exclusive interview with's Upon Further Review podcast to give a glimpse into what he's looking for as he and GM Dave Ziegler meet with players and potential future Raiders in Indianapolis this week.

Each team accumulates mountains of information on prospects over the course of the Combine – from athletic tests to medical tests to interviews – but McDaniels called the process "helpful" as it provides the opportunity to be educated about everyone all at once and help steer decisions ahead of the draft.

"We look for players that fit our overall philosophy, which is – we want guys that work hard and love the game of football and are willing to do all the things necessary to improve themselves," he said.

"These players are all young; they all need to get better. In order to do that, you're going to have to be willing to put in the time and the effort, the sweat equity that's required in the National Football League to eventually get to the point where you're really a consistent contributor on a good football team."

One of the biggest things for McDaniels when evaluating potential draft picks is not only getting to know their talents, but getting to know them as people.

Through interviews, teams can learn what's important to each player and why, what makes them tick and what they forsee their potential NFL careers to be like.

"You never want to draft a player that you really don't feel like you know," McDaniels said. "Having the opportunity to meet them, even though it's a short window here in Indy, at least it starts the conversation. ... You just want to find out as much as you can. It's like a job interview – you're interviewing them, they're getting to know you. You want to have a familiarity, you want to have a strong knowledge of their background."

Listen to McDaniels' full interview on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music or iHeart Radio.

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

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