Following the conclusion of Day 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago, General Manager Reggie McKenzie addressed the assembled media at the team's Alameda, Calif., facility and spoke about the Raiders second and third round selections.
The Raiders selected Florida State DE Mario Edwards Jr. with the third pick in the second round (No. 35 overall), and University of Miami TE Clive Walford with the fourth pick in the third round (No. 68 overall).
Here's what we learned from McKenzie's press conference.
- He Likes the Guy He Selected in the Second Round
Edwards flashed glimpses of brilliance during his career at Florida State, joining the Seminoles as the nation's No. 1 recruit out of high school. During his time in Tallahassee, Edwards appeared in 36 games with 26 starts, and McKenzie is hopeful he has a bright future in Silver and Black.
"Number one, Mario's a good football player," said McKenzie. "He's big, strong, physical, [has] a good feel for the game. His deal is he can definitely play the run and he can pressure the quarterback. He's not a speed rusher, but he is a good pass rusher."
- Coach Sunseri Vouched For Edwards
During the process of evaluating Edwards, McKenzie consulted with recently-hired linebackers coach Sal Sunseri about the former Florida State Seminole.
Coach Sunseri and Edwards spent two years at Florida State together, and McKenzie took Sunseri's evaluation into account prior to making the selection.
"We spent a lot of time with him, but Coach [Sunseri] was with him for two years while he was going through college life," McKenzie said. "He sees him in the meeting room. He sees him around his teammates, traveling. He knows the kid throughout, so yes, we are going to get as much information as we can. We relied on what he could give us on his character."
- He Believes Clive Walford is a Complete Tight End
During his career at Miami, Walford demonstrated that he could be a weapon in the passing game, while also being an effective blocker.
"We saw Clive as a complete tight end," he said. "He's not only a receiver or a blocker-only type guy. He's a guy that's big and strong enough to pound it versus the [defensive] linemen, and he can flex out and run the routes and be that pass receiver. He's pretty much the total package when you're looking at a complete tight end."
-The Work's Not Done Yet
After the first two days of the NFL Draft, McKenzie has added a pair of weapons for QB Derek Carr, as well as some depth along the defensive line, but with four selections still to go, the work for McKenzie and his staff is still far from done.
"We still need some more players, so hopefully we can finish that up tomorrow," said McKenzie. "We just want to add some really good football players."