Notes from the Combine - February 18

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  1. The Raiders feel confident in the left side of their offensive line, which is currently occupied by LT Donald Penn and LG Gabe Jackson. Head Coach Jack Del Rio expressed Oakland's need to create competition on the right side of the O-line. When speaking with ESPN, Coach Del Rio mentioned the possibility of moving Austin Howard to the tackle position after he played the 2014 season at right guard. General Manager Reggie McKenzie confirmed this during a sit down with local media saying, "Not probably. We're going to move him."

Because of this move, two things are expected to happen – 1) the Raiders will be on a search for interior linemen, whether in free agency or the draft and 2) Menelik Watson will be competing for the starting right tackle spot with Howard.  "We're going to let them compete, let them battle, and we'll go from there," said McKenzie.

  1. Broncos Head Coach Gary Kubiak was clear in his press conference that he hopes to have Peyton Manning back in 2015. "No doubt I want him to be [the quarterback]," Kubiak said.
  1. The Raiders are upgrading certain areas of their Alameda headquarters. Head Coach Jack Del Rio was excited to share the news. "Our fields are all being redone; our practice fields are all being redone," said Coach Del Rio. "Our weight room is being expanded. We have a steam room going in. There's a freshness going on."

Coach Del Rio and General Manager Reggie McKenzie believe the upgrades will be helpful when bringing in free agents as well as maintaining a positive, energetic feel in the facility. "Free agency, money is major recruiting, but it's like colleges – they want to see what you've got," said McKenzie. "You spend a whole lot of time in that facility. They want to see where we play, where we practice, where we meet. That's all important, what city you live in. Highlight the positives and that's a part of it."

  1. The offensive linemen and tight ends were among the players in the building at the Combine today. One thing is for sure, the linemen's average height and weight seems to steadily increase every year. They just look taller and stronger. Those players are gearing up to take the field for drills Friday.
  1. McKenzie was asked about needs in the draft. He was clear that he will not change his draft board to search for a specific position. Essentially, he will take the best player available. It does not mean, however, that he isn't aware of the team's needs. He mentioned need on the interior line and at wide receiver, as well as the desire to bring in running back competition for Latavius Murray.
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