Dave Ziegler is back in Indianapolis for his second Combine as the Raiders general manager. He met with the media Tuesday to give a rundown of looming free agent decisions, his evaluations of prospects and his draft philosophy.
Read through for some of the best soundbites from Ziegler's media availability.
On which positions in the 2023 draft class he thinks have the most depth:
"I have some more digging to do. I would say, just a couple of the positions on the surface that look like there's some depth to it – on the defensive side of the ball, the cornerback position looks like there's some healthy depth there throughout the position. The tight end position's unique this year. I think this is probably one of the deeper tight end classes that I've seen maybe since I've been in the league, again on the surface, but there's quite a few players there."
On evaluating quarterback prospects:
"That position in particular, there's such an emphasis we put on the neck up and what that is and what that looks like and what it means and how it translates. You can't get that part off the film. You can get an idea a little bit. You can see decision making and processing and there's an element of it, you know, it's not that its zero, but until you get in the room with a guy, get him on the board. ... This was the first step of the puzzle."
On adding to the defense:
"I think that I've always been in the belief, when you're talking about the defensive side of the football, of building it inside out. I think having a strong defensive line sets the tone for the rest of the defense. ... We've talked about drafting the best available players, but I think having a deep defensive line that can disrupt, that you can run in waves and things of that nature. We have a lot of work to do to get to that point."
On free agency decisions:
"We're always going to have a group of players, I would say, in free agency that you just know based on what the market is and what conversations are. If you want to get that player, you're gonna have to do that in the first couple of days of free agency. And then there's going to be another pool of players that you're going to make the decision on like this position group or this player, whatever it may be. We're going to wait, you know, we're going to sit and wait and see how the market materializes.
On the pressure that comes with the draft:
"It's a healthy pressure and it's a healthy kind of anxiousness. I mean, it's part of the juice, of the fun, of being in personnel. ... There's no guarantees to it, but I think, yeah, we feel like we have an opportunity this year with the amount of picks that we do have, with where we're picking, that we have an opportunity this year to build that core group of players. That doesn't always mean that you have 12 superstars and 12 starters. Some of those guys are working class individuals that you know, provide depth to your team too. But yes, there's there's a healthy excitement, a healthy anxiousness and anxiety to have that opportunity in front of us and go capitalize on it."
Take a look back at current Raiders' appearances at past NFL Scouting Combines.