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Quick Hits: GM Tom Telesco details offseason mindset at NFL Combine

The offseason is heating up with the NFL Combine kicking off this week in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The annual four-day event gives NFL scouting staff a chance to evaluate over 300 top draft prospects (by invitation only) through a variety of physical drills as well as interviews.

Before the action gets underway, General Manager Tom Telesco met with the media Tuesday to give insight on how he and his personnel staff are approaching the Combine as well as what they're looking for when building the next Raiders roster.

Read through for some of the best quotes from Telesco's press conference.

His evaluation of the 2023 Raiders:

"I think the one thing that jumped off doing a deeper dive is how tough a football team it was. I would say that on offense, defense and the kicking game. Tough, resilient and really committed to the process."

On what traits he looks for in a quarterback:

"The two for me are probably leadership and toughness. I think you have to start with that. He's got to be somebody that when you're in the huddle and those players are looking at you in the eyes, that you can lead that group. ... Leadership, toughness, preparation, skills, then we get to the physical abilities. Then you start having sliding scales for different things because there's no perfect players. You have to realize that."

On QB prospect rankings:

"You've got 32 different teams that look at things 32 different ways. Our ranking may be different than other rankings."

On his scouting philosophy:

"I'm not really one that needs to sit down and go eye-to-eye and then walk away in 15 minutes and say, 'I know if he can play or not.' I'm not that good. What I get from right now is talking with all of our scouts that have really spent a lot of time watching these players. Then, as we move into the next month, talking to our coaches as they evaluate these players and I'll have my own opinions as well. We'll kind of take all the information in and try to make a decision on whatever position it is."

On trading up or down in the draft:

"Since we're in late February, I really wouldn't take anything off the table as far as going up [or] back."

On pending free agent RB Josh Jacobs:

"He's a high-level player. I do want to establish a philosophy with the Raiders that we like to re-sign our own. Doesn't bother me that I didn't draft him, he's a Raider. He was drafted by the Raiders. He's a high-level player. We're going to explore pretty hard to see if we can bring him back."

On the recent hire of JoJo Wooden as senior director of player personnel:

"I've worked with JoJo for a long time, my whole tenure with the Chargers. I always thought he came up the right way, he was with the Jets for a long time, came up in that [Bill] Parcells philosophy. Knows his football really well. He's just really well experienced in both college and pro scouting. He's really experienced in my style of working and he has a great reputation in the league. When he came in our building, he knew a lot of Raiders staffers already, they know him well. The transitions been really smooth."

On Champ Kelly, assistant general manager:

"I think his institutional knowledge is really important, but aside from that, he's really good at what he does. There's a lot of good people in the building right now, so it's always good to have."

Take a look at the coaching staff Head Coach Antonio Pierce has brought in to lead the team during the 2024 season.

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