Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie
The Oakland Raiders are about to enter rookie mini-camp this weekend, which means the players selected in last weekend’s 2017 NFL Draft will take the field at the team’s facility in Alameda, Calif., for the first time. General Manager Reggie McKenzie has been an important architect in the team’s turnaround, in large part due to his draft pick homeruns with quarterback Derek Carr, wide receiver Amari Cooper, and defensive end Khalil Mack.
Wednesday, McKenzie appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio to talk with sports personalities Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt about the draft, among other things.
McKenzie expressed how the coaching staff felt following the 2017 NFL Draft.
“We felt good about the draft, we studied those guys thoroughly, and every pick we were totally on board. We just felt like we had a chance to upgrade our team and that’s what we tried to do.”
He discussed how he sees safety Obi Melifonwu fitting into the defense.
“He’s going to fit in multiple ways, but the bottom line is he’s a really good safety who has good tackling skills, good cover skills, and we all know about his range with his speed, and what have you, and he’s a smart player. He has a lot of positive traits that you can really do a lot of things with him, we’ll first get him acclimated with the system and then we’ll figure out how to place him in certain positions to help us win on defense.”
McKenzie talked about the depth in the draft and the players they selected in the seventh round.
“Those seventh round picks we were very excited to get, from Shalom Luani down to Treyvon Hester. Those guys, we felt good about all four of them. You spoke about the Alabama State offensive lineman Jylan Ware, and also we had Elijah Hood a running back. All those guys in the seventh round we felt really good about them as players. You’re absolutely right about the depth of talent throughout the draft.”
He believes linebacker Marquel Lee will provide the defense with versatility.
“He has a lot of qualities you look for in a middle linebacker, he’s very square in his play, he’s very good run defender, he sheds blocks well, his eyes are good, he finds the football. I think people will be impressed once he gets here.”
McKenzie touched on the signing of five-time Pro Bowler Marshawn Lynch.
“We think he has more than enough left to be a highly productive running back in this league. Even back to his latter couple years when he was playing, we think he’s going to be highly productive. We’re excited to have him and he is extremely excited to be here playing for the Oakland Raiders.”