Reggie McKenzie was busy.
By nature, Draft Day is busy for any general manager, but McKenzie’s Thursday evening – after the calls, and the trades, and then more trades – might have been a little busier than even he expected it to be.
When the dust settled, and McKenzie addressed the media towards the end of the first round, he had traded the No. 10 overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 15 overall pick –where he selected UCLA tackle Kolton Miller – along with two more draft picks, then flipped one of those draft picks, sending it to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
So, if you ask McKenzie, he really drafted two players Thursday night.
“With Martavis, it [was] all about trying to use that pick and get another player,” McKenzie explained. “It’s like drafting a player. We feel like we drafted Martavis Bryant.”
If you indeed look at the addition of Bryant as another draft pick, the Silver and Black are no doubt acquiring a talented player, who can step in immediately and add depth to a wide receiving corps that already features the likes of Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson.
“He’s ideal, what you’re looking for in a wide receiver,” McKenzie said. “He can play big. He can play fast, and he makes plays. We think he can be a dynamic receiver for Derek [Carr].”
Take a look at photos from the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
That being said, Bryant has surely had his fair share off-the-field issues; he has been suspended on multiple occasions, even missing the entire 2016 campaign, but McKenzie feels comfortable adding the former Clemson Tiger to the mix.
“We feel good about giving Martavis an opportunity,” McKenzie said. “And we think with our resources, we can help him.”
When Bryant is right though, he’s shown to be a productive wide out; he had over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns in his first two seasons, and can be a legitimate deep threat to pair nicely with Cooper and Nelson.
“We’re trying to win,” McKenzie said. “[If] we feel like a certain guy can help us be more dynamic, which we think he can, we trying to go get him, and we were able to do that today.”