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Tom Telesco recaps his first NFL Draft as Raiders general manager

As the NFL Draft comes to a close, Tom Telesco and his staff drafted eight players they hope can make an impact.

While this was Telesco's first draft with a new team in over a decade, he feels the process went seamlessly. A huge emphasis was made on finding players who fit the identity that Antonio Pierce is trying to create as head coach. An identity in which the roster is constructed of hard-nosed, gritty players – revitalizing the Raiders way.

"AP was great to work with through the whole three days," Telesco said following the conclusion of Day 3. "Even watching how Brandon Yeargan, Champ Kelly and JoJo Wooden all worked together was really satisfying. We're going to get a lot better in the next couple of years once we work with each other a lot more. ... All in all, I was pretty impressed with everybody."

With the conclusion of the 2024 NFL Draft, here are the top takeways from what the Raiders GM had to say Saturday evening.

  • The Raiders didn't consider drafting quarterback on Day 2 or 3 of the draft, according to Telesco. There was interest to acquire one in the first round, but once six ideal prospects were drafted before No. 13 – they focused on other needs. "If we felt there was a quarterback out there that was better than what we had or could potentially be better, certainly would've done something about it," said Telesco.
  • With their fourth-round pick, the Raiders decided to go best player available, but with one singular attribute in mind: speed. This resulted in selecting Decamerion Richardson, who ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. NFL Next Gen Stats gave Richardson an 88 athleticism score, which was the highest of all cornerbacks in the draft.
  • Three players were selected in this draft that won national awards for being the best at their respective positions: Brock Bowers (John Mackey), Jackson Powers-Johnson (Rimington) and Trey Taylor (Jim Thorpe).
  • According to Telesco, there were two attempts to trade up in the second and fourth round and other discussions about trading back in a few rounds. "But we felt like when our pick was up, we felt good about the player that was there," he said. "You've got to execute the pick and try and find a guy to give you the best chance to try and help you win."
  • The GM mentioned how important it is for several of the players drafted today to come in and make an impact on special teams. Dylan Laube, Trey Taylor and MJ Devonshire all excelled in kick and/or punt returns while at in college. "It's important for all these guys as young players, you've got to come in and make a mark on special teams with [special teams coordinator] Tom McMahon to get a jersey on Sunday," said Telesco.
  • While Taylor currently serves in the military, attending the Air Force Academy, the Raiders were assured that the safety will be eligible to attend Training Camp and play this upcoming season.
  • With the arrival of DJ Glaze from Maryland, Telesco pointed out he still hasn't forgot about Thayer Munford Jr.. The right tackle who has played 32 career games for the Raiders will still have every opportunity to compete for the spot along with the third-round draft pick. "We're really excited about where he can go as a player," Telesco said of Munford. "We need to be 8-9 deep on that offensive line, and I think he can be a big part of that from what I've seen on tape last year."

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the 2024 NFL Draft.

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