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Top takeaways from Tom Telesco on selecting Brock Bowers with first-round pick

The Las Vegas Raiders arguably selected the steal of the first round with tight end Brock Bowers out of Georgia.

The All-American was predicted to be a top-10 draft selection by many analysts, and the Silver and Black were able to swoop in and select him at No. 13. Bowers is coming to Las Vegas with over 2,700 total scrimmage yards and 27 receiving touchdowns.

Following the conclusion of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, General Manager Tom Telesco gave some insight to the team's strategy with the pick.

  • Telesco wasn't surprised with the amount of quarterbacks taken in the first round. While the Raiders had a plan in place to potentially trade up to select a signal-caller, things ultimately didn't align. "We kind of had a plan to do maybe move up if the opportunity was there," he said. "It wasn't there, kept moving."
  • The Raiders general manager also wasn't too surprised to see Bowers drop into their hands. With the influx of quarterbacks taken early in the draft, he had a feeling someone high on their draft board would slide: "With the scouting staff, where they had him, what they thought about him, what the coaching staff thought, he was really a consensus guy."
  • A huge factor behind selecting Bowers was his versatility, according to Telesco. The Georgia Bulldog lined up at tight end, running back, slot receiver and outside receiver throughout the duration of his college career. He also received a 74.1 run blocking grade from Pro Football Focus in 2023. "He's got some natural football skills, combined with some high level athletic ability and speed," the GM said. "We'll be really happy to have him."
  • Even though the Raiders selected tight end Michael Mayer in the second round last year, they're confident that the two will elevate each other. "I love Michael Mayer. He's a really good player and I think he's going to make another big jump this season," said Telesco. "But when you have the chance to add another dimension to the offense who's a tight end or hybrid receiver, we need more playmakers on that side of the ball so I think he's going to help us there."
  • The Raiders spoke with Bowers several times through the draft process, with the scouting department having rave reviews on the young tight end: "We don't like to put up billboards on who we're going to be possibly interested in. But yeah, we did a lot of work on Brock, our scouts had seen him. ... He obviously jumped out as a freshman right away."

With the first round now wrapped, the Raiders may be looking to snag some additional pieces to the defense, especially as offensive players were selected with the first 14 picks, the Silver and Black could find some value players in the second or third rounds.

The draft continues tomorrow at 4 p.m. PT, airing on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.

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