Ziegler and McDaniels assess their first draft in the Silver and Black

Moments after selecting the final piece of their draft puzzle, General Manager Dave Ziegler and Head Coach Josh McDaniels met with the media to break down how they felt the 2022 Draft went from their viewpoint.

Here's what you need to know from their Day 3 press conference.

Keeping the mindset

The duo stuck to the philosophy they have been preaching since they came onto the job in January: get the best players possible, create depth and competition. In the Raiders' six-player draft class, the team added two offensive linemen, two defensive linemen and two running backs.

"Each organization is going to evaluate these players differently, and we're not all going to have the same grades on the same players," McDaniels said. "We understand that. We try to do the best we can of evaluating what the player would be for the Raiders.

"It doesn't really matter what they would be for any other team. It's in our system, the way we saw the players, the way we scouted them, the way we evaluated them, the way we would use them. This is the grade that was on that player, and there is a lot of work that goes into each grade."

Best man up

Notably, the team drafted two running backs in Georgia's Zamir White and UCLA's Brittain Brown, joining a running back corps that added a few new faces in free agency as well.

"I'd say running back is just a tough position in the league. Those guys take a pounding and it's a physical position," Ziegler said. "Being able to add young players there to compete, see if they can find a role, and again, it goes back to what was available and the best players that were available when it was our turn to pick. Zamir was there and Britain was there, so we selected those players. If it would have been different, if there was other players there, if it would have been two tight ends or two receivers that happened to be there who we thought were the best available at the time, we would have taken those players, too."

Bolstering the defense

Along with multiple running back additions, the Raiders staff has been making moves to stack up the defensive line – a position that was depleted due to free agent departures. New rookies Neil Farrell Jr.  and Matthew Butler could have big roles as they join a group that saw some veteran talent added in the offesason.

"There was a lot of opportunity at that position," McDaniels said. "So I think just the combination of when we came in, what the depth chart looked like initially, and then just trying to take a few swings here, whether it be free agency, and then it happened to happen that way in the draft. Like I said, we're going to need some depth there in camp anyway. We are going to improve the competition at each position that we can, and I think we've put a group in there that'll do that now."

Trust the process

Ziegler and McDaniels are longtime friends and co-workers, but this was their first time taking them helm and drafting together. And while their focus was on building the best roster and draft class possible, it was also an exciting moment to take in, reaching the heights of the NFL from where they first met each other at JCU.

For Ziegler, it was his first draft in the GM seat, and he noted that even though there were a few things he knows can be improved for next year, things went well for him and his staff as they stuck to their game plan and got the draftees they wanted.

"This was a good first run for us, and just like all first runs, there's things that you learn, too, and things that we'll go back," the GM said. "Like we do with every process, we'll go back and look at what went well, what areas we need to improve, and then come up with solutions to the areas that we need to improve. I'm talking about the whole process that starts way back in the fall and that ends up -- that finishes up today. It was a good experience going through it with Josh. Obviously we've known each other for a long time, but it was a cool experience, too, to do it together, and we had fun, and we'll see where it goes from here."

"We've always enjoyed working together, and this was a new opportunity, a new challenge, a new event for us that we've never really experienced together in these positions," McDaniels added. "We've experienced it together, just not doing it this way. I would say we enjoyed the process leading up to this draft. We enjoy the people that we've worked with hand in hand to put this together, and then we enjoyed the last three days."

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas.

Related Content

Advertising