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McKenzie sums up Raiders draft performance

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and his coaches and scouts spent most of the first two days of the 2012 NFL draft waiting to make their first pick. This time around, they were active from the beginning and never slowed down until the three-day, seven-round process wrapped up Saturday.
That included almost two hours scouring the landscape for a slew of undrafted free agents once the draft ended about 4:30 p.m. PDT. Eventually, McKenzie emerged from the Raiders draft room and spent 17 minutes or so talking about his thoughts on how the Raiders fared in a draft that yielded 10 players, six on offense and four on defense.
Here is the entire transcript of what McKenzie had to say at Raiders headquarters in Alamdea:

Intro: Good evening, guys, how are we doing? Well, we’re excited that we added 10 new players. We feel like we got 10 young guys that will help this ballclub and I want to congratulate and say thanks to all the personnel staff and the coaching staff and everyone involved in this whole process. It was a, ended up being a good day. Ended up well, and we’re excited for the future of the Raiders.

Q: Seemed to lean offense today, feel like you made offense more explosive today?
A: I would like to say so. The past three days, the one thing we did is we stayed true to the board, and the board kind of dictated a lot of what we did, picking certain players, certain positions, whether it was moving back. We tried to assess the value of where we are and let the board help dictate what we do.

Q: What do you like about Tyler Wilson and do you have to basically erase last year with the team-wide turmoil at Arkansas?
A: Yeah, with that being said, I totally understand the coaching change, the offense, all that. But you can still watch his style of play, the way he plays the game. And we like a lot of things about him. We like the way he can move around in the pocket, we like his toughness to hang in there and see the field, we think he has a lot of qualities that goes into being a good solid quarterback in the NFL.

Q: You targeting either him or Barkley there?
A: Well, what we did is we made sure we looked at the board and how it falls, that’s how we went. Now, who was where? I don’t want to get into that because I’d be telling you my board. I don’t want to do that.

Q: Not even now? It’s all over.
A: It is over. But I don’t want to let the other teams know where I had guys.

Q: Raiders came in with seven picks, wound up with 10, was your plan to add picks?
McKenzie: No, it developed that way. I mean, going into this today and the whole draft week I wanted to make sure we added seven good players. If we it happened to turn into five or 12, there was no way to determine that, especially going in to it. I didn’t want to go into it making trades, but I did want to stay true to the board and if it tells me, hey, you should move down because of the value of it, then I’m going to look into it, I’ll take the calls.

Q: As draft went on and you said you’d pick the best player available, how do you address need as well?
McKenzie: From that standpoint, you just hope that it falls right. If you get one need, one thing about it, we felt like we had a few needs, so I didn’t think it was that hard to address certain areas, because we had needs at a lot of spots. We need to upgrade depth in a lot of stops. We knew if we stayed true to the board we would get good players, and that was the whole factor. Make sure we got good players with each pick.

Q: Hard to stay true to the board as it went on?
McKenzie: As it went on, later on, it’s always, even in the beginning, you’re like, somebody’s on the board that you didn’t expect and you would like to fill a need real quick but you can’t do that, you hurt your team that way.

Q: Based on your characteristics, McGee sticks out as a departure in terms of what you’re looking for. The issues he’s had, what sold you on making him a Raider?
McKenzie: The research, and talking to , not only doing the research with the people down there and all of that, but the research with him and his group, the people that surround him, his support group, and talking to him, himself. Just came away with, I wanted to see what this guy has and give him the chance. He knows it. But I have no problems bringing him into that locker room. He’s a solid guy that made some mistakes in college. That happens sometimes. But after the thorough research that we had, we felt good about him.

Q: So guys like him and Murray, guys who were off the radar, they were still on your board, the next guy available?
McKenzie: yes, yes.

Your rankings not affected by other teams?
“Absolutely. You can drive yourself crazy if you try to set your board that way. If you try to figure out where the other teams put their players, you can’t do that. You gotta believe the reports and the recommendations of your scouts and everybody who saw that player and when we get together and put it on the board, as here it is, here’s where we’re going to put him and it becomes this way. We’ll pick ‘em compared to where we have everybody else. We stay true to the board by how we evaluate the guys not by how we think he’s going to come off the board.”

Tyler Wilson has a three-quarters delivery, are you fine with his mechanics?
“Coach is going to have to work with mechanics. That’s how it is with a lot of these players. These guys coming in as rookies, they’ve been taught a certain way, they’ve been throwing all kinds of ways… regardless of quarterback position or any one of the positions, they’re gonna have to get coached up and he’s no exception.”

How different was this draft for you?
“It was different. Number one, you just came in and watched day one and pretty much days two until the last pick day two so… but today, last year, a lot of energy. Now, as far as going into the draft preparation and the cohesiveness and the overall feel for me, it was much better this year because I’ve experienced it once. So, I’m going into my second draft so it was, the flow was much better for me. I’m probably more comfortable with the scouts. I got a chance to work with Zack (Crockett), Calvin (Branch) and David McCloughan, and the rest of those guys, Mickey Marvin. I’ve been through it with those guys last year so I knew those guys so this year, getting some of the other guys in place and kind of doing it the way I was accustomed to, it was much more comfortable for me so I felt a whole lot better going into it.”

How do you assess the QB situation, will you look to add a veteran?
“I would like to bring four guys into the off-season and whether bring them into training camp or not, I’m used to bringing in about four quarterbacks and let the guys compete and try to work through camp. It’s very hard to have just two or three quarterbacks because if one takes the day off, whether he’s hurt, sick, the arm is sore, whatever, you gotta rely on just a couple of guys doing all the work.”

Do you think Tyler Wilson can compete right away for job?
“Well, you know, he’s a rookie. I want him to learn the playbook first. Get out here and make sure he gets behind the center and not behind the guard. You know, you want these guys to come in and just show the coaches and their teammates, No. 1, that they belong. Then all the other stuff will come.”

You say you don’t worry about other teams’ boards, but how does that work when you’re trading down? Not worried you’ll get jumped?
“Well, it comes into play when it’s not just… you’re assuming I’m just looking at the quarterback position. If I have more players around that area, I feel comfortable moving down. So that’s the way I try to set the board. If it’s enough players in that general area, then I’ll move down. Not just that one position. I try not to target just one position unless I’m going up, to go get that one position guy. That’s when I’m targeting one position guy. And if I have enough ammunition, I’ll try to do that.”

You took one giant tight end, one smaller tight end. They a nice complement?
“It was definitely the board, because those two guys, they were right together. And yes, Kasa is more the in-line guy – you know, he can catch the ball, but he hasn’t had a whole lot of experience playing the position. But he showed that he can play the position. And Rivera’s more the receiving tight end. He’s played in-line also, but what he excels at is more the receiving-type tight end.”

And you had to get somebody from Tennessee?
“Absolutely. That helps.”

Q: How did you address your pass-rush need the past couple days?
A: “Well, we felt like we got a couple of guys that can rush the passer. We think the third-round pick, Sio, can come off the edge a bit. We think David Bass can come off the edge some. We like some of the things that Stacy can do in the middle. So, sometimes you look into the certain draft classes and you try to identify a gamut of pass-rushers or whatever needs you may have, whether it’s quarterback, running back, it doesn’t matter. If it’s not there, we’re not going to make up guys. We’re not going to push guys up the board because we think we need a defensive lineman, a defensive end. We’re not going to do that. If it’s nto there, we’ll find it in another way.”

Q: Is Bass a guy that you hoped would be available later on?
A: “Yeah, we didn’t think he was … where we picked him is kind of where we had him.”

Q: How much did Bass’ East-West Shrine Game performance help in the evaluation process?
A: “Well, it helps when you go against certain competition. When you’re used to going against certain players, now he’s going against bigger and better football players, you can try to see if you can see the same things you saw on tape. Yeah, that helps.”

Q: Did you not have enough guys who loved football last year?
A: It has more to do with the philosophy with what we’re trying to implement into this team and the message that we’re sending to the current team last year when we got here. It was more ‘This is what we’re all about. These are the kind of players we want. If you want to join ship let’s get on board. This is what you’re going to have to do. You’re going to have to work.’ It’s just sending the message and this is kind of who we are as players and as a team. We’re going to come here and go to work and try to get it done.

Q: Did guys last year not join the ship?
A: I’ll tell you this it was you had some guys that had to learn how to do it the right way and I thought this staff did a good job of getting guys to do that. Make no bones about it guys. We won’t be the only team that brings guys in and ships guys out. That’s going to always be the case. We’ll have some of these guys here currently who probably can’t cut it. The goal is to get guys in that locker room that are all working for a common goal and are on the same page. That’s the only way you’re going to develop chemistry. Those guys have to come together. Once coaches send the right message and players try to implement it you have a chance. All right. Thanks guys.

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Steve Corkran

  • dr_robert

    Rediar–it also seems that atheists are very intent on stamping out religion like its a disease of the mind. It’s VERY fascist. Or communist. Like a re-training of society is in order. Social engineers.

    If I’m free, them I’m free to believe. Ur free not too.

    U don’t see religious people trying to make it impossible for u to not believe.

  • dr_robert

    Well Christian religious people anyway.

  • rediaR

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    is this how you guys see the secondary shaking out?

    CB: Hayden, Porter, Jenkins, Hanson, Adams
    FS: Young, Ross
    SS: Branch, McCoil
    ————————
    I’d say a 6th cb makes it. Whether that is Chekwa, Francies, Jones or an UDFA I don’t know.

  • J Hill

    CB: Hayden, Porter, Jenkins, Hanson, Adams

    ————————————————————

    Chekwa will certainly make the squad.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 1:56 pm
    is this how you guys see the secondary shaking out?

    CB: Hayden, Porter, Jenkins, Hanson, Adams
    FS: Young, Ross
    SS: Branch, McCoil
    *************************
    Thats it unless we sign a FA Saftey. Chekwa I hope can still go to PS? We have a lot more depth this year except at SS. Jenkins has the size to move around some as well and Young plays both SS and FS. Ross is a little scary if Young goes down. I wonder if we sign another Safety in looking at this and keep 5. I wonder if T. Jones is finished or does he go PS or can he? There will be a lot of competition for Adams spot.

  • dr_robert

    My current DB lineup would be:

    CB: Hayden, Pprter, Jenkins, Hanson, Adams, Jones

    S: Branch, Young, Smith, Ross

    But I could see someone beating out Smith or Hanson. Even Adams.

    I think Taiwan makes it as a ST guy over Francies.

  • The_Judge37

    In Checkwa’s rookie year they were experimenting with him at Saftey. I say groom him there to be a back up for Branch or Young.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I’d say a 6th cb makes it. Whether that is Chekwa, Francies, Jones or an UDFA I don’t know.

    ***

    @Redia

    Jhill seems to think Chewy is the guy. I don’t know

    Nelms, Owusu-Ansah & Bushell join the 3 guys you listed.

    Take Adams off my list and you’ve got 7 guys fighting for 2 roster spots. now thats competition!!

    may the best men win. probably comes down to the best 2 special teamers

  • rediaR

    If it comes down to special teams, Jones probably has the inside track.

  • dr_robert

    Chekwa is loved here by some for no apparent reason.

    He was a PS guy last year after being released. Not highly thought if by Reggie or DA.

    There’s a reason why CB has been such a focus.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I think Taiwan makes it as a ST guy over Francies

    ***

    Me too, Dr Bob

    question is – how will they fair against the 10 other guys trying to fill a role on ST as “DBs” ?

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Dr_robert Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    Chekwa is loved here by some for no apparent reason.

    He was a PS guy last year after being released. Not highly thought if by Reggie or DA.

    There’s a reason why CB has been such a focus.

    ========================================

    Chekwa is loved because he was an Al pick and wasn’t completely awful in his limited PT.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Chekwa is loved here by some for no apparent reason

    ***

    I think he played pretty well in 1 game as a rookie. Then he got abused in the preseason and failed to make the roster after finishing his rookie season on I.R.

    kinda like Jacoby Ford, nobody can get that 1 game out of their heads.. lol

  • RaiderRockstar

    Chekwa is loved because he was an Al pick and wasn’t completely awful in his limited PT.

    ***

    @Duck

    did you see him in preseason last year? he was completely awful

  • The_Judge37

    2160.dr_robert Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 2:07 pm
    Chekwa is loved here by some for no apparent reason.

    He was a PS guy last year after being released. Not highly thought if by Reggie or DA.

    There’s a reason why CB has been such a focus.
    —–

    For the same reason Adams is now loved, he played well in limited Fill in duty

  • dr_robert

    One thing I KNOW from experience.

    There will be a few surprises in the final 53.

    A vet or two that u thought would make it, won’t.

    A rookie u thought wouldn’t make it, will.

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    Chekwa is loved because he was an Al pick and wasn’t completely awful in his limited PT.

    ***

    @Duck

    did you see him in preseason last year? he was completely awful

    =================================

    I was thinking more of his 2011 regular season PT.

    Most of the love comes from his being “AL’S PICK.” Same thing with Pryor.

  • RaiderRockstar

    People are rooting for Chimdi because he was a 4th rounder and he’s entering Year #3 when most youngsters start to “get it”

    kinda like Terrelle Pryor and both were Buckeyes

    screw you Jim Tressel. none of these kids were ready for the Pros!!

  • http://goducks.com Sir RaiderDuck, OMS

    Dr_robert Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 2:12 pm
    One thing I KNOW from experience.

    There will be a few surprises in the final 53.

    A vet or two that u thought would make it, won’t.

    A rookie u thought wouldn’t make it, will.

    =========================================

    Oh, completely.

    Candidates for a surprise cut: Brisiel, Pryor, Jenkins.

    Candidates for surprise roster spot: Any of the UDFAs we signed, really. Vernon probably first amongst the list.

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Dr.

    Forgot about Smith. That actually gives us good depth and McCoil can battle Ross for last spot or they carry 5 Safeties to help w/ special teams. Smith being a former CB can play FS or SS or maybe even slot corner.

  • rediaR

    1960AutumnWind Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    Dr.

    Forgot about Smith. That actually gives us good depth and McCoil can battle Ross for last spot or they carry 5 Safeties to help w/ special teams. Smith being a former CB can play FS or SS or maybe even slot corner.
    ————————
    Ross could be a FS/CB backup and kill two birds with one stone.

  • rediaR

    I would honestly be more shocked if Vernon didn’t make the team than if Ford didn’t.

  • dr_robert

    To me, Chekwa hasn’t been much. Could never see him getting seriously in the rotation.

    Adams? Yeah he’s remembered from a couple nice moments but I’m not even sold on him making it.

    It’s Ross that I remember the coaches kinda liking in post games.

    Lets remember that there are definite roles.

    Two starters. Nickel and dime. Then it’s mostly about ST. The 5th (and 6th CB rarely get into games as a corner).

    That’s why I think Hanson may actually be cut eventually.

    Hayden, porter, Jenkins. Although whoever the loser is of the porter/Jenkins battle could be cut.

    Who’s the dime? Hanson is a nickel/slot guy.

    This is where “surprises” happen.

    We could see Taiwan (a near lock as a ST gunner) AND Francies make it, while Hanson or porter or Jenkins or Adams get cut.

    Bobby April needs his guys too.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Reggie & Dennis want impact players & playmakers in the secondary..

    the guys who crack the final 53 will be the ones who make plays in OTA’s , camp & preseason

  • RaiderRockstar

    “surprise” cuts could include Ford, Brisiel, Branch

    absolutely!

  • JLofty

    There HAS to be a better returner than Franceeess on the roster after all the transactions of last week.

    I’d be shocked if Coye makes squad. He sucked at every aspect of his play last year…

  • DennisAllensVisorHOF

    Are they surprise cuts if you are prediciting them now?…

    LOL..

  • RaiderRockstar
  • dr_robert

    I don’t really get the “Al’s pick” thing.

    I am a serious Al Davis fan. I’m also a serious bobby knight fan. But I’m not blind and I only worship one man who ever lived.

    Al Davis, bless his heart, was desperate the last decade. He’s not perfect. He tried.

    But who cares about his guys? The team sucked.

    I’m also a big ten fan. So I was initially hopeful for Chekwa.

    But I just don’t think he has a future as a CB in the nfl.

  • JLofty

    Why would Ford get cut?!?

    Guy was an awesome KR before getting his footsie all bruised up…

  • http://www.raiders.com Silverandblack666

    Dr_robert not sure why you keep making certain comments about me but I want you to know that I am a very happy person with a great life.

    I do not hate God as you proclaim nor did I have a “life changing event” that makes me against religion as you also seem to write often about me.

    I literally read almost every religious book I could get my hands on in my 20′s. The Bible, The Koran, The book of Mormon, The Tao, The Vedas, Zen philosophy, The Satanic Bible, early Pagans etc. you name it I read it.

    I came to my religious conclusions from many years or studying the evolution of religion and am quite happy and live a fulfilled life.

    Now if I could just get a playoff win!

  • The_Judge37

    2176.JLofty Says:
    April 29th, 2013 at 2:26 pm
    There HAS to be a better returner than Franceeess on the roster after all the transactions of last week.

    I’d be shocked if Coye makes squad. He sucked at every aspect of his play last year…
    —–

    Hiram Francise is on partial scholarship from the Reggie Mac Foundation

  • JLofty

    Lol Judge!

  • JLofty

    New post…

  • dr_robert

    Hayden and Taiwan may be the surest things. I think porter too. But what happens if porter beats out Jenkins? Is he a nickel? Over Hanson?

    I can’t see see Jenkins or porter being the dime. What’s the point?

    That seems like the role for Adams, Ross, Chekwa, or a UDFA.

    Then u have Taiwan and possibly another ST guy.

    Safety? I’d say branch and young. Then it’s wide open.

    Ansah and nelms? Eh. Ross? Sure. Smith? Maybe.

    I think mccoil or another UDFA could fit there.

  • ONE I AM

    Here on the East Coast listening to Raider internet radio station.

    95.7 The Game. ok these guys are the Raiders so called new flagship station right?

    listening to them now and they seem like they have to give equal obligatory time to the whiners as far a coverage goes.

    I see they do the same with A’s and Giants also but I dont care about stickball.

    Is there a Station that lets you know that we are a station for the Raiders and dont care about the whiners manginas?