Its Friday – Reggie NFL Draft Friday.
Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie talked the NFL draft and much more at his pre-draft press conference in Alameda, Calif., earlier today.
McKenzie, who played a little cat and mouse with the media, was upbeat as he took questions from reporters in his official press conference before hunkering down for next week’s amateur stravaganza.
Right out of the gate McKenzie spoke about his relationship with new Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden, and how it is impacting the team’s plans for the draft.
He is like a bowling ball with butcher knives. – McKenzie on Raiders coach Jon Gruden
“I’ts a collaborative effort,” McKenzie said. “I know what kind of players Jon is looking for (and) we’re just trying to get the best players.”
When asked what it was like working so closely with Gruden, McKenzie had the line of the day.
“He is like a bowling ball with butcher knives,” he said.
Another point that McKenzie discussed was having “trade bait” to move up in the draft. He seemed confident that there will “be some teams looking to add draft picks in the later rounds.” This is not the first time the Raiders have hinted about the possibility of moving up in this year’s draft. Gruden on the NFL Network, in his interview by Mike Silver, suggested that could be a possibility as well.
This and That
McKenzie would not rule out the possibility of drafting his son, Kahlil McKenzie.. He joked that he had done “extensive background checks.”
When asked about wide receiver Amari Cooper‘s fifth year option, McKenzie deferred.
“We are focused on the draft, but we really like Amari,” McKenzie said.
Cooper’s option stands at a whopping $13.924 million and must be exercised by May 3rd or it becomes invalid. It might now be considered a bit of a bargain when you consider that agent for wide receiver Sammy Watkins fleeced the Kansas City Chiefs for $16 million a year.
On linebacker Khalil Mack front, McKenzie used his standard “Were focused on the players that are here.” response when asked if he expected Mack at voluntary minicamp next week.
This was a typical response day from McKenzie. He kept it close to the vest. At the same time, talk of moving up in the draft was intriguing. Check back with us next week on this as the Silver and Black Today will be in Alameda covering the 2018 Raiders NFL draft.