The Raiders were positioned at third overall in the draft and got the deal they wanted to trade down in the first round to pick up a second round pick. With all the needs on this team, that was the plan all along.
"To pick up some picks was a top priority," said McKenzie. "Whether that would have been a 2? We're excited to get the two? Absolutely. We didn't know which way the picks were coming especially from the conversations that we've had leading up to it. A lot of the offers didn't make sense but this one did. We're happy to get that two."
There was a lot of uncertainty about who the Raiders would have picked at third overall. When Reggie McKenzie was asked on Tuesday if he knew who the Raiders wanted to pick, he gave a very solid "Yes." He reiterated that idea on Thursday.
"You guys know me. I'm gonna get the best player," said McKenzie. "Once we declare our draft board, we're gonna follow it. We're not gonna try to fill this need and fill that need and go into the offseason saying ‘We got players that we needed.' We want to get players that we think make a difference. We want difference-makers, guys that can make plays. And that's where he was on our board."
If Reggie McKenzie was to get the guy he was so sure he wanted, he would have to sweat through nine picks and hope he was still there. According to McKenzie, his guy was there. And that guy was DJ Hayden whether the Raiders had stayed at pick three or moved down.
"We targeted him," said McKenzie. "To pick up an extra pick was a bonus."
So, the list of Reggie priorities is two lines long:
1) Trade down for more picks -- Check
2) Get DJ Hayden - Check
From the sounds of it, McKenzie played this draft like a fiddle. Got his guy and got the pick in the 2nd round the team didn't previously have. What more could you ask for but that?