Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler held his first pre-draft press conference in his new role Wednesday.
Predictably, Ziegler didn’t offer much earth-shattering news. But he was extremely pleasant and easy going, he offered in-depth thoughts on his draft philosophy and he went out of his way to praise virtually everyone in the organization for their role in the draft preparation. Here are some highlights from the session:
- Ziegler said trades are always possible and didn’t discount the Raiders moving up or down from the No. 86 pick in the third round. He made no promises, but said trades are always possible.
- Of course, the Raiders don’t have their first (No. 22) and second-round picks (No. 53) because of the trade for star receiver Davante Adams. He has been participating in the team’s offseason program for the past two weeks and Zeigler raves about what Adams has brought to the team.
“Davante is a worker and he comes in with a purpose every day to get better,” Ziegler offered. “He’s just a dialed-in person. You walk in and for him this is something that he loves to do, this is a business for him, it’s a job that he takes very seriously, and he comes in with that approach. That guy comes in with an approach to win the day and to get better individually, and it’s an approach that I think is really good for our young players to see. This guy is highly accomplished. He’s been very productive in his career. There’s a reason for those things. You see that in his approach day to day.”
- Ziegler didn’t get too deep into the details of Derek Carr’s new contract, but he made it clear, the team wants it to work out through 2025 when he is currently signed through.
“We felt it was important to get Derek extended. He embodies all the things we’ve talked about players we want,” Ziegler said.
- Ziegler said he think it’s a draft with good depth and mentioned he thinks the Raiders can find offensive lineman who can help in the third round.
- Ziegler has enjoyed meeting with players in person again and not relying on Zoom meetings.
- Ziegler praised wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, but declined to discuss his contract situation. Renfrow can be a free agent next year and is eligible for a contract extension now,
- Ziegler said he is looking for “low-maintenance individuals” to work with. Aren’t we all?
- Ziegler sang the praises of assistant general manager Champ Kelly. He said Kelly has been “exceptional” and he has taken some things off of Ziegler’s plate. I could see Kelly getting a GM gig next year.