Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler held his pre-draft press conference Friday.
As expected, there wasn’t much news shared. Yet, here are some of the highlights from the session:
- Ziegler said the team will continue to talk to running back Josh Jacobs about a long-term deal and didn’t have much else to say about it. Jacobs is staying away from the team’s voluntary offseason workout program because he hasn’t signed his franchise tender.
- Ziegler said the addition of Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t mean the Raiders want take a quarterback early. He did not that the team is excited about the veteran free agent.
- He explained that the goal at No. 7 is to find an instant starter, ideally someone who fills a need and who has explosion and fits the organization. Ziegler said he would be comfortable taking a quarterback early and having him not play right away because of the value of the position. He did note he is open to competition at every spot.
- Ziegler said he is comfortable in the evaluation of Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter, who would be a great on-field fit at No. 7, but he has off-field issues. The Athletic has reported that Carter will not be the pick there, but the team has refuted that he is off the board. So, Ziegler backed up that stance.
- Ziegler said he is aware of the S2 tests players are tested on, yet he said it’s a big part of how the Raiders evaluate quarterbacks. It was reported that Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud tested poorly on it which may be a red flag for some teams. The Raiders have shown interest in Stroud.
C.J. Stroud’s low S2 score is the latest in a long line of Ohio State draft stock attacks https://t.co/HrZlVGfZhz— SB Nation NFL (@SBNationNFL) April 21, 2023
- Ziegler said a big trait he is looking at for cornerbacks is players who can make an impact on the ball and players who can play in man, press technique and the ability to tackle,
- Ziegler said trade ups, trade downs and standing pat are on the table for all 12 picks. That’s no surprise.
- Ziegler was asked about Northwestern offensive lineman Peter Skorononski, who could be a possibility at No. 7. He said Skoronoski is interesting because he can play tackle and guard and he likes that. That was one of the reasons why the Raiders made Dylan Parham their top pick last season. He can play guard and center.
- Ziegler was asked if he felt pressure going into this draft. “Yes, I want to get 12 impact players.”
- Ziegler said there is a comfort level this year that wasn’t there last year because everyone is in their second draft season together. he said the comfort level is high going into this draft.
- Ziegler thanked all facets of the organization for the preparation in the draft process.
- The Raiders had 15 days of draft meetings. That’s about standard around the league. Ziegler noted the organization will prepare for the draft until it starts.
- Ziegler said the team does talk to players on the current roster about draftable players they knew in college.
- Ziegler was asked about top tight ends, Dalton Kincaid (Utah) and Darnell Washington (Georgia), who are both from Las Vegas. The team could take a tight end early and both of them are potential picks.
- He said his 7-year-old son, Cam, has been hounding him about the draft and what position he may go, much like the media does.