Reggie McKenzie isn’t worried about butting heads with new head coach Jon Gruden during next week’s draft. The Raiders general manager said that after having worked with Gruden for three months, the two are on the same page when it comes to prospects.
“I’ve got a feeling for Coach Gruden. We like the same type of players,” McKenzie said (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “Just good football players. It’s not about height, weight, speed or where they come from. It’s about who they are as players, do they love playing football. All those characteristics you truly like about football players.”
The Raiders are armed with a number of picks heading into next week’s draft, including the 10th-overall selection.
Let’s take a look at some other draft notes…
- Despite the fact that Lamar Jackson met with the Ravens earlier this week, Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun isn’t convinced that the organization would select the quarterback if he’s available with the 16th pick. The writer cites the fact that owner Steve Bisciotti has stated that the team isn’t worried about finding Joe Flacco‘s successor, and the Ravens have more pressing needs as they look to return to the postseason. While the front office could end up taking a signal-caller at some point during the weekend, Zrebiec believes the team will use their first-rounder on another position.
- After striking out on the position last year, Jeff McLane of Philly.com says the Eagles will be eyeing running backs during the upcoming draft. While the organization did end up selecting Donnel Pumphrey in the fourth round, the team had been eyeing a number of top-tier prospects, including Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, and Kareem Hunt (in fact, McLane notes that Philly attempted to trade up for Cook). While the team hasn’t traditionally spent high-round picks on running backs, and while they’re also armed with a relatively deep group (including mid-season addition Jay Ajayi), the writer believes the team could still be eyeing a future starter at the position.
- Speaking of running backs, Bryce Miller of the San Diego Union-Tribune believes San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny could ultimately be the steal of the draft. The offensive weapon is projected to be a late first-rounder or early second-rounder, and he’s labeled as an elite special teamer. The one knock is his pass blocking ability, but Penny believes that’s a misconception. “I could care less about the media talk,” Penny said. “Talking to GMs and head coaches, I know they’re high on me. There’s always going to be a chip on my shoulder. I could be a seventh-round pick, but I can prove it on the field.” Penny is listed 46th overall (sixth among running backs) in NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah‘s recent top-50 prospect rankings.
- A scout told Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller that Sony Michel could very well be the second running back selected next week (Twitter link). The Georgia product is regarded as one of the better prospects at his position, and he’ll be vying with backs like Derrius Guice, Ronald Jones II, and Nick Chubb to be selected after top prospect Saquon Barkley.