The Oakland Raiders only have five picks in this year's draft and their first pick does not come until the very end of the third round. That kind of disadvantage is not what a first year general manager hopes for coming into their first ever draft as the man making the decision. If Reggie McKenzie hopes to land impact players with the picks at his disposal, he will have to handle this draft perfectly. Luckily for Raiders fans, he has done just that up to this point.
Reggie McKenzie took over the Raiders under some of the worst circumstances possible for making off season upgrades. Not only do the Raiders have few draft picks and only in later rounds, but they came into the off season drastically over the cap. Rather than heading into free agency considering what players he wanted to pursue, McKenzie spent the time leading into free agency deciding which players to cut and which contracts to restructure.
Despite these drawbacks, McKenzie was able to put the Raiders in the best position possible to draft impactful players in the draft. He was forced to cut starters at multiple positions, and yet the Raiders enter the 2012 NFL draft with a veteran capable of starting at every position. Not only that, McKenzie may have actually upgraded the team in free agency.
By ensuring the Raiders have a player capable of starting at every position, and improving an area of need on the offensive line, McKenzie has placed himself in the position to follow through on his philosophy of drafting the best player available with each pick the Raiders possess. Now, without needing to draft to a position, all that is left to see is whether or not McKenzie can live up to his reputation to find diamonds in the rough.