Raiders GM Dave Ziegler Discusses Draft Picks and Roster Outlook

Gain insights into the Raiders’ draft strategy and roster plans as Dave Ziegler shares exclusive details in this in-depth interview.

Matthew Fanizza
May 23, 2023

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Las Vegas Raiders have made some intriguing moves in the NFL Draft, selecting players they didn’t expect to be available. General Manager Dave Ziegler discussed these draft picks and their potential impact on SiriusXM NFL Radio‘s Movin’ The Chains with Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller.

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Tyree Wilson

At pick seven in the first round, the Raiders were pleasantly surprised to land Tyree Wilson, from Texas Tech. Ziegler expressed his excitement, stating, “We thought he was just a really disruptive football player at Texas Tech with some development and some upside to him. So we were really excited to get a player of his caliber there at seven.” Wilson’s development potential and upside make him an excellent addition to the Raiders’ defense.

Michael Mayer

Moving to the second round, the Raiders made an aggressive move to secure Michael Mayer, a tight end they didn’t expect to be available. Ziegler praised Mayer’s unique skill set, stating, “He has some short area quickness at the top of the route and some savvy in the way that he sets up his routes.” Mayer’s versatility and ability to get open from different alignments will make him a valuable weapon in the Raiders’ offense.

Ziegler further expressed, “We thought he was one of the top tight ends in the draft. And so when we saw that he was still there, we were aggressive to move up in the draft and get Michael.”

Aidan O’Connell

In the fourth round, the Raiders selected quarterback Aidan O’Connell, a player with an exceptional football IQ. Despite not being the most athletic, O’Connell’s ability to maneuver around the pocket caught the Raiders’ attention. Ziegler praised his work ethic and mental toughness, saying, “[He] climbed all the way up to the point where he obviously got drafted in the NFL.” The Raiders believe O’Connell’s skill set and intangibles make him a great fit for their system.

As the Raiders continue to shape their roster, these draft picks add talent and competition to their team. Ziegler highlighted the importance of finding players who possess speed, ball production, and versatility.

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