American Football

Raiders HC Say’s he’s Ready to Pay $40m on new WR






The Las Vegas Raiders’ 2024 NFL Draft class was about intangibles and traits that fit the vision of head coach Antonio Pierce.






Legendary Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian told Sports Illustrated that when it came to drafting, a general manager has to acknowledge that the coach has to coach the team — and should bend to what a coach wants in the draft.






General manager Tom Telesco took that approach in the draft — and his head coach is impressed.





“Yeah, I thought the first draft working with Telesco and our personnel staff, our coaches,” Pierce said in a recent interview.






“[I] Thought [they] did an excellent job of getting the information, discussing, working through different scenarios, working through hiccups. Then we got to the draft, we had a plan, it was clear — we stayed on track. I think the coolest thing about it, when you have so many mock drafts or different scenarios that you think can play out, the first round is interesting, but then after that it kind of becomes like clockwork.


“You add, you subtract, [you] look on your board, you see your guys there and you go get the players that you know fit the Raiders.”






Pierce knew the kind of players he wanted, and Telesco was patient in selecting them in the draft at the right moments. There were no trades, no selling.






Pierce’s Raiders already made key additions prior to the draft — defensive tackle Christian Wilkins was a big pick-up, guard Cody Whitehair will be a depth piece and veteran presence on the offensive line, and quarterback Gardner Minshew will challenge Aidan O’Connell for the starting job.





Pierce made it clear throughout the offseason what kind of players he wanted on his team. Our Hondo Carpenter Sr. referred to the draft as the “Maxx Crosby draft” — a reference to the type of mentality Pierce and Telesco targeted.





“We got some gritty, some grimy, nasty, back-alley guys,” Pierce said. “And more importantly we got size. I think you look at the two [offensive] lineman, both gritty, tough, physical, [they have] length, power … It’s a very good group of guys … I think the coolest part about the whole draft was getting on the phone with them and hearing their excitement.”



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