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McKenzie breaks down Raiders draft

ALAMEDA, Calif -- The Oakland Raiders entered the three-day, seven-round NFL draft with seven picks and ended it with eight players: linebacker Khalil Mack (first round, No. 5 overall), quarterback Derek Carr (second round, No. 36 overall), guard Gabe Jackson (third round, No. 81 overall), defensive tackle Justin Ellis (fourth round, No. 107 overall), cornerback Keith McGill (fourth round, No. 116 overall), defensive end Shelby Harris (seventh round, No. 235 overall), cornerback T.J. Carrie (seventh round, No. 219 overall) and safety Jonathan Dowling (seventh round, No. 247 overall).

After taking six defensive players and two offensive players, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie met with the media to discuss his third draft in Oakland. Following are some of the highlights.

On how tough it was to sit without picks in the fifth and sixth rounds:

"It was extremely difficult. Never want to go through that again. We tried to get some moves in but, had no takers. So, we made our picks and we had to wait until Round 7 … move out of 4 to try to pick up some extra, yes."

On talking about the desire for "high-character" guys but drafting some with off-the-field issues on Saturday:

"It's always a chance to redeem himself … if they learn from it, or sometimes a player really feels remorse when he did make a mistake. The key is, how do you feel after you conversate with the kid and meet with him and talk to all the people that you need to talk to as far as who knows him and just try to get a better feel for that particular player. When you come away from it saying, I'm going to give him a chance, or I'm not. That's when you make a decision. That's why we made the decision on a couple of the guys today."

On how difficult it was to evaluate Shelby, who did not play football last season:

"It was hard from the standpoint that you don't have current film. But he has a ton of film from the year before so you know what kind of player he is from his earlier tape and then we were there at the pro day and we got that on film. So, we kind of know his conditioning and what he looked like at the time and he knew what he played like and that's the only reason we drafted him is because we liked the way he played and we were comfortable with him trying to grow from that situation."

On if the end of this draft feels different than his previous two Oakland drafts:

"Well, from the standpoint, especially the first two days, the way it went when guys fell to us that we liked …when you get it like that, you feel, we felt really good to get Khalil, to get Carr, to get big Gabe, we were very excited because of the way it fell to us. And we felt like we wanted to make today just as good as the other two. And we felt good about today. So, does it feel any different? A little bit, especially early the way it fell. So, we were excited."

On what not drafting a receiver means to the Raiders:

"We like who we have. When the board falls to where the receivers at that time were not high on the board we're not going to reach down and take a receiver. I would have liked to have a receiver. I would have. It just didn't fall that way."

On Michael Sam becoming the first openly-gay player drafted into the NFL and not being on the Raiders' board:

"That's one of those deals that, for one the player as far as we're concerned, we evaluated every player just like one like the other. I was happy to see him get drafted. We just always stay true to our evaluation process. If we deem him this type of player, whether it's free agent, first round or reject, we don't care what his circumstances are. We evaluate the guy and that's where we put him on the board."

On if he expects his draftees to step in and contribute right away:

"I'm hopeful for that. I felt like we got guys that can do more than just compete, that they're gonna fight to try to win the job, whatever it is – whether it's a key backup role or a key special teams role, or really push a starter or try to start. I think we got some guys that are focused on doing that."

On if he found his QB of the future in Carr:

"Not necessarily the quarterback of the future. But if a guy showed when we picked, and we felt comfortable when that time came, we was gonna pick him. And going into it, we felt like there was some good players not only at the quarterback position, but a lot of positions. That's why we were ready to take some good players, especially that first, second day."

On if Mack's presence will affect LB Sio Moore:

"It's gonna do a little bit of that. But the one thing our defensive staff can do, they know how to get the best players on the field and figure out different ways to move them around and put them in the best position that they can make plays. So he'll figure -- as long as we give him some good players, let's get them all on the field and figure out where to position them."