2019 NFL Draft: Top prospects enjoyed meeting Raiders staff on visits

2019 NFL Draft: Top prospects enjoyed meeting Raiders staff on visits

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Raiders gave draft prospects a glimpse of what the future holds for the organization when the 30 players made it to Alameda for their pre-draft visits.

“I loved that visit,” Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa said of his April 11 visit to meet with the Raiders. “It was really cool. They showed me what their setup is going to be in Vegas.”

The Raiders, who will move to tax-free Nevada for the 2020 season, own three first-round draft picks, beginning with the No. 4 overall selection.

Some of the top prospects on Wednesday said the visit to meet with the Raiders stood out because of general manager Mike Mayock, coach Jon Gruden and the coaching staff.

“Whenever you’re hanging out with coach Gruden and Mayock, it’s a pretty good time,” Bosa said. “They’re really interesting. They love football more than anybody I’ve ever met.”

University of Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver said Raiders defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, who played 12 NFL seasons before retiring in 2005, made his trip memorable.

“The Raiders were my second visit, one of my more favorite visits,” Oliver said. “The D-line coach, coach Buckner, he and I have a special relationship.

“He’s as cool as a fan. I can say that coming straight from my heart, he’s as cool as a fan. I’d love working with him.”

Oliver is one of several options the Raiders could have at No. 4, depending on how the first three picks shake out. Quarterback Kyler Murray, Bosa and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams could be the first three players selected. If any of those players slip to No. 4, the Raiders could pounce.

Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen, another legitimate option for the Raiders, met with the club as one of his final pre-draft visits. Mayock watched film with Allen during his visit and broke down some of his game film.

“We watched some film together, good and bad clips of myself,” Allen said. “He taught me and showed me what I can improve on. What I do good, too.”

Many players were already back at the team’s facility when Allen visited. He said he had a memorable chat with newly acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown.

“He told me to just keep working and enjoy the moment and keep grinding until you retire from football,” Allen said.

[RELATED: Maiocco and Bair's NFL Mock Draft]

The New York Jets likely hold the key to the Raiders’ draft. It is uncertain whether Williams will be available after the Jets’ selection at No. 3. Williams visited the Raiders three weeks ago. He said his versatility will enable him to contribute wherever he ends up.

“I showed on the film I can play every position on the defensive line at an elite level,” Williams said. “The game has turned to a real passing game and me, as a defensive lineman, I’m a pass-rusher. I go get it. But I can also stop the run at an elite level.”

Raiders discussing fan options at Allegiant as 2020 NFL season nears


Raiders discussing fan options at Allegiant as 2020 NFL season nears

As the NFL regular season approaches, assuming the rise in COVID-19 cases doesn’t cancel it, the Raiders are having ongoing internal discussions about a number of different options and approaches for a rabid season-ticket base that completely sold out brand new Allegiant Stadium.

As the Raiders continue to sort through the situation, they have indefinitely pushed back the deadline for final payment on 2020 season tickets. Meanwhile, longtime Raiders fans like Kenny King Jr., a Northern California resident and 2020 season-ticket holder, is holding out hope he will be front and center when the Raiders play their first season in Las Vegas.

“I definitely do intend to go to games this year and have already booked for the opener and Chiefs games,” said King, the son of former Raiders running back Kenny King.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal


Catching up on 'Sports Uncovered': Behind-the-scenes, untold stories

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Catching up on 'Sports Uncovered': Behind-the-scenes, untold stories

Want to hear behind-the-scenes, untold stories about iconic athletes or moments in sports? You've come to the right place. 

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