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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
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Raiders among teams worth watching in NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is in three weeks, and it’s been headlined by a few topics.

For starters, Kyler Murray. It appears a foregone conclusion he’s going No. 1 overall, but will it be to the Arizona Cardinals or someone else? Beyond that, what are the Oakland Raiders going to do? Oakland has an NFL-high three first-round picks in the event, having gained two from the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears in trades sending away Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack, respectively.


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Oakland owns the No. 4, 24 and 27 picks, giving new general manager Mike Mayock and second-year head coach plenty of ammunition to make moves. The Raiders have a bevy of defensive needs to address, including edge rushers, cornerbacks and linebackers. For Oakland, Mayock and Co. have the good fortune of this being a very heavy defensive draft.

All of this raises the question of whether or not the Raiders are going to package some picks — they have four of the first 35 — to move up and get some premium talent that might not reach the 20s. If Oakland decides to do so, it would be fascinating to see whether future first-round picks are in play. The Raiders have two first-rounders next year as well resulting from the Mack trade, and could conceivably help them to move up without having to dip deep into the current well of selection.

Another team to keep an eye on? The Green Bay Packers. For years, the Packers were one of the more reserved teams throughout free agency and the draft, rarely making waves with boldness. Things have changed, though, with general manager Brian Gutekunst replacing Ted Thompson a year ago. In the 2018 draft, Gutekunst executed a trade with the New Orleans Saints, landing a first-round pick in this year’s proceedings. Now, Green Bay is armed with the 12th and 30th-overall selections. Would the Packers, who are trying to win now with an aging Aaron Rodgers, decided to move around the board?


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Finally, the New York Giants have to be mentioned here. New York is in desperate need of a future at the quarterback position. Holding the sixth and 17th-overall picks, what is general manager Dave Gettleman going to do? If Dwayne Haskins is on the board when the Giants are on the clock, does the Ohio State product head for the Meadowlands, or does Gettleman try to fortify what appears to be a terrible defense? If he chooses the latter, is New York thinking about Drew Lock or Daniel Jones in the middle of the first round?

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