TGIF: Raiders will jump into the draft after missing first round

  • By Associated Press
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ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Hue Jackson spent the first part of his first draft day as Oakland Raiders coach contacting his current players to make sure they report as soon as possible now that the NFL lockout has been lifted.

Then he turned his focus to Thursday's draft, where the Raiders couldn't find a spot to trade into the first round, marking the first time since 1989 that the team didn't have a pick in the opening round of the NFL draft.

"There was so much phone-calling going on in that room like you wouldn't believe," Jackson said. "There were a lot of opportunities but nothing that really fit for us, for exactly what we wanted to accomplish. Obviously the player has to be there when you want to trade with somebody, and there were several phone calls made, but it just didn't fit for us at this time."

The Raiders traded this year's top pick to the New England Patriots before the 2009 season for Richard Seymour. He has upgraded the defensive line with his play and leadership and made it to the Pro Bowl last season. He signed a two-year, $30 million contract before the lockout to remain with the team, and Jackson referred to Seymour as this year's first-round pick.

New England took offensive lineman Nate Solder with the 17th overall pick it received from Oakland.

The Raiders now will wait for Day 2 of the draft so they can make their first selection. Oakland's first pick is the 48th selection. The Raiders have single picks in the third through sixth rounds, as well as two seventh-round choices.

The team's biggest needs entering the final two days of the draft are at offensive line and in the secondary, where Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and starting free safety Michael Huff could leave as free agents.

"There's still a lot of good players on that board, a lot of guys that we evaluated and are sitting there for us," Jackson said. "This is a process, it can change, you can wake up in the morning, and after our first pick, the whole board can go upside down or it can stay consistent and just keep on flowing. But there's a lot of good players for the Raiders to choose from starting tomorrow."

Friday will be a busy day. After nearly seven weeks of a lockout, the NFL said players can start talking with coaches, working out at team headquarters and looking at playbooks and film. The league also is expected to release detailed guidelines for free agency, trades and other roster moves in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement Friday.

But that all could be temporary as the NFL has asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis to restore the lockout as soon as possible.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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