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Reggie McKenzie: Raiders' foundation has been built

Owner Mark Davis made it clear last offseason that embattled general manager Reggie McKenzie needed to prove he could reconstruct the Oakland Raiders' roster after deconstructing it in previous years.

Bolstered by a rookie class that has proven to be among the NFL's most productive, McKenzie is optimistic about the future of a team he is in the process of reconstructing.

"The foundation has been built," McKenzie said Sunday, via the San Francisco Chronicle. "That's what it's all about. The more young guys play, the more comfortable they get ... and now they're making plays."

After former coach Dennis Allen was scapegoated for the Raiders' recent woes in October, Davis seemed inclined to allow McKenzie a chance to add to the foundation of promising quarterback Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack.

"Derek and Khalil stopped being rookies a little while back," McKenzie said. "Now they are veteran players. They can carry this into next season and help build this team into winners. "They've shown their teammates who they are as players and men off the field, and they're definitely guys everybody can count on."

In addition to this year's draft class, linebacker Sio Moore, cornerback D.J. Hayden, running back Latavius Murray and tight end Mychal Rivera represent building blocks as second-year players.

McKenzie's offseason trades and free-agent decisions have imploded with greater frequency than any other general manager's, but his last two draft classes could end up saving his job.

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