Raiders' splashy start to free agency sets stage for 'surgical' approach to draft

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ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders have been more than a little busy since the NFL’s new year officially rang in on March 13. Not only have there been moves splashy enough to surely make HBO’s “Hard Knocks” overlords take notice — a trade for Antonio Brown, the largest contract ever handed out for an offensive lineman to Trent Brown, signing the polarizing and oh-so-throwback-to-the-Badass Raiders Vontaze Burfict — but the team has also addressed real and specific needs while doling out more than $101 million in guaranteed contracts.

To be sure, there are many more needs. The Raiders were 4-12 in Jon Gruden’s teardown season of 2018. But all the moves give the Raiders options heading into next month’s draft.

“The more you do in free agency, the more surgical you can be in the draft,” general manager Mike Mayock said.

What you need to know about the Oakland Raiders:

» Raiders’ free-agent signings
» Team needs: DL, CB, LB, S
» Tracker: Latest moves around NFL
» Full top 100 free-agent ranking

And Mayock, along with Gruden, has positioned himself quite nicely.

Especially with half of the Raiders’ eight picks coming in the first 35 selections,

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