Reggie McKenzie Reaping Reward For The Trade He Didn’t Make

Reggie McKenzie has pushed a few right buttons in returning the Raiders to respectability, but his most profitable decision may have been the button he didn’t push.

After trading out of the top 5 in the 2013 draft, McKenzie found himself in a similar situation in 2014: Raiders on the clock with an opportunity to trade down. Always eager to add picks, McKenzie said he never considered trading the pick. “Once Khalil fell to us, we had a couple of calls. At that point, I wasn’t taking any,” Reggie told reporters shortly after the pick was made. “There was zero back and forth. We knew who we wanted.”

McKenzie said he never considered a trade when Mack fell to the 5th pick.
McKenzie said he never considered a trade when Mack fell to the 5th pick.

Raiders head coach at the time, Dennis Allen, raved about Mack’s character and quickly compared Mack’s skill set to Von Miller, whom Allen had coached in Denver. Mack finished second in the NFL in sacks this season (15) and along with Miller, was voted a first-team All Pro by the Associated Press.

Another interesting nugget on the Khalil Mack pick: A player who was in the conversation (via the owner) for the fifth pick was Derek Carr. Mark Davis wasn’t sold on drafting Hayden in the first round the previous year so McKenzie needed to get it right – especially after passing on Carr with the fifth pick.

Safe to say, leaving the draft with Mack and Carr was enough to please the boss.

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