Photo by: Bob Carr (@BobCarrNFL)

The Oakland Raiders are in a good position heading into Thursday's NFL Draft

The Oakland Raiders are in a good position heading into Thursday's NFL Draft

The Oakland Raiders are not selecting in the top 10 for the first time in years, and general manager Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders certainly aren't complaining. 

This comes after finishing 7-and-9 last season and showing much promise thanks to a young core obtained through free agency and previous successful drafts. 

For the first time in years, the Raiders feature building blocks on both offense and defense.

On offense, the Raiders have their franchise quarterback Derek Carr who has a solid running back playing behind him in Latavius Murray and a rookie wideout to grow with, Amari Cooper. McKenzie also added veteran (though just 28 years old) Michael Crabtree to assist his young quarterback. 

On top of that, the Raiders have an offensive line that has the potential to be one of the best in the NFL. They brought back left tackle Donald Penn after long negotiations, and added the versatile Kelechi Osemele who will surely add to the right side of the line. They'll look to keep Carr off of his back and provide enough time for big plays to his receivers. 

But the Raiders also have key pieces on defense. Linebacker Khalil Mack has quickly become one of the best defensive players in the league, earning his first Pro Bowl appearance last year while finishing second in the NFL in sacks. McKenzie then got some key playmakers to accompany him, signing linebacker Bruce Irvin and bringing back Aldon Smith. He also shored up the secondary by signing cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reggie Nelson. 

All of this adds up to McKenzie and the Raiders being in a good position when they enter round one of the NFL Draft on Thursday. After filling holes via free agency, the Raiders have options on how they attack the draft, especially day 1. 

The Raiders currently sit at number 14 overall, but can move up if there's a player they want, move down if there guy isn't there, or simply take the best player available. 

Since their roster is fairly well-rounded, McKenzie and the Raiders could very well end up taking the best player left on their board when they pick at 14. This means they don't have to attack a certain position, but could merely take who they think will be the best football player. 

Or if there's a player they really desire and think can help take them to the next level (running back Ezekiel Elliott maybe?), the Raiders could use some of their draft picks and trade up to get the guy they want.

And what seems like a more likely scenario, the Raiders could trade back and get more draft picks if they don't see the players available as that valuable. 

No matter what the Raiders choose to do Thursday, it's hard for Raider Nation not to trust McKenzie after he has done such a phenomenal job putting the Raiders in a great position heading into the 2016 NFL Draft.

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