Raiders get 3 compensatory picks

The Oakland Raiders more than doubled their draft haul by

receiving three compensatory picks Monday for April’s draft.

The NFL awarded the Raiders picks at the end of the third,

fourth and fifth rounds based on free agents they lost and signed

last offseason.

”Whatever the formula is, I love this formula. I love it,” new

general manager Reggie McKenzie said from the NFL owners meetings

in Florida.

”Obviously this is better than what I expected,” he said.

”Hopefully, we can make do and have some good picks.”

McKenzie was expecting a third-round pick as compensation for

star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha signing with Philadelphia. He was

very pleased to get picks in the fourth and fifth rounds as

well.

Among the other free agents the Raiders lost last season were

tight end Zach Miller, guard Robert Gallery and linebacker Thomas

Howard. The most prominent player signed was tight end Kevin

Boss.

Oakland previously only had picks in the fifth and sixth rounds

because of trades and the supplemental draft.

The Raiders traded their first-round pick to Cincinnati last

October for quarterback Carson Palmer, their second-rounder to New

England for the picks to draft offensive lineman Joseph Barksdale

and running back Taiwan Jones last year, their third-rounder to

take quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft, their

fourth-rounder in 2010 to Washington to acquire quarterback Jason

Campbell and their seventh-rounder last year to Seattle for

linebacker Aaron Curry.

Oakland’s first pick in April’s draft will be the 95th overall –

up two spots because New Orleans was docked a second-round pick for

its bounty program and the Raiders used their third-rounder in the

supplemental draft.

The Raiders will also pick 129th at the end of the fourth round

and 168th at the end of the fifth. The team is not allowed to trade

any of its compensatory picks.

McKenzie said he believes he can find starters through the fifth

round based on his experience with the Green Bay Packers as

director of football operations.

”I think there are very good players in the middle rounds,” he

said. ”From the standpoint of depth, I think it’s there. In the

first round it may not be too deep. But for the most part, there

are some good players throughout this draft.”

With limited salary cap room remaining, McKenzie will have to

use the draft to fill the remaining holes on the team. The biggest

needs right now are for a starting outside linebacker, possibly a

starting tight end, backups at running back and quarterback and

depth throughout the roster.

”I’m still looking for great backups who can become starters at

every position,” McKenzie said. ”I need a lot more picks than

what I have now and some more free agent moves. The only thing I

wish I had more of was NFL money and NFL cap. That’s what I wish I

had more of.”