ALAMEDA -- The Raiders' trading back in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday, in the wake of Philadelphia trading up in front of Oakland and selecting Matt Barkley, was a seeming knee-jerk response to the Eagles nabbing the USC quarterback.
Especially since the Raiders responded by taking Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson.
Consider: when the day began, the Raiders had the third pick of the round, No. 100 overall, behind Jacksonville and Kansas City. But a trade between the Jaguars and Eagles netted the Eagles that first selection, which they used to draft Barkley. Minutes later, the Raiders consummated a deal with Houston to move back to No. 112, where they called upon Wilson.
Speculation mounted that the Eagles jumped in front of the Raiders because they feared the Raiders taking Barkley. So, did the Raiders have Barkley on their radar at No. 100?
"Well, what we did is, we made sure we looked at the board and how it falls, that's how we went," said Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie. "Now, who was where? I don't want to get into that because I'd be telling you my board. I don't want to do that."
Even if the draft is over?
"It is over," he said. "But I don't want to let the other teams know where I had guys."
As good a non-denial denial as there ever was, right?
So what exactly, then, appealed to McKenzie about Wilson?
"You can still watch his style of play, the way he plays the game," McKenzie said. "And we like a lot of things about him. We like the way he can move around in the pocket, we like his toughness to hang in there and see the field, we think he has a lot of qualities that goes into being a good solid quarterback in the NFL."