ALAMEDA -- The Raiders enter the first round of the NFL draft Thursday with seven selections over the three-day festivities.
Chances are by the time general manager Reggie McKenzie and his staff begin calling undrafted free agents Saturday, they'll end up with more than seven drafted players.
"When you've got 31 other teams, you have no idea who they want at a certain time," McKenzie said at a pre-draft news conference. "That's what makes it fun -- the uncertainty. I can be hard-headed and stubborn and say, 'I'm not moving.' But that's not my style. My phone line stays open on draft day."
The pre-draft rumor mill has linked the Raiders to Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins and even Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
It's even money those names will be used as currency by the Raiders to add to their draft cache with teams wanting to trade up and get them.
Given the way McKenzie operated last season and to a lesser extent in 2012, he'll be open to trading back and getting additional picks. The Raiders enter the draft without picks in the fifth and sixth rounds as the result of trades for quarterbacks Matt Flynn (from Seattle) and Matt Schaub (from Houston).
One way to recoup those selections is to trade their No. 5 pick for a lower pick in the first round and receive additional picks in the process. A year ago, when Miami wanted Oregon linebacker Dion Jordan, McKenzie dealt the No. 3 selection in exchange for the Dolphins' pick at No. 12 and their second-round selection at No. 43.
The Raiders turned that into Houston cornerback DJ Hayden -- whom McKenzie said the Raiders would have taken at No. 3 -- and Florida State tackle Menelik Watson, neither of whom made a significant impact as rookies because of injuries.
In later rounds, the Raiders made deals with Tampa Bay and Houston to land additional picks.
In 2012, McKenzie traded a fifth-round pick to Detroit for a later fifth-rounder and a seventh-rounder.
Rather than concentrate on areas of need, McKenzie strongly believes in adding the best players available and increasing the talent level of the overall roster through competition. Even with an influx of veteran free agents on both sides of the ball, the Raiders need more talent at every position group if they hope to have their first winning season in 11 years.
Among the most glaring needs:
Watkins is the gold standard, followed by Mike Evans of Texas A&M. With possibly six wideouts worthy of the first round, the Raiders could trade back and still land an instant contributor to go along with veteran James Jones and third-year man Rod Streater. Don't be surprised if Denarius Moore is trade bait for an additional pick.
If the Raiders stay at No. 5, Mack qualifies as that kind of player, as does South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowey if he has an unexpected fall.