Skip to main content

Raiders GM Tom Telesco on 13th overall pick: 'Typically, I use a magic 8-ball and not a coin'

There will be no commemorative coin in honor of the Raiders' decision to select tight end Brock Bowers.

Days after Lions cornerback Terrion Arnold, the No. 24 overall pick in April's draft, told The Next Round podcast Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce said Las Vegas flipped a coin to decide between selecting him and Bowers at No. 13, general manager Tom Telesco has cleared things up and turned down such a notion.

"Typically, I use a magic 8-ball and not a coin," Telesco joked to Mike Yam on Thursday's NFL Total Access. "But no, part of that draft process, and we do this really two weeks, we'll go through all the different scenarios of what could happen in the first round and how we would react to is and discuss it. When you're picking 13, there aren't that many scenarios to go through. So obviously we had gone through the scenario of players being gone and Brock Bowers is there, and we discussed in a small group -- if that happened like, hey, we're gonna take Brock. So we had gone through the process.

"On draft day, certainly in the first round and a little bit in the second round, there's not a whole lot of discussion when you're on the clock because you've already gone through the scenario of what could play out and what you're going to do. So that's what happened with Brock."

For his part, Pierce also denied Arnold's tale according to former NFL cornerback and sports media personality, Ryan Clark.

"No call, and no coin flip," Pierce told Clark, denying he spoke to Arnold. "As soon as the last two QBs went off the board we said Bowers all the way."

So be it thanks to a magic 8-ball or the team's tireless draft prep, the Raiders knew their plan in Telesco's first year as GM and required little discussion once they were on the clock -- and certainly not a coin toss.

The end result, absent the more amusing decisional process, landed them Bowers, who signed his rookie contract Thursday.

Bowers was the consensus top tight end in the 2024 class and a two-time John Mackey Award winner out of Georgia. He comes to Las Vegas with an NFL-ready skill set, having collected 175 catches, 2,538 yards and 26 touchdown receptions in 40 games played.

"We were really lucky to get Brock," Telesco said. "We're looking to add to our offense. We just didn't score enough points last year. So whether it was an offensive lineman or a skill player, they kind of help us move the football and score more, we think Brock can help us there."

He figures to complement 2023 second-round TE Michael Mayer, who flashed talent in his rookie campaign despite amassing just 27 catches for 304 yards and two scores as he dealt with a quarterback carousel. Those two, along with wide receivers Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers, form a fearsome foursome to attack defenses catching passes from whomever wins this year's QB competition between incumbent Aidan O'Connell and free-agent signee Gardner Minshew.

As Telesco alluded to, the Raiders also invested premium picks on the offensive line by taking offensive guard Jackson Powers-Johnson and offensive tackle DJ Glaze in Rounds 2 and 3, respectively.

Those decisions are meant to help Las Vegas improve on its 23rd-place finish in offensive scoring, edging that side of the operation closer to Pierce's stingy ninth-ranked defense that helped propel the club to a respectable 8-9 finish even after the midseason firings of head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler.

Should all of the Raiders' well-planned moves pan out, perhaps Las Vegas will be looking at better than a coin toss' chance at breaking its two-year postseason drought.

Related Content