Oakland Raiders had a busy day on Thursday. They first traded away the 10th overall pick in 2018 NFL draft to Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the 15th overall pick and two third-round picks. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie used the 15th pick to select UCLA’s tackle Kolton Mille and then sent one-third rounder (79th) to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
“With Martavis, it [was] all about trying to use that pick and get another player,” – explained McKenzie. “It’s like drafting a player. We feel like we drafted Martavis Bryant.”
With Bryant on the team, Raiders have now surrounded their quarterback Derek Carr with a deep wide receiver core which also features f Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson.
“He’s ideal, what you’re looking for in a wide receiver,” – McKenzie added. “He can play big. He can play fast, and he makes plays. We think he can be a dynamic receiver for Derek [Carr].“
Martavis Bryant had lots of ups and downs with the Steelers organization, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The 26-year-old had issues with his behavior off the field and even received a season-long suspension in 2016 for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Despite this, he started 2017 season as the Steelers’ starting wide receiver alongside Antonio Brown. Halfway through the season, Bryant publicly expressed his desire to be traded, but the team denied the request. He finished the regular season with 50 receptions, 603 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
“I’ll always have love for the Steelers,” – said Bryant after being traded to the Raiders. “There was no bitterness. It’s just a business situation. [If I wasn’t traded] I was prepared to be back and be a good teammate.“