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Raiders draft OT Kolton Miller, trade for WR Martavis Bryant

Updated April 26, 2018 - 9:10 pm

ALAMEDA, Calif. The Raiders opened the three-day draft Thursday with a flurry, completing two trades to acquire an offensive-line prospect, veteran wide receiver and late-round selection.

UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller was drafted with the 15th overall pick. The Raiders initially owned the No. 10 choice but swapped it with the Arizona Cardinals. In exchange, they acquired the 79th (third round) and 152nd (fifth) picks, the first of which they flipped to the Pittsburgh Steelers for receiver Martavis Bryant.

Oakland entered the draft with a number of needs. Most were on defense.

Miller and Bryant nonetheless represent potential upgrades at pressing spots.

Miller becomes the long-term successor plan to left tackle Donald Penn, who is coming off December foot surgery and turns 35 on Friday. In the short term, the rookie figures to be an immediate starter. Presuming that Penn returns to health and form, that likely will be on the right side where veteran Breno Giacomini previously was the projected starter.

Last month, Giacomini signed a one-year contract worth up to $3.015 million.

Miller said he was “super stoked” to be a Raider. He grew up about a 100-mile commute northwest of Oakland in Roseville, a Sacramento suburb.

“I’m ready to go in there and compete and learn from the older guys,” said Miller, who is listed at 6 feet, 9 inches and 309 pounds. “There’s a lot of experience surrounding me. I’m ready to embrace it.”

General manager Reggie McKenzie was non-commital on Miller’s role for 2018. Miller, 22, started all 13 games at left tackle for the Bruins in 2017. A year earlier, he started five games on the right side before a season-ending injury.

In each year, he protected quarterback Josh Rosen, the man whose market enabled the Raiders to move back from No. 10 overall.

The Cardinals selected Rosen there.

“He’s a big man that can move his feet,” McKenzie said. “He played left tackle and right tackle. He’s been an offensive lineman pretty much his entire life. He understands the game, and he’s an excellent athlete who has great potential. So we feel really good about adding him to the Raider roster.”

Quietly, the Raiders have discussed a Bryant trade for much of this offseason.

Like any draft pick, risk accompanies his acquisition. His risk involves off-the-field trouble, as Bryant was suspended for the entire 2016 season for his latest violation of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. He also was suspended for the first four games in 2015.

Bryant, 26, caught 50 of 84 passes for 603 yards and three touchdowns last year during his return. As a rookie in 2014, he averaged 21.1 yards a catch, totaling 26 receptions for 549 yards and eight touchdowns.

As a potential deep threat the Raiders have lacked, the 6-foot-4-inch receiver joins Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts atop the depth chart.

“It’s like drafting a player,” McKenzie said. “We feel like we’ve drafted Martavis Bryant. … Other than he’s scored a lot of touchdowns and gets all the first downs, he’s ideal what you’re looking for in a receiver.

“He can play big. He can play fast. He makes plays. We think he can be a dynamic receiver for (quarterback) Derek (Carr).”

The draft continues Friday with the second and third rounds. The Raiders own a pick in each round at No. 41 and No. 75 overall.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at mgehlken@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

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