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Raiders get 3 compensatory picks

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POSTED March 26, 2012 9:42 p.m.

ALAMEDA (AP) — The Oakland Raiders more than doubled their draft haul by receiving three compensatory picks Monday for April's draft.

The NFL awarded the Raiders picks at the end of the third, fourth and fifth rounds based on free agents they lost and signed last offseason.

"Whatever the formula is, I love this formula. I love it," new general manager Reggie McKenzie said from the NFL owners meetings in Florida.

"Obviously this is better than what I expected," he said. "Hopefully, we can make do and have some good picks."

McKenzie was expecting a third-round pick as compensation for star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha signing with Philadelphia. He was very pleased to get picks in the fourth and fifth rounds as well.

Among the other free agents the Raiders lost last season were tight end Zach Miller, guard Robert Gallery and linebacker Thomas Howard. The most prominent player signed was tight end Kevin Boss.

Oakland previously only had picks in the fifth and sixth rounds because of trades and the supplemental draft.

The Raiders traded their first-round pick to Cincinnati last October for quarterback Carson Palmer, their second-rounder to New England for the picks to draft offensive lineman Joseph Barksdale and running back Taiwan Jones last year, their third-rounder to take quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft, their fourth-rounder in 2010 to Washington to acquire quarterback Jason Campbell and their seventh-rounder last year to Seattle for linebacker Aaron Curry.

Oakland's first pick in April's draft will be the 95th overall — up two spots because New Orleans was docked a second-round pick for its bounty program and the Raiders used their third-rounder in the supplemental draft.

The Raiders will also pick 129th at the end of the fourth round and 168th at the end of the fifth. The team is not allowed to trade any of its compensatory picks.

McKenzie said he believes he can find starters through the fifth round based on his experience with the Green Bay Packers as director of football operations.

"I think there are very good players in the middle rounds," he said. "From the standpoint of depth, I think it's there. In the first round it may not be too deep. But for the most part, there are some good players throughout this draft."

With limited salary cap room remaining, McKenzie will have to use the draft to fill the remaining holes on the team. The biggest needs right now are for a starting outside linebacker, possibly a starting tight end, backups at running back and quarterback and depth throughout the roster.

"I'm still looking for great backups who can become starters at every position," McKenzie said. "I need a lot more picks than what I have now and some more free agent moves. The only thing I wish I had more of was NFL money and NFL cap. That's what I wish I had more of."

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