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Raiders deny flipping coin to draft Bowers

Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce and general manager Tom Telesco addressed rookie cornerback Terrion Arnold's viral comments Thursday, denying that Las Vegas flipped a coin to decide who the team would select at No. 13 in April's NFL draft.

Arnold - whom the Detroit Lions drafted 24th overall - said earlier this week that "the Raiders coach" called him after the draft saying the club "had a coin toss" between him and Brock Bowers in Round 1 before landing the Georgia tight end.

Pierce said he didn't even speak to Arnold on the phone.

"No call, and no coin flip," Pierce told ESPN's Ryan Clark.

"As soon as the last two QBs went off the board, we said Bowers all the way," added Pierce.

Telesco also denied Arnold's comments Thursday.

"Typically, I use a magic 8-ball and not a coin," Telesco joked on "NFL Total Access," according to Bobby Kownack of "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 it and discuss it. ... We had gone through the scenario of players being gone and Brock Bowers is there, and we discussed in a small group."

The GM continued, "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."

Quarterback and cornerback were two of the Raiders' biggest needs prior to the draft. With Las Vegas not trading up and a record six QBs going in the top 12, Pierce's outfit took Bowers - widely considered the top prospect available at No. 13 - despite having already used an early pick on a tight end in 2023 by drafting Michael Mayer in the second round.

The Raiders waited until Day 3 to address their secondary this year, selecting cornerback Decamerion Richardson in Round 4 and using seventh-round picks on safety Trey Taylor and corner M.J. Devonshire.

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