The Oakland Raiders have an interesting consideration as part of their pre-draft process: they have to ask prospects about potentially playing in Las Vegas, given they will be calling the city home next year.
There are definitely some questions regarding whether players, especially young ones, will find the nightlife and other pitfalls of Las Vegas distracting, and it came up in Oakland’s pre-draft interviews. Every prospect said the right things about it not being an issue, but in the eyes of general manager Mike Mayock, there was some stretching of the truth going on.
Raiders GM Mike Mayock: "For the record, we asked 112 kids if they'd be OK on a Las Vegas Strip, or is it going to be a problem. All 112 of them said, 'No, Coach. It's going to be fine.' We didn't find one guy that admitted Las Vegas would be an issue. So they all lied to us."
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 26, 2019
This is presumably tongue-in-cheek. Players are going to say they can handle it, and all of them probably think they can. If the NFL feels okay about staging the NFL Draft there next year, Mayock should probably relax.
The Oakland Raiders are reportedly taking every precaution necessary to protect their plans heading into the NFL Draft next week, but general manager Mike Mayock’s daughter wants to make sure no one within the organization takes it personally.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported on Friday that Mayock and Raiders head coach Jon Gruden sent their own scouts home for the weekend and are not expected to let them return to the draft room before the big event. While some took that to mean they don’t trust their own scouting department, Mayock’s daughter Leigh insists that is not the case.
May I remind you he took his draft binder TO THE BATHROOM > leaving it with his own blood. () — don’t take it personal scouties. https://t.co/vw6pF7ItAE
— Leigh (@LeighMayock) April 19, 2019
This is the second time Leigh Mayock has shared that same story. Around the time of the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this offseason, she said Mike didn’t even trust her with his draft binder.
— Leigh (@LeighMayock) March 3, 2019
Apparently the practice is not as over the top as people think. Former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt, who now works as an analyst for NFL.com, says he and his co-workers used to take similar precautions around draft time.
We never cleared the room but sometimes we'd lay traps for scouts we didn't trust. In 1987 we showed our board to a scout with us taking Mike Junkin, a LB we didn't like. Two days later, Cowboys beat writer Jim Dent wrote story saying we were taking Junkin.
Hook, line, stinker. https://t.co/ETAM1JNZSv
— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 19, 2019
There have been a lot of rumors floating around about what the Raiders might do in Mayock’s first draft with the team, and there’s no way to avoid that. However, anyone who is actually inside the draft room would have access to some sensitive information. I guess you can never be too careful, even if it means risking the possibility of peeing on your draft binder.
The Oakland Raiders went outside the box in hiring NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock as their general manager this offseason, but one prominent NFL agent came away impressed with the new guy’s negotiating ability.
Drew Rosenhaus, who represents new Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown, said Mayock worked like a “veteran NFL GM” and drove a hard bargain in negotiating a new long-term deal with Brown.
Antonio Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, live on @nflnetwork says things really heated up with the #Raiders about 48 hours ago and GM Mike Mayock was a tough negotiator. "Any chance you guys would take him back?"
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 10, 2019
Agent Drew Rosenhaus on @nflnetwork says they Mike Mayock acted like a “veteran NFL GM” and said the #Raiders got permission to negotiate with Brown about 48 hours ago. Wouldn’t get into hypotheticals on if Brown would’ve reported without a new deal. Calls Derek Carr outstanding
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2019
While Mayock doesn’t have all the powers of a traditional general manager, he’s still the guy in charge of negotiating and getting things done. Everyone is always in a good mood when a deal like this gets done, but Rosenhaus has been around a long time and dealt with a lot of general managers, so his praise can’t be a bad thing for Mayock’s reputation.
There has been some speculation that new Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock could work with head coach Jon Gruden to find a replacement for Derek Carr, but it does not sound like that is the plan — at least in the short term.
Mayock was asked about Oakland’s quarterback situation while speaking with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday, and he had a strong endorsement of Carr.
Raiders GM Mike Mayock seems committed to Derek Carr at QB: “We’ve got a young quarterback who is a franchise quarterback. … We’re pretty happy at the quarterback position.”
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) February 27, 2019
Carr struggled in his first season under Gruden. He threw for over 4,000 yards, but he had just 19 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions. He didn’t make the types of strides many expected him to with a supposed QB guru taking over the team, but the Raiders have invested a ton of money in the 27-year-old and probably would prefer for him to get another shot in 2019.
While Gruden has been known to say one thing and do another in the past, the way he spoke about Carr late in the 2018 season made it seem like he is not looking for a new starting quarterback. The Raiders have three first-round picks and could potentially use one of them on a QB to groom behind Carr, but it would be a surprise if the veteran is not back under center for the team in Week 1.
Jon Gruden has been the de facto general manager of the Oakland Raiders since the team hired him as head coach last year, and he will maintain final say over roster decisions even with Mike Mayock now in the mix.
In an interview with ESPN’s Steve Levy at the college football title game Monday night, Mayock spoke about how excited he is to work with Gruden this offseason. When asked what the power dynamic will be like in terms of reporting to team owner Mark Davis, Mayock was surprisingly candid.
“In all honesty, Jon’s got final say, if it ever comes to that, and I’ve got zero problems with that,” he said. “”Now, having said that, I think we’re going to come to a consensus, and I like a little yelling, a little screaming, a little fighting for what players you believe in. But at the end of the day, I guarantee you, Jon Gruden and I are going to know what a Raider looks like and smells like. I don’t think we’re going to have any issues.”
The fact that Mayock has no prior front office experience probably appealed to the Raiders, as he will be less likely to come in and try to push Gruden around. Gruden wanted say over personnel matters when he agreed to return to Oakland, and working with Mayock will clearly give him plenty of that.
Oakland finished 4-12 this season and has three first-round picks to work with, and Mayock has been considered one of the better talent evaluators in the media for several years. He was previously believed to be a candidate for another GM job, but his strong relationship with Gruden definitely played a role in the Raiders hiring him.
The Oakland Raiders have wasted no time filling their general manager vacancy in advance of the offseason, and the man they’re hiring has no prior front office experience.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Raiders are expected to introduce NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock as their GM as early as Monday.
Raiders are hiring NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock as their general manager, league sources tell ESPN. The announcement will be made as early as today.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
Schefter notes that Mayock once interviewed for Oakland’s GM job with late owner Al Davis, and he is quite familiar with the Raiders from the time he spent around the team when head coach Jon Gruden returned last summer.
New Raiders’ GM Mike Mayock once interviewed and with Al Davis for the same job he is getting now. Mayock spent part of last summer with the Raiders, observing Jon Gruden. Now will be working directly with him.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
While Mayock has no prior experience as an executive, he is considered one of the better talent evaluators in the media and played safety in the NFL. He also appears to have a solid relationship with Gruden, who has a lot of power within the Raiders organization. A first-time GM will probably have less trouble working with Gruden than an experienced one would.
Mayock was previously believed to be a candidate for another GM job, but nothing ever came of that. With the Raiders having finished 4-12 in Gruden’s first year, Mayock will be called upon to help the team figure out the best way to use three first-round draft picks and restock a depleted roster.
The Oakland Raiders turned to a prominent TV personality when hiring a new head coach, and they may do the same when it comes to filling their general manager vacancy.
According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, the Raiders have interviewed NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock for their GM position, and he is considered a strong candidate for the job.
A strong candidate has emerged in the #Raiders’ GM search: Mike Mayock. Sources tell me and @RapSheet the @nflnetwork draft analyst has interviewed with Oakland. He’s one of a few, as the Raiders have kept their interviews quiet. But he’s firmly in the mix.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) December 30, 2018
Mayock has served as an NFL Network analyst since 2004 and has no front office experience at any level. He has previously been linked to one GM job, but nothing came of it.
Hiring Mayock would certainly be a risk. While he’s well-known to fans through his TV work, he’s a total unknown as an executive and it’s unclear how he would coexist with coach Jon Gruden, who seems to have immense power within the organization.