Mike Mayock

Draft Rumors: Raiders, Texans, Broncos, Falcons

The Raiders were busy in the 2018 NFL Draft and it looks like that could be the case again in 2019, the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Gehlken writes.

Holding three first-round picks and four in the first 35 selections, the Raiders have more than enough ammo needed to move up for a player they like or trade down to stockpile picks. Both scenarios seem like possibilities according to general manager Mike Mayock.

“Regardless of the scenario, we have to be ready to pick at four and be excited about a player,” Mayock said Thursday in a predraft news conference. “Right now, we might move up, and we might move back. Who knows? We won’t know until draft night. But if we’re ‘stuck’ at four, we have to be ready to go, and that’s a hell of a lot easier than worrying about all the permutations (of which players might be available) at 24, 27 and 35.”

In that same news conference, the first-year general manager noted that his preference would be to trade down and gather more picks to address the team’s deficiencies, NBC Sports’ Scott Bair writes.

Whether they move up or down, the Raiders will undoubtedly be one of the team’s to watch when the NFL Draft kicks off on April 25.

Here’s more draft news from around the league:

  • Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown had a private workout with the Texans, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets. The Texans is just one of the handful of teams the slot receiver plans to visit, with the Packers, Colts, Patriots, Eagles, Giants, Redskins and Bills also on the list, according to NFL Network’s James Palmer (Twitter link). Houston already has a deep receiver corps with DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller V and Keke Coutee, but the latter two have been repeatedly hampered with injuries.
  • The Broncos do not appear interested in Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen if he’s made available, Palmer tweets. He notes that things like asking price can change, but Denver appears more set with going with the newly acquired Joe Flacco or taking a quarterback in the upcoming draft.
  • The Falcons will be focusing on the line in the upcoming draft, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure writes. Owner Arthur Blank said as much, commenting they need to get younger on the offensive line and that defensive line is an area of need. Atlanta owns the 14th pick and have shown heavy interest in Oklahoma lineman Cody Ford. –

Raiders, Bills GMs Discuss Antonio Brown Trade Talks

Earlier this week, the Steelers agreed to trade Antonio Brown to the Raiders in exchange for a third- and fifth-round pick in this year’s draft. However, that deal wouldn’t have even materialized if a reported Pittsburgh/Buffalo deal hadn’t fallen apart.

Appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said he initially told the Steelers that he was “not interested” in making a deal for the wide receiver. When Pittsburgh was willing to drop their asking price (and when trade talks with the Bills broke down), the two sides ended up agreeing on a trade.

“I kept saying we’re not interested,” Mayock said (via Andrew Perloff of the Dan Patrick Show on Twitter). “Then the Buffalo thing fell through. One of their guys reached out to Jon [Gruden]. … [Steelers GM] Kevin [Colbert] said to me, would you trade your two? I said no, but we might trade our three.”

The GM said similar things to Mike Florio earlier this week. Despite there potentially being two additional suitors for Brown, Mayock and the Raiders were still able to pull off the deal.

On the flip side, the Bills weren’t able to pull off a trade for Brown. Reports from last week indicated that Buffalo was on the cusp of acquiring the star wide receiver, but the deal ultimately broke down. While there have been several reports that the deal was nixed because of Brown’s unwillingness to play in Buffalo, Bills general manager Brandon Beane continues to claim that it was his decision to not make the trade. The executive told reporters (including ESPN’s Mike Rodak) that talks with Pittsburgh were “positive all around,” but the organization ultimately “just decided to withdraw.”

Brown’s decision to not join Buffalo has led some to claim that the Bills are not a free agent destination. Beane was quick to dismiss that “narrative,” saying the opinion “started with a bad rumor on the Antonio Brown thing when people were looking for reasons and didn’t have all the facts.”

“Don’t speak about Buffalo if you don’t know what this city and fan base is like,” Beane said. “It really pissed me off. It’s not true. How many [free agent signings] flowed through here today? … I can’t tell you how many players commented ‘This is amazing. This is awesome. What a facility. What a culture.’ This city, we love it. Anybody that says that doesn’t know Buffalo and really is speaking out of ignorance.”

The Bills have been relatively active in recent days. The added a pair of wideouts in Cole Beasley and John Brown, and they’ve also added Mitch MorseFrank GoreKevin Johnson, and Tyler Kroft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jon Gruden Discusses Raiders’ Plans For Draft, Free Agency

The Raiders are armed with three first-round picks heading into April’s draft, providing the organization with plenty of flexibility. Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock will have to decide how they’ll want to use their early-round picks, but it sounds like the team is certainly open to making some deals.

“I think there’s a lot of potential for trades, and I think that’s one of the things I’m excited about [with] Mike Mayock,” Gruden said during his appearance on “The Game Plan” podcast on the Raiders Podcast Network (via Raiders.com). “What he brings to the table, he’s got great resources around the NFL. He’s been in every building, he’s on a first-name basis, everybody knows Mike and I think he’s going to be on the phones quite a bit with the two picks you talked about. Who knows, we may move up with the No. 4 pick, we may move back with that pick. We’ll see how it all unfolds.”

In the first round, the Raiders have their own pick (#4), the Bears’ pick (#24), and the Cowboys’ pick (#27). Otherwise, the team has seven selections between the second and seventh round.

Of course, the organization is also focused on free agency. While Gruden seemed to indicate that the team will be active, he also cautioned that they’ll be targeting a specific grouping of players.

“We’ve been doing nothing but studying free agents,” Gruden said. “Guys [whose] contracts are up, obviously we aren’t looking to add players that are at the end of their career. We’re looking for blossoming young players, those guys usually don’t get to free agency. The pickings are slim for everybody, but there are a couple diamonds in the rough. We’ll see where the market goes, but you don’t want to spend all your money that you have on a few free agents, you want to try and keep some of that money available in case a trade might develop during the draft.”

After signing a 10-year, $100MM contract last offseason, Gruden’s team disappointed during his first season at the helm. The team ultimately finished the season 4-12, their worst showing since 2014.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Hire Mike Mayock As GM

We heard yesterday he was getting an interview, and now the Raiders are making the hire official. Oakland is making Mike Mayock their new GM, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com

Mayock will be replacing Reggie McKenzie, who was fired earlier this month. While Mayock will get the title of general manager, coach Jon Gruden will still have final say over all personnel decisions, meaning Mayock will be working under Gruden. Gruden’s second stint with the Raiders has already been sullied by frequent reports of internal discord, and it will be interesting to see how the new power structure gets along.

Mayock has worked with the NFL Network since 2004, and he’s currently serving as a draft analyst. The former safety has spent time as a commentator, analyst, and reporter for the NFL, CFL, and college football. The Redskins considered Mayock for their GM opening last offseason, but this will be Mayock’s first time working in a front office. While it’s an outside the box hire, it’s not unheard of. Two offseasons ago the 49ers hired John Lynch from the broadcast booth to be their new GM.

The Raiders are in the middle of a rebuild, and facing an extremely important offseason. Thanks to their 4-12 record they own the fourth overall pick, and they also have first round picks from the Cowboys and Bears thanks to the Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack trades. While Gruden will have final say, Mayock will play a large role in a draft that the Raiders must hit on.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Interviewed Mike Mayock For GM Job

As the Raiders search for a general manager to replace Reggie McKenzie, one “strong candidate” has emerged from the pack. Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that analyst Mike Mayock has interview for the team’s GM position is “firmly in the mix” for the open gig.

Garafolo cautions that Mayock is “one of a few” candidates for the position, noting that the Raiders have “kept their interviews quiet.” NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the Raiders have interviewed “at least one candidate who is a minority,” satisfying the Rooney Rule. Therefore, they’re allowed to make a hire at any time.

College scouting director Shaun Herock has been filling in for McKenzie as GM, and it sounds like the team could give him a look for the position. Current Raiders executive Joey Clinkscales could also establish himself as a candidate, especially after being listed on the Fritz Pollard Alliance’s annual list of minority candidates for general manager vacancies. However, the organization hasn’t publicly said that they’ll be keeping McKenzie’s former right-hand man.

We previously heard that longtime Giants general manager Jerry Reese had turned down the opportunity to interview for the Raiders’ GM opening. Other potential candidates include Jets director of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger, Jaguars player personnel director Chris Polian, Lions exec Jimmy Raye III and Gruden’s former Buccaneers coworker Mark Domenik.

As our own Rory Parks previously pointed out, it currently seems that whoever serves as the Oakland GM right now would be little more than a figurehead and a yes man for head coach Jon Gruden. Gruden’s second stint with the Raiders has already been sullied by frequent reports of internal discord, and it is likely that the club will have difficulty attracting an established GM candidate.

Mayock would seem to fit that bill. The 60-year-old has worked with the NFL Network since 2004, and he’s currently serving as a draft analyst. The former safety has spent time as a commentator, analyst, and reporter for the NFL, CFL, and college football. The Redskins considered Mayock for their GM opening last offseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins Considering Mike Mayock For GM

Yes, you read that right. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is a candidate to become the next general manager of the Redskins, according to Adam Schefter and Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). As previously reported, the Redskins are also considering ex-Bucs GM Mark Dominik.Mike Mayock (vertical)

For what it’s worth, Mayock denies having “official contact” with Washington. To us, that sounds like a technical denial rather than an outright one.

There has been no official contact between myself and the team and no interviews about the job,” Mayock said in a statement (Twitter link). “My focus and energy – as it typically is this time of year – is squarely focused on the NFL Draft and NFL Network’s coverage of that event…this year in my hometown of Philly!”

Mayock, a former NFL safety, is one of the game’s most colorful personalities. Considered to be a leading expert in talent evaluation (at least, in the field of broadcasting), Mayock could bring a lot to the table as the Redskins approach the draft during this turbulent time.

What Mayock doesn’t offer, however, is front office leadership experience. He has been working in sports broadcasting since the mid-90s and has been with the NFL Network for about 12 years, but he has never overseen a draft room, managed a salary cap, or otherwise been responsible for the roster of any football team at any level. Scouting acumen counts, but – as the Jets are finding out with GM Mike Maccagnan – it doesn’t guarantee success.

Interestingly, Washington is not likely to hire a GM until after the draft, Schefter writes. He adds that Mayock has been considered for other front office jobs at various points in his career, but has passed on those opportunities to remain on TV. It’s not clear whether he has been in the mix for top front office jobs or just scouting positions. It’s also not clear how serious any of those offers were. For what it’s worth, the 49ers hired a GM with zero front office experience this winter and they seem confident about it working out.

This week, the Redskins relieved Scot McCloughan of his duties as GM. Depending on who you ask, the move was made either because McCloughan has an ongoing issue with alcohol or because of in-fighting and jealousy.

If Mayock gets the job, you can expect the Redskins to target players with bubble butts, sand in the pants, and oily hips. Perhaps even a few guys who are natural benders and downhill thumpers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.