As of the morning of December 31, 2018, the Raiders will be going into 2019 with a new General Manager which will be Mike Mayock. The Oakland Raiders had a press conference this morning introducing him as the new GM alongside friend and head coach for the Raiders, Jon Gruden.
“Mike and I go back about 20 years to 1995 when I was with the Eagles,” coach Gruden said during the conference Monday. “We’ve been friends and associates for a long time. … I don’t know anybody who knows and loves (football) like Mike.”
Mike Mayock will be replacing the former GM, Reggie McKenzie, who was fired on December 10. McKenzie produced rosters that saw a 39-70 record during his tenure. Bringing in Mayock is a great move for multiple reasons. The Raiders are getting an unbelievable mind when it comes to scouting talent for the NFL.
Along with that, someone who is friends with Jon Gruden, which will go a long way in the coach and GM relationship when it comes to drafting and making executive decisions for the team (another great example of this is Coach Sean McVay and GM Les Snead for the Los Angeles Rams).
Mayock is someone who has been a key piece to the NFL Network and the overall scheme of the NFL on the media side. Mike was a key piece when it came to the NFL Draft. Breaking down each player during the live broadcast was where you might hear one of his “He’s got a great motor, tough kid, with a nose for the football” quotes. He has also commentated multiple games for the league from preseason, Thursday Night Football, and AFC Wild Card games.
For the Raiders, they finished with a 4-12 record in 2018 which landed them at the bottom of the AFC West. However, heading into the draft, the Raiders have three first round picks with a total of eleven selections in their pockets. So Mike Mayock is immediately put to work with Gruden to look at the roster as a whole and see what direction they want to steer the Raiders in.
They will evaluate the talent on the roster currently and then dive into the draft plans. With three first round picks at their disposal, this can be a huge opportunity to grab some new promising talent or even trade out picks to possibly grab a veteran guy from another team.
With the mind of Mike Mayock and his eye for talent, this is going to be a huge asset for the Raiders because it allows him to evaluate the incoming talent and what is left when the Raiders are on the clock to determine if they should grab someone, trade it for a play, or even a later pick.
In my opinion, Mike Mayock, Jon Gruden, and the rest of the Raiders staff will need to address the current roster and evaluate what they want to do. Once they have the guys they want to keep/plan on utilizing in their future plans, they need to be smart with their money heading into free agency. Again, this is where Mayock’s talent will shine.
Getting to the draft, the idea of taking the best talent for what you need will be the saying but for the Raiders and Mayock, they almost need everything. A great addition to that team would be grabbing the defensive lineman from Alabama, Quinnen Williams. Building a front seven on defense would be a great start for Mayock and give Gruden some assistance to slow down some of the potent offenses in the AFC.
Overall, the hiring of Mike Mayock is another piece to the “new leaf” that the Raiders are trying to turn over. With Las Vegas on the horizon in 2020 and bringing in Jon Gruden this past offseason, things are starting to take shape for a big turnaround. The front office plays a vital role and having a bright mind of Mayock who has been around football and evaluating talent for so long will be able to help get some talent into the Raiders ecosystem.
It may not look like it but the Raiders are slowly turning into a place where NFL talent may look to play with a new city, new stadium, and great minds in the organization. Of course, records and how people play will determine the overall success of the team and if the hiring of Mike Mayock was the right move.