When Adam Schefter broke the news of the Raiders hiring Mike Mayock, I was not sure how to feel. Granted, the Raiders needed a general manager. Yet, Mayock’s selection seems out of left field. With Reggie McKenzie gone, the organization lacked a credible draft. As a result, the former draft expert and Boston College safety found a home with the front office. If Mayock works solely on the draft, this could be an interesting draft.
In Mayock’s defense, no draft expert maintains a perfect record. Yet, in order to gain the full scope, you must look at both the positives and negatives.
Stephen Hill over Alshon Jeffrey
Like many, Mayock can become too 40-time fixated. That is to say, that speed occasionally clouds his mind. Now, in this case, it surely did. In 2012, Mayock thought that Georgia Tech wideout Stephen Hill would enjoy a better career than South Carolina wideout Alshon Jeffrey. If you look at Jeffrey’s first three seasons in comparison, that wipes away this argument. Considering that, Hill only played two. Marred by drops, Hill found his way out of the NFL by age 22. Meanwhile, Jeffrey compiled six straight 50-catch seasons, a Pro Bowl appearance, and a role in bringing the Eagles a Super Bowl ring.
Blaine Gabbert over Cam Newton
If you have watched Blaine Gabbert bounce from Jacksonville to San Francisco to Arizona to Tennessee, a pattern forms. Possessing a 56.2 career completion percentage, Gabbert displays the innate ability to never come through in the big moments. While people can debate his 13-35 record as a starter as solely his fault, the inaccuracy clearly is. Below, Mayock’s quote
“He’s my No. 1 quarterback. He comes out of a spread offense, and his footwork needs to improve, but he has all the rest. He’s athletic, has a big arm, loves the game of football, has anticipation to throw into small windows, and the accuracy to back it up. He could be the first guy off the board.”
In contrast, Cam Newton enjoys an active streak of eight consecutive 3000-yard seasons, an MVP and Super Bowl berth. While unconventional at times, Newton’s steady evolution signified the right choice. Before his draft, this is what Mayock said:
“I know, Cam Newton at 21 — why? Mayock asked. “I believe in this kid. I believe in him as an athlete, I believe in his arm strength, but I don’t believe he’s in the top 10. He’s got top-10 ability, but he’s a developmental prospect. As a general manager, I would be comfortable taking him somewhere in the 20s.”
As mentioned, no perfect draft exist. To be fair, Mayock does enjoy a great measure of success as well. Here are a few of his moments of glory.
Aaron Rodgers to Green Bay with the 24th pick of 2005
Back in 2005, Brett Favre still ran the Packers at a high level. Yet, Father Time stays undefeated. In his mind, Mayock thought the former Cal star would excel in Green Bay.
In his draft board before the 2014 draft, Mayock listed the former Buffalo standout as the best draft pick, regardless of position. Considering that his NFL Network colleague, Charles Davis did not see Mack as the difference maker, Mayock held firm and listed the the standout edge rusher first.
“Khalil Mack can play anywhere in the front,” Mayock said. “If you put the tape on against Ohio State, he dominates Ohio State like nobody I’ve ever seen dominate them. He’s explosive off the edge, he’s tough, he’s twitchy, he’s got a little edge about him.”
Lamar Jackson to the Baltimore Ravens
Whether Jackson succeeds long-term remains to be seen. Yet, Mayock correctly predicted the Ravens would draft Jackson in the first round. Granted, Baltimore selected Jackson with the 32rd overall pick, it still counts. When Mayock explained his choice:
“I think they’re going to change the entire direction of the franchise. They roll out a bold new era. It’s Lamar Jackson time. The key is you have to commit schematically, philosophically and the whole building has to be in for this to be the right move.”
Now, the jury remains out on Jackson long-time. However, he galvanized the Ravens’ offense, leading Baltimore to a division crown and a playoff spot.
While Mayock served as lead draft analyst on the NFL Network, he also worked as a color commentator for Notre Dame. In addition, Mayock maintained strong connections to both schools. As a results, look for Zach Allen, Tevon Coney, Dexter Williams, Julian Love and Wyatt Ray to possibly figure in. If the Raiders draft any of them, immediately know that Mike Mayock’s fingerprint sit on those selections.
In essence, no one knows how the Mayock Era will progress. What we do know is that Mayock does keenly observe the draft, Whether that pans out remains the questions. The Raiders needed another personnel voice in the room. Now, they have one.