In life, contrasting personalities blend well. For the Oakland Raiders, their general manager and head coach could not appear more different. Jon Gruden profiles as the type-A, uptight personality. Meanwhile, Mike Mayock offers a cooler, calmer disposition. With that said, how will this work during their first NFL Draft as the braintrust of the Oakland Raiders? To answer this, FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs delve into the matter of this duo. In addition, the late-April draft remains a tough sell to fans.
What is your biggest gripe about pre draft hype and how would you fix it?
My biggest gripe is how late on April the draft is. Like Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said, the draft should be loved up into March.
There isn’t much else teams can glean off prospects at this stage and having the spectacle in late April only exacerbates what’s already a tedious and often comical pre-draft hype that includes numerous mock drafts (ones I’ve done, included).
Having the draft shortly after all post-season all-star tilts — namely the Senior Bowl — will allow teams to get right down to it and have the scouting department earn their keep earlier.
In reality, the NFL could shorten the broadcast schedule. If the league wanted to help teams, including the Raiders, make the process two days. First, three days for eight rounds feels too long. Granted, the draft sets up nicely for the networks. Yet, those fifth through eight picks are brutal. By chopping a day and lessening the pick time, the league could inject even more excitement into the process.
How much faith do you have in Mayock being able to sway Gruden?
About as much faith as I have in Johnny Townsend being a quality NFL punter. Mike Mayock is doing all the heavy-duty work — scouting, grading, board compilation — while Jon Gruden gets to build the team the way he wants.
Surely Mayock will be able to have his say, but when the chips on are on the table, it will be Gruden making the call. And if it doesn’t pan out, he can point right to Mayock, and the former TV analyst is seemingly OK with that.
No, with caveats. For the Raiders to succeed during this draft, Mayock’s first priority needs to be, preventing impulse drafting. That is to say, Rashan Gary at four is not the move. If the Raiders want to trade down, that will work. Yet, the duo needs to remember the dearth at edge, athleticism at ‘backer and skill at tight end.
In essence, the Oakland Raiders can set their core straight for the next half-decade. Yet, the working relationship between Gruden and Mayock is the most important aspect of the draft.