If the Oakland Raiders 2019 draft haul isn’t a hit, it’s not for a lack of trying. General Manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden will develop a myriad of simulations and scenarios to best prep for the lunacy of draft day.
“We’re going to have people calling in on the phone trying to get [Head Coach] Jon [Gruden] and I rattled, and propose trades, and let’s be honest, I haven’t done it before,” Mayock said. “Again, if I’m going to evaluate myself, I have to make sure I’m prepared – there’s two minutes left on the clock, and three phones are ringing, and there’s a trade, what is the process?
“How are we going to react as a team? Where is everybody even sitting in the room? What’s the feedback? How quickly am I going to get the information on the trades and the point values? There’s a whole bunch of stuff, and I’ve kind of got it – I said to Jon, it’s kind of like its game week, and we want to get in there and practice our game plan, no different than the team would for a Sunday game.”
The Raiders would do well to plan for multiple scenarios – even the ones that are outlandish. However, as the old saying goes, everyone has a plan until they get hit.
Plan as they might, Mayock and Gruden have no idea what will happen draft night until picks 1-2-3 are made.
The first jab of the evening comes in the form of what the Arizona Cardinals do with the top overall selection. If they don’t take Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray, this punch is upgraded to a liver blow.
The second blow will be what the San Francisco 49ers do with the next pick. If they take the obvious choice (Ohio State’s Nick Bosa) then it’s a jab. If they take Quinnen Williams, it’s upgraded to a right cross.
The third will be the New York Jets. If they trade out of the pick, it’s a feint. However, if Bosa is still on the board and the Jets take him, that’s a stiff uppercut. The former Ohio State defensive end is allegedly the top player on the Raiders draft board.
Now, that they endured hits, the Raiders are ready to counterpunch at No. 4.
Prepare for madness. There’s a myriad of ways this could go for Oakland and it’ll all depend on what happens in front of them.
- Can Mayock Jedi Mind Trick Gruden out of taking Murray if the Oklahoma gunslinger doesn’t go No. 1 overall?
- Will Oakland move up for Bosa if he doesn’t go No. 2 overall?
- Is Quinnen Williams the Raiders’ man if the mammoth Alabama defensive tackle falls to them?
- Does the team settle with the No. 2-rated pass rusher Kentucky’s Josh Allen?
- Do Mayock and Gruden swing a deal to move down?
And that’s just at the No. 4 pick. The Raiders still have the 24th and 27th overall selections much later in opening round.
“What we keep talking about upstairs is we better [get] four foundation football players,” Mayock said. “We define foundation as talent and football character. That’s what we want, guys who love the game.