New Raiders GM Mike Mayock: Jon Gruden's 'got final say'
Mayock was NFL Network's draft analyst from 2004-2018 and has never worked in a front office.
The Raiders hired Mike Mayock as general manager last week, replacing Reggie McKenzie, who had the job since 2012. Mayock, who had a brief NFL playing career in the early 1980s, covered the NFL Draft for NFL Network from 2004-2018.
In Oakland, Mayock joins Jon Gruden, who just wrapped his first year back on the sidelines. The speculation immediately following the Mayock hire was that team personnel decisions would ultimately go through Gruden. On Monday afternoon, he confirmed as much.
"In all honesty, Jon's got final say, if it ever comes to that, and I've got zero problems with that," Mayock told ESPN's Steve Levy. "Now, having said that, I think we're going to come to a consensus, and I like a little yelling, a little screaming, a little fighting for what players you believe in. But at the end of the day, I guarantee you, Jon Gruden and I are going to know what a Raider looks like and smells like. I don't think we're going to have any issues."
Mayock made the remarks from Levi Stadium where he was on hand to scout the national title game between Alabama and Clemson. He has never held a front-office position but his player-evaluation skills are what appealed to Gruden and owner Mark Davis.
"This is the first time I got out of the building, I think, in a week, and I'm not even kidding you," Mayock told Levy. "It's been awesome. I've been a little overwhelmed with some of the non-football duties that go along with being a GM, and you've got to kind of prioritize, get yourself back to the tape, because that's the reason I'm there in the first place."
Mayock said he received more than 300 texts when he was hired, many from "football guys ... reaching out and saying 'you and Gruden are a great fit.'"
How well this marriage works will come down to one thing: Players. One player evaluator told Mayock he could "probably get a B+" if he only drafted Alabama and Clemson players and that's probably not even an exaggeration.
Either way, Mayock, 60, is embracing his new job.
"I'm excited, and the reason is you watch all this tape, OK, but I get down here and now I get the body types before we get to the Senior Bowl or the combine," he said. "I get the body types, I'm going to take my notes. I've watched bunch of film this morning of both these teams, and I've got a whole bunch of guys I can't wait to check out."
The Raiders won four games in 2018 and have needs just about everywhere. In our most recent mock draft, we have them using their three first-round picks on Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Mississippi State pass rusher Montez Sweat and Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown.
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