The Oakland Raiders have found their man to replace departed general manager Reggie McKenzie. According to a report from ESPN.com's Adam Schefter, the Raiders have tapped longtime NFL Network contributor Mike Mayock to be their next GM.
Raiders are hiring NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock as their general manager, league sources tell ESPN. The announcement will be made as early as today.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 31, 2018
Raiders coach Jon Gruden, who claims he does not have final say on front-office decisions but clearly does, had this to say about the Mayock hire, per Schefter: "He loves it. He's a passionate, passionate personnel man. He's done it for a long time. I know he's had opportunities to get back into the NFL as a general manager and we'll see what happens. We'll see how the dust settles."
Mayock has been contributing to NFL Network and NFL.com since 2004, largely in the area of scouting. His top five positional boards are a staple of NFL draft season and his ability to scout college players is highly respected. Mayock covered college football for CBS, NBC, and ABC prior to joining NFL Network, and he is a widely respected evaluator in that area.
Of course, Mayock has never worked within an NFL front office before, so taking this particular job will be a huge change of pace. It will also add far more responsibility to his plate than just scouting college talent, as he will be tasked with negotiating trades, free-agent contracts and more. It's unquestionably a far different and far more involved gig than merely scouting.
Discussing the hiring on CBS Sports HQ, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora noted that "there are going to be sweeping changes in that front office," indicating that Gruden and Mayock have big plans to overhaul the Raiders' scouting and management apparatus. That's not surprising, given that Gruden is on a 10-year deal and will surely want to put his stamp on the team as they move into the next phase of their rebuild.
The Gruden-Mayock combination has a lot to work with this offseason, as the Raiders have three first-round picks in the 2019 draft thanks to the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, as well as more than $70 million in cap space thanks to the maneuvering Gruden has already done. The players they acquire with all that ammo will go a long way toward determining how successful this pairing is.