With the 2019 NFL Draft less than a week away, most teams are hunkered down with their scouting department trying to finalize their draft plan.
The Raiders apparently aren't most teams.
General manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden have sent their scouts home for the weekend and they are not expected to return before the draft, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Friday, citing sources. According to Rapoport, Mayock and Gruden made this move due to trust issues with their scouting department.
Sources: #Raiders coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock sent their scouts home for the weekend and they are not expected to return by draft time. The belief is they don't know who to trust and wanted to clear the room.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2019
There are a few important things to note with this story.
First of all, there have been a number of rumors about the Raiders' potential draft plan flying around this offseason, with the latest one stating the Silver and Black could be angling to make a move to trade up and draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray or Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa.
It also was reported Thursday that the Raiders have been "super impressed" with Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins and could potentially maneuver to take him in the mid-first round.
Perhaps Gruden and Mayock became upset with all of their potential scenarios being leaked and chose instead to finalize their plan in privacy in order to keep other teams from having leverage on them.
Also, most of these scouts were not hired by Mayock, who took the job on Dec. 31, 2018. Most of the lower-level scouts were retained from the Reggie McKenzie era with no guarantee that they would have their jobs long term. It is not customary for organizations to clean out their scouting department in the winter, instead that normally happens post-draft, so it's possible Mayock and Gruden are also preparing to get their own people in the building after they make their selections.
No matter the reason for the decision, the Raiders likely have all the information they need, and now Mayock and Gruden must decide how to attack what could be a franchise-altering draft.