As Mike Mayock dives into his new job as general manager of the Raiders, he’s going to be evaluating more than draft prospects and veteran NFL players entering free agency.
Mayock says he’ll be evaluating the team’s scouting department, too.
He’ll be working closely with those evaluators this offseason to pick their brains and understand their thinking. After all, his success will in part depend on the reports those scouts provide to him and head coach Jon Gruden.
And, after a 4-12 season in 2018, the Raiders certainly are a product of recent drafts, when the team whiffed on several choices. Mayock is going to be scouting his scouts as the NFL Combine, free-agency period and draft approach.
Certainly, with plenty of room under the salary cap and three first-round picks this spring, Mayock and his scouting staff – if they make the right decisions – could have a huge impact on Gruden’s team in 2019, but there are plenty of holes to fill at defensive end, linebacker, cornerback, safety, wide receiver and running back, in particular.
“They all know that they’re being evaluated right now,” Mayock recently told Matt Schneidman of the Bay Area News Group. “Look, the Oakland Raiders have been to one playoff game in 16 years. I think my original message to the scouts when I came in was to remember where we’re starting. Let’s not sugarcoat it. Let’s be honest where we’re starting, because the only way we’re going to get better is if we define the process for how we’re going to get better.”
Most of the talent evaluators are holdovers from the Reggie McKenzie era. Now it’s the Mayock-Gruden regime and Mayock knows Raiders scouts will now be “on edge a little bit.”
That’s not a bad thing, in his opinion.
“These guys know they’re on notice” Mayock said. “There’s a new GM in the building.”