ALAMEDA - Raiders general manager Mike Mayock told his scouts to head home and stay there heading into Easter weekend. He made the decision to do so three weeks ago.
Mayock said it was his alone, an act that was well thought. All of the team's pre-draft information had been gathered, and it was time for head coach/final say Jon Gruden and Mayock to make decisions those scouts would not be involved in. He was free to cut them loose, and did so Friday.
Mayock didn't expect the news to become such a huge deal, especially considering he had reasons for doing so.
"I'm kind of blown away by the whole story, to be honest with you," Mayock said Thursday following the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
He decided to close ranks and prevent leaks from coming out of a building that had been porous over the last calendar year, before and after he was hired as Raiders general manager.
"I made the decision to do it three weeks ago, and I didn't tell anybody," Mayock said. "It was my decision. And, when the job got done and the work was over. ... I inherited a group of scouts, and some of them maybe with us and some of them may not be with us by their own choice or not. At the end of the day, when the job was over, I brought them together as a group, and respectfully and professionally told them that the job was done, thank you very much and that we would be talking.
"And 40 minutes later we had a leak, which just reinforced the decision."
Great turnover is expected in the Raiders' personnel department after the NFL draft, an expected move considering Mayock has been working with scouts and evaluators hired by previous GM Reggie McKenzie.
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The building was thinned considerably for Thursday's first round, but Mayock said the draft operation ran smoothly, with good communication between coaches and evaluators that remained in the building.
"I'm proud of the way we hung in there, and the work we did today," Mayock said. "The cooperation between me and my staff and Jon and his staff was just outstanding."