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Mike Mayock has cemented himself as one of the league’s top General Managers by completely turning the Raiders’ roster around after just one season. Mayock’s first draft class produced immediately with rookies Josh Jacobs, Maxx Crosby, and Hunter Renfrow all leading in many rookie stat categories. With the work of Mike Mayock, the Raiders improved tremendously from the year before.

Mayock has a reputation amongst NFL fans for over-drafting players. Fans heavily criticized his first-round selections of Clelin Ferrell in 2019 and Henry Ruggs in 2020 for the perceived “lack of value” that he got with the picks. Ahead of both drafts, Ferrell and Ruggs were at the bottom of mock drafts which is why fans believed that they were reaches. In the eyes of Mike Mayock, his picks aren’t reaches, but players on the top of the HIS board. 

Unlike other GMs, Mayock doesn’t use the “best player available” approach in drafting but instead “reaches” for positions of need. The selection of Ferrell and Ruggs are both examples of how Mayock “reaches” for positions of need as the Raiders had abysmal pass-rush and receivers before their respective drafts. Mayock recognizes the faults of his team and tackles the problem head-on. This has already proven successful as Mayock turned a team with only 12 sacks the year before to 29 sacks in 2019. 

As a player scout and talent evaluator, Mayock has the skill to recognize talent and potential in incoming players. Mayock has already found multiple gems in the later rounds of the draft in Maxx Crosby and Hunter Renfrow. Mayock can find desirable qualities in undeveloped prospects that other teams might not see. In particular, Mayock saw the relentless effort and hustle in defensive end Maxx Crosby’s game tape and took him in the fifth round of the 2019 draft. Crosby was the runner-up for Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019. 

With Mayock drafting for the Raiders, fans no longer have to worry about drafting bust every year. The future looks bright in Las Vegas due to the pairing of Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden.

Photo: AP Photo / Jeff Chiu