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Brock Bowers, Michael Mayer striving to turn lofty expectations into gameday realities 

When Brock Bowers was selected with the Raiders first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the wheels in Michael Mayer's mind began to turn.

Bowers, the lone two-time John Mackey Award winner in college football history, was selected a year after Mayer was drafted in the second round. Mayer, a record holder at Notre Dame, was a two-time All-American in college.

Nevertheless, the questions that arose had less to do with competing against Bowers for reps at tight end, but how new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy might maximize a pass catching tight end duo in 12 personnel.

"How are you going to stop them?" Michael Mayer said bluntly during OTAs. "Brock is a lot of speed. I've gotten a little bit faster, and I think there's a ton of things – number one in the run game that Brock will be able to help me out with, blocking, but then number two, who's going to guard both of us? If you put it backer, put a small safety here, like I'm a big body, Brock is a big body, so it's going to be a lot of fun."

Mayer certainly does look faster on the field during the early portions of offseason workouts. He was a top target for Aidan O'Connell and Gardner Minshew II during practice Tuesday, making a few highlight reel catches. His rookie season came with trials and tribulations on and off the field, dealing with several injuries that made him miss the last three games of the season.

But with his rookie year is now in the rear view mirror, he's "flipping the script" heading into Year 2.

"Whatever I went through last year, it was a long year, there's no doubt about it. ... I reflected on it, I put it behind me and I'm done thinking about it," Mayer said. "I'm looking forward to year two. That's the end of it really. I mean, it is what it is. Would I have wanted to have more touchdowns, would I have wanted to win more games? Of course, but reflect on it, do what you need to do and then look ahead."

It's a lot easier to look ahead with the potential Mayer and Bowers have as a duo. Bowers combined for 31 total touchdowns in three collegiate seasons, winning a national championship two of those years. While the Georgia product plays the same position as Mayer, their skill sets are different in many ways.

"I got to know so many different things moving positions and everything like that and playing defense too in high school," Bowers said after he was drafted. "I mean, even at Georgia, they moved me around decent amount," So, it's a lot of fun being moved around like that."

"I'm excited to get to work with [Mayer]," he added. "And I mean, hopefully he can teach me a thing or two. I remember watching him in college and at the next level, so I'm excited to see what happens and meet with all the guys."

The sky could be the limit as they get to work learning Getsy's offense.

"Brock's a unique guy," Getsy said. "I think it's been said here plenty of times, he was probably the best player in the SEC for some time while I was there, and he won a bunch of games. Anytime you can bring that type of caliber player into your organization, you're going to get better.

"And then you match him and you pair him with the talent that we already have here, I think that just makes you more dynamic."

The Raiders hit the practice field at Intermountain Health Performance Center for day three of OTAs.

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