Mike Mayock talks 2019 NFL Draft, gives thoughts on Raiders recent acquisitions 

Mike Mayock knocked off yet another event in his year of “firsts” as General Manager of the Oakland Raiders Thursday afternoon, holding his first league-mandated, pre-draft press conference.

A press conference that is routinely categorized by the things you don’t learn – sorry guys, Mayock didn’t say who he’s picking at No. 4 – held true in that regard, but while the Raiders GM didn’t spill the beans on many aspects of what will happen between April 25-27, we did discover that Mayock will leave no stone unturned in terms of possible scenarios that could unfold.

 “What we’re going to do is try to have our board completely stacked, both by position and by number, by the end of next week, and then the week of the Draft, I think we’re going to spend an awful lot of time in our draft room with the people that are going to be there, and kind of going through every scenario we can,” explained Mayock. “We’re going to have people calling in on the phone trying to get [Head Coach] Jon [Gruden] and I rattled, and propose trades, and let’s be honest, I haven’t done it before. Again, if I’m going to evaluate myself, I have to make sure I’m prepared – there’s two minutes left on the clock, and three phones are ringing, and there’s a trade, what is the process?

Mayock continued, “How are we going to react as a team? Where is everybody even sitting in the room? What’s the feedback? How quickly am I going to get the information on the trades and the point values? There’s a whole bunch of stuff, and I’ve kind of got it – I said to Jon, it’s kind of like it’s game week, and we want to get in there and practice our game plan, no different than the team would for a Sunday game.”

And for Mayock, a first-time GM going through his first NFL Draft as a front office executive, even the smallest details will be rehearsed and ironed out before Draft Day.

“I’ve talked to a lot of people in this building about how they’ve done it in the past,” Mayock said. “Where is everybody sitting? What’s up on the board? I’ve changed some things already with what’s going up in the room, and some of the information available to us, and how we’re going to process that information. I think the important thing is, at the end of the day, is just some of these practices, putting some pressure on ourselves, and hoping – just like a coach would – hoping that if we put enough pressure on ourselves Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, under a bunch of different conversations and trades, that way when Thursday night comes, and Friday, Saturday, we’ll be prepared to deal with anything.”

The Silver and Black have four picks in the first two rounds of this month’s draft – the oft-discussed trio in the first round, then No. 35 overall early in the second round – and while that type of draft capital is indeed a luxury for Mayock and the Raiders, there is a sense of wanting to take full advantage of that plethora of riches.

However, Mayock doesn’t view those picks as something to fear, he looks at them as a chance to improve the Raiders immensely in a short amount of time.

“The way I look at this thing, from a ‘how do people perceive me’ perspective, is a lot of people doubted that anybody should come out of the media and go be a GM for any team,” Mayock said. “I know that, and I get that, but at the end of the day here’s the deal, if we win everything will be fine and if we lose I’ll get fired, and I’m perfectly fine with that.”

And really, for a team that won four games just a year ago, the Silver and Black – regardless of where they pick – will need to hit on the players they select in just a few weeks.

“What we keep talking about upstairs is we better [get] four foundation football players,” Mayock said. “We define foundation as talent and football character. That’s what we want, guys who love the game. If we don’t move up, down or anywhere, we better get four of those guys.”

With the Raiders holding the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Raiders.com staff ranks the top 10 players to be selected in that spot throughout the years.

Other Notables:

Mayock shared his early thoughts on running back Isaiah Crowell and linebacker Brandon Marshall.

“Well, at running back we really are happy with Jalen Richard, third-down, change-of-pace, he and DeAndré Washington we think are as good a pair as any group in the league, but we’ve got a little bit of a hole at that kind of a lead back and Crowell is 26 years old. He’s a power runner, he’s a big dude that can move piles and he also has some breakaway capability, so it’s a one year prove-it deal. We are hoping he comes in ready to go, protect our quarterback. You play for Jon, you got to pass protect, so there’s some different things that running backs have to be aware of here. Brandon Marshall, we think brings a veteran, big, physical presence to our linebacking core, so between him and Vontaze [Burfict] we think we got bigger, we got a little bit more mature. We got guys that have started a lot of games in this league and hopefully that will hopefully help us bring along some of the younger linebackers.”

He also spoke about the delicate balance between drafting for need and the best player available.

“Well, at running back we really are happy with Jalen Richard, third-down, change-of-pace, he and DeAndré Washington we think are as good a pair as any group in the league, but we’ve got a little bit of a hole at that kind of a lead back and Crowell is 26 years old. He’s a power runner, he’s a big dude that can move piles and he also has some breakaway capability, so it’s a one year prove-it deal. We are hoping he comes in ready to go, protect our quarterback. You play for Jon, you got to pass protect, so there’s some different things that running backs have to be aware of here. Brandon Marshall, we think brings a veteran, big, physical presence to our linebacking core, so between him and Vontaze [Burfict] we think we got bigger, we got a little bit more mature. We got guys that have started a lot of games in this league and hopefully that will hopefully help us bring along some of the younger linebackers.”

Mayock also shed some light on all the scenarios that could play out at No. 4 overall.

“There’s a finite amount at four, right? And that’s what we have to be prepared for, regardless of the scenario, we have to be ready to pick at four and be excited about a player. Now, we might move up, we might move back, who knows? We won’t know until draft night, but if we are ‘stuck at four’, we have to be ready to go and that’s a heck of a lot easier than worrying about all the permutations at 24 and 27 and 35.”

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