Report: Raiders send scouts home until after the draft

AP

The hay may not be fully in the barn, but the barn has been emptied of any livestock.

The Raiders have sent their scouts home until after the draft, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. Per the report, coach Jon Gruden and G.M. Mike Mayock “don’t know who to trust.”

(Well, for starters, they can’t trust whoever leaked that tidbit to Rapoport.)

It’s a bizarre report, for a variety of reasons. First, it suggests an unprecedented level of paranoia. Second, it reveals that Gruden and Mayock have no functional plan for securing the most sensitive information regarding their final draft board or strategy, without demoralizing the entire scouting staff. Third, acting on the lack of trust creates the impression that the Raiders are more dysfunctional than other teams, even if other teams have the same concerns.

And they do. Coaches and General Managers routinely take steps to keep their plans secret within the building, given the possibility that someone may intentionally or accidentally blab. While clearing the building may create complete protection against espionage, there has to be a way to do it that doesn’t entail telling the world, “Hey, look at us! We don’t know what we’re doing!”

It also underscores the immense pressure that Gruden and Mayock (mainly Gruden) are currently feeling to turn a trio of first-round picks into players who will make fans and critics forget about Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.

Earlier this week, PFT Live included a draft of the draft rooms we’d most like to visit. Apparently, there will be plenty of empty seats in Oakland’s.

93 responses to “Report: Raiders send scouts home until after the draft

  1. They can look forward to more single digit first round picks for years to come, with this clown show in charge.

  2. Or it means the scouts are done with their work and Gruden/Mayock are mulling over everything to, you know, make their selections/build their draft board and all.

  3. Not a Raiders fan, but perhaps Gruden already has enough info on players they want and don’t need the scouts? That said, I agree it’s a little odd to send the scouts home though. You’d think they’d need some input as subject matter experts in the war room during the draft as part of the decision-making process.

  4. I didn’t mind the trades for Mack and Cooper. The Cooper trade was a steal. You can replace most WRs with 2nd round picks and they won’t cost you what the Cowboys are going to pay Cooper. The Mack trade could backfire as I feel he is a special talent but again at age 28 he might start to decline with nagging injuries and not be worth that big contract. Everything else the Raiders have done has been a joy to watch from a far. I feel for their fans because it has been a train wreck. If this report is true it is just more evidence that the Gruden hire was a huge mistake.

  5. Mayock is not even vaguely qualified to be a GM. Like all people who predict the draft his prediction are usually wrong by a half dozen picks in. He has often over the years declared players “can’t miss prospects” who ended up being total busts. And there was never any penalty or blowback from making those bad predications or proclamations about players since he had nothing to do with the actual teams.

    Analyzing players like that for TV does not translate well to the skills a GM running a billion dollar business must have and managing a building full of people. Unless they get extremely lucky the Raiders are in deep trouble.

  6. That’s because there will be a large turnover in the Raiders scouting department post draft. Gruden and Mayock will be bringing in their guys to handle scouting. Mayock is the man here and everyone knows it. This is pretty much a non story.

  7. They don’t need scouts. They can just draft from Mayock’s ESPN big board. And they’ll probably end up with a pretty good draft class if they do that.

  8. Isn’t it supposed to be the “lying season”? No one trusts any information that comes out in any case, so why the paranoia about leaking information? It may even work to their advantage in some convoluted Spy vs. Spy fashion.

    “Tell them what we’re doing, then no one will believe that’s actually what we’re doing”.

  9. Doesn’t every team consult with their regional scouts during the later rounds of the draft? No one person can have in depth info on every prospect in the country. This sounds Mayock wanting to run things his way.

  10. harrisonhits2 says:
    April 19, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Mayock is not even vaguely qualified to be a GM. Like all people who predict the draft his prediction are usually wrong by a half dozen picks in. He has often over the years declared players “can’t miss prospects” who ended up being total busts. And there was never any penalty or blowback from making those bad predications or proclamations about players since he had nothing to do with the actual teams.
    ____________________________

    Sounds perfect for the job. That’s exactly what teams do

  11. TV guys v. Professional NFL scouts, what can go wrong? Sure evals may be complete (and should be) but draft boards rarely fall the way they are expected to so why send away an invaluable resource that can serve as a guiding voice in the war room? My guess is that the scouts weren’t obliging to Gruden’s demands and differed greatly from his thoughts. A lot of pressure for Gruden to hit on these picks, not only for the raiders future (which tenously hangs in the balance), but his own reputation as a competent coach/evaluater.

  12. I got no problem with Gruden doing this. It’s smart. If there is a player or two that they are targeting that hasn’t gotten a lot of ink, why take a chance that someone might spill the beans. Afterall, wasn’t it Chris Simms in one of the PFT vids who said BB kept his draft board covered by a metal security gate? (Not sure if he was serious, but i believe it).

  13. So they actually HAVE scouts? Because for years it’s been hard to tell.

    But you are saying they really do have them? Okay…good to know.

  14. Gruden and Mayock have worked long and hard with the coaches and scouts. Mayock said what they were going to do the week of the draft. Simulate the draft, receiving calls at the last minute, going over different draft/trade scenarios, being on the spot, etc. Sounds like a great plan. Now the coaches and scouts can get some well deserved rest.

  15. Will Gruden decide to draft a real QB or is he going to continue to roll with Derek Carr? If the latter then no team is seriously worried about beating the Raiders.

  16. sigbouncer says:
    April 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm
    ..Mayock is the man here and everyone knows it. This is pretty much a non story.
    ———————
    Except Mayock himself pretty much said what everyone should know – Gruden is the man.

  17. Scouts get biased towards their players so their opinions are skewed, and they probably can’t shut-up that they found the next Tom Brady. I would send them all home too. Now it is time for Mayock and Gruden to review and grade out players then assign their draft value.

  18. As a Raiders fan, this concerns me to some extent. Yes, this could just be that Gruden/Mayock are set with their board and they’re ready to execute whatever their plan is.

    However, I think that having scouts around would be helpful on the clock. You’d want the scouts trying to find any last minute information on prospects. Or if a player is available you didn’t expect (or falling), you might want more input from the people that, you know, scouted the player? Gruden and Mayock need to surround themselves with people that will challenge them to bring out the best. If Gruden and Mayock send all the scouts home and do everything themselves, they also have nowhere else to look if the draft goes poorly. Gruden’s running the show and needs to make solid picks to build up this football team. If this turns into another era of when Reggie took over, where we sign 30+ players to 1-2 year deals and whiff on draft picks, the team will suck and heads will roll.

    I like Mayock, and I’m willing to give Gruden a shot at this. I didn’t like the Mack trade but understood they didn’t want to pay all that money to a player that wasn’t going to help them win. Trading away Cooper was a solid move, and we got back way more than I expected. Gruden spent all last year saying that trading those players wasn’t his fault. But this year, he’s getting all his old vets, picking out his “guys”, and he’s making the decisions about who to draft. Mayock could get fired eventually, but we all know whether or not this franchise becomes a perennial contender will be on Jon Gruden.

    Give the D help through the draft, you already gave Carr all the weapons he needs. Carr has one more year to prove he is the franchise QB, otherwise you move on. They have two first round picks next year, and two 3rds. They could even trade back in this year’s draft to get more capital for 2020 as well. They will have a definite chance at taking a QB in the 2020 draft if they need to replace Carr.

  19. The Raiders have the toughest schedule in the NFL, so Mayock and Gruden know who they pick is irrelevant because it’s a 4 win team at best. If they were smart, they’d rip off the Derek Carr band aid and draft the highest ranked QB on their draft board.

  20. Actually makes sense considering a lot of them are Reggie’s guys and know they are likely going to be looking for work after the draft. This ensures there will be no tips given to Reg or anybody else by outgoing employees. Smart move. There will be leaks from a bunch of teams during the draft but the Raiders won’t be one of them.

  21. Even though the scouts are not needed at this point for anything other than ad hoc questions but teams usually do keep them around and immediately available for that purpose (and later in the draft ad hoc questions become common) So this is an unusual move for a ream to just ship them off like this. While that is certainly a legitimate concern that some of them seem to be leaking to the press I personally would have kept them around and done some sort of ‘canary trap’ exercise. That way the scouts that were not leaking stuff (good and valuable employees) aren’t getting cut out and can still contribute.

  22. Actually, I applaud this move. There is a rat(s) in the house and until you know which folks are with you, you need to take extreme measures. If those two and whoever else they fully trust, can make a decent board they will be ok. They have too much draft capital this year, to have some clowns in scouting trying to get them to fail.

  23. Mayock and coaches in war room. Scouts have been at facility for two weeks. Why do teams need scouts in the room. they come in on the Free Agent guys
    I would hope their list is already in.

  24. I don’t see what the big deal is. The draft is next Thursday, less than a week away. The scouts have probably done everything that needs to be done. More than likely, Mayock and Gruden have all the information they want and are working on their draft board. If that’s the case the scouts probably aren’t needed anymore. As far as being secretive, what’s wrong with that? Maybe they have some surprises for draft day or maybe they are considering other things. Employers don’t usually engage employees when they have high-level meetings. Also, how many scouts are usually in the war room during the draft. My guess is not many, if any. I think it’s smart to keep your cards close to the vest. Maybe they are hoping someone slips down to them and wanted to keep it quiet. It seems like the prudent thing to do.

    As far as all the criticism for Gruden and Mayock, wait a few years before you start complaining about the job they are doing even before the season starts. Time will tell.

  25. Good news Raider fans! Your head coach only has 9 years remaining on his guaranteed contract. I’m sure this will end well. Good thing he ran Reggie McKenzie out of town.

  26. Yeah, because scouts leaking is the reason they’re going to make some more bad picks. Yeah, tht’s it. SMH. Not only would this hurt their future employment, thus what reason would they do it, but also, who cares? Other teams are not running their drafts based on what someone else is doing. They target players on their board, and if they like them enough, they will go get them without trying to wait for them to fall to them or whatever the Raiders seem to be worried about. Just more evidence of this incoming train wreck.

  27. Gruden has always been paranoid about “numbers guys” or anyone not Gruden evaluating talent and influencing decisions. But sending home scouts now probably makes zero difference.

  28. Well, if those fellas do find they need any last minute draft advice, they can always call Matt Millen. He’s doing much better health-wise now.

  29. The Raiders coaching staff and administrative positions are among the lowest paid in the NFL. That’s because all the bucks go to Gruden.

  30. This is great news for Raiders’ fans. Gruden was hired because the Raiders have had one winning season in the last 16 years. Many of the old scouts contributed to that losing streak. Most of them have probably been well aware of the situation, and I’d be shocked if they haven’t already been lining up their next scouting jobs. So their loyalties would definitely be with the team that’s going to be hiring them, not firing them. I seriously doubt the Raiders would be accepting advice from this crew, but they probably dont need to be listening in on the final week of preparation. That’s just being intelligent. Anything different would be dysfunctional.

  31. The draft is in a week. How much longer would anyone have expected scouts to still be compiling reports? I’d be surprised if other teams had scouts still compiling reports up to the start of the draft because by then it’d be too late to use the info.

  32. streetyson says:
    April 19, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    sigbouncer says:
    April 19, 2019 at 1:03 pm
    ..Mayock is the man here and everyone knows it. This is pretty much a non story.
    ———————
    Except Mayock himself pretty much said what everyone should know – Gruden is the man.

    —————————

    Not with respects to scouting he isn’t. Which is the discussion at hand.

  33. If Mayock is as prepared as I think he is, he’s the only scout they need. Doesn’t mean he will hit big on every pick, but Mayock is going to take the guy he wants, not what some other scout says. Why should he do any differently? No sense having scouts with loose lips that you aren’t going to listen to anyway.

  34. There may be scouts who feel a loyalty to the previous GM who is now in Miami. Mayock needs to clean house and build a team that’s loyal to him and the Raiders.

  35. Or maybe this is the only way to ensure you have no leaks and this becomes the norm for teams in the future. If the scouts did their jobs properly and already submitted their research on each player then this might be the best way to handle the week before the draft!

  36. This sounds like a disaster.
    I don’t like the raiders moving so I’m glad Davis signed Gruden to that massive contract.
    When they draft poorly and hover around 4-12 for several years hopefully their attendance in LV will decline.

  37. I don’t like Gruden, but in this case I think he knows exactly what he’s doing. The scouts’ work is done, and now Gruden obviously thinks their being around is more a liability than an asset.

  38. tdskinz says:
    April 19, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    Shame the Oakland fans have to endure this.
    _________________________________________

    I can think of a lot of other teams that deserve your pity more than the Raiders, like the Vikes, Bills, Browns, Bengals, Jags, Texans and 6 others that have never won a Super Bowl and a few of them have never even been to a SB, remember the Raiders have 3 Lombardi’s!

  39. Regardless, either Allen or Williams could be considered a win for the Raiders. They could pick one as the best player available or use that player as bait for a trade back, should they find more value in that. That would also figure to make the Jets pick at three that much more valuable in trade, because any team trading up could have either one, increasing the number of potential partners.

    Forever Raiders Baby

  40. Who needs no stinking scouts? Gruden says he knows what he’s doing. Wait for a fist fight with Mayock in the war room.

  41. I figured Gruden had already cleared out McKenzie hires – in any case those still left would have been gone anyway and may have been trying to get an in somewhere else.
    It still begs the question, why now a week ahead of the draft? Are they in process of setting their board?
    Pretty sure Gruden II will be the second worst sequel since Caddyshack II.

  42. Doesn’t really matter as I’m sure brilliant John will pick a bunch of future Hall of Famers.

  43. thefiesty1 says:
    April 19, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    Who needs no stinking scouts? Gruden says he knows what he’s doing. Wait for a fist fight with Mayock in the war room.

    ——————————————–

    Obviously you haven’t listened to what really has gone on. Mayock is the GM and he worked with the scouts and coaches. Sorry if it’s contrary to your hate fest.

  44. Good move by Mayock and Gruden. The easiest way to stop leaks is to clear the house. This way only Mayock and Gruden will know exactly what they will do.

  45. How can they not be picked for Hard Knocks? It’such a no brainer. Gruden, Mayock, Carr, Mr ‘just win baby’ Jr. and of course the Daffy Duck of the NFL himself Mr Big Chest.

  46. Mayock will end up hiring wanna be scouts that gave him confidential information when he was on the other side….

  47. It really doesn’t matter what the Raiders plan on doing – there are 31 other teams that have been reviewing the same players and getting the same info.

  48. Another non story story. They didn`t hire those scouts so they shouldn`t trust them. The hiring cycle for scouts is different for players and coaches and most of those scouts are going to be changing jobs after the draft. They may even have had some unofficial conversations with people they know with other teams or an ax to grind as a unnamed source for the media.
    The scouting is done so why tell them anything on their way out? This doesn`t mean dysfunction in any way.

  49. Ian said Mayock was doing it. Ian isn’t sure about Razzano being included.

    According Brandt
    We never cleared the room but sometimes we’d lay traps for scouts we didn’t trust. In 1987 we showed our board to a scout with us taking Mike Junkin, a LB we didn’t like. Two days later, Cowboys beat writer Jim Dent wrote story saying we were taking Junkin. Hook, line, stinker.

  50. It’s amazing how actions can be spun to be negative even though Mayock explained working with the scouts, coaches and head coach during the process. Now, it’s end of the world for Mayock to do do other teams when the GM is new.

  51. harrisonhits2 says:
    April 19, 2019 at 1:02 pm
    Mayock is not even vaguely qualified to be a GM. Like all people who predict the draft his prediction are usually wrong by a half dozen picks in. He has often over the years declared players “can’t miss prospects” who ended up being total busts. And there was never any penalty or blowback from making those bad predications or proclamations about players since he had nothing to do with the actual teams.

    Analyzing players like that for TV does not translate well to the skills a GM running a billion dollar business must have and managing a building full of people. Unless they get extremely lucky the Raiders are in deep trouble.
    —————————————————————————–
    Tell me again how many “qualified GMs” have been fired over the past few years. I’m sure you think John Lynch, John Elway and Bruce Allen who has been fired multiple times are qualified.

  52. No thanks. I prefer the Brandon Beane approach with how he’s building with a plan and purpose.
    Sorry to say but scouts are not just data analysts. They are football people with a very special skill set which include getting to know the ins and outs of a player through personal interaction with said player and others.

    How often did Mayock used to say “ the people I talk to” when discussing a player. Sorry but this is a bad move. If it’s 2000, in the 6 th round, I want to draft a qb, I want my scouts to explain why I should draft Spergon Wynn over Tim Rattay or Tom Brady. Tell me what you see from him over any of the remaining guys.

    Oh it’s just a camp body? Just take a guy and move on, it doesn’t matter? Ask NE if it matters. You better draft round 6 guy with as much attention to detail as round 1, probably more

  53. A forgotten story concerns the Jets when Rex Ryan was the head coach. Mike Pettine, current Packers defensive coordinator, was Ryan’s DC. Ryan felt he had a rat leaking information to one particular NY sports reporter. So he decided to catch him. He gave each of his assistant coaches different information and told them not to discuss it with anyone, including the players and other coaches. Then he sat back and watched. Sure enough, the sports reporter reported the story that he had given Mike Pettine. Pettine was then not re-signed by Ryan. Pettine was the Jets’ rat.
    This is why Mayock has sent these guys home, and some of them will not be returning.

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