Raiders apparently blame unusual move on potential surprise pick

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On Friday, the Raiders took the highly unusual step of clearing the building of most scouts, telling them to stay home until after the draft. On Monday, the Raiders floated an excuse for sending employees home with pay.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, the Raiders may be planning a”surprise” pick with the fourth overall selection, necessitating complete and total secrecy.

That’s fine (actually, it’s won’t be fine if they opt for a “surprise” who becomes a bust), but a normally functioning football operation can achieve and maintain the necessary level of secrecy without sending people home. Most NFL front offices operate on a strictly need-to-know basis, with scouts who aren’t involved in setting the draft board knowing nothing about its contents. It’s a simple and easy application of the Patriots’ “do your job” mantra, where if it’s not critical to an employee’s job to know what the organization will do during the draft, the employee never knows that information.

In New England, the area scouts who have no need to know the manner in which coach Bill Belichick ranks the players are (wait for it) instead working on other things that are central to their jobs, whether it’s gathering information about next year’s prospects or being available to answer specific questions or to handle specific projects relating to the work they’ve done for the current draft. The Raiders have consciously surrendered the benefit of these employees’ efforts, due to a vague and perhaps irrational fear that one of them will spill the beans about something that they shouldn’t even know in the first place.

And here’s a fair question, given the manner in which a football operation should normally operate: Are the Raiders protecting coach Jon Gruden from himself? Specifically, is Gruden so impulsive and insecure that he can’t be trusted to refrain from bouncing his ideas about potential first-round picks off of scouts who in turn can’t be trusted to keep their own mouths shut?

Trust. It’s amazing to think that the Raiders suddenly can’t trust scouts that they necessarily have trusted for months. Trusted to do good work. Trusted to be discreet regarding anything they hear regarding the team’s plans. Trusted to show full loyalty to the entity who pays their salaries.

Either the Raiders suddenly decided that they can’t trust the scouts or they never trusted them in the first place, but did nothing about it until now. Neither explanation is satisfactory, and both make the Raiders look bad.

Indeed, the Raiders are hardly the first football operation to have a secret that they didn’t want to be compromised. But they are the first (at least in recent years) to pay people to not show up for work due to fears that someone who doesn’t need to know the secret may find out about it, and may blab.

It’s up to the leaders of the organization to ensure that people who aren’t trustworthy not be trusted with sensitive information. Which brings me back to the notion that the Raiders are essentially protecting Gruden from himself, by ensuring that Gruden doesn’t disclose the plans that Gruden and G.M. Mike Mayock are putting together for their three first-round picks, in an effort to feel more confident as Gruden embarks on a draft that will be critical to the manner in which his second stint with the Raiders ultimately goes.

70 responses to “Raiders apparently blame unusual move on potential surprise pick

  1. They are always entertaining, no? League is better when there is some Raider intrigue, rather than 5-11 every year.

  2. The scouts are getting fired. They won’t be back, Mayock is bringing in his own people. None of this is odd.

  3. Mike Mayock can get it done in my opinion. He has been doing drafts a long time, let him do his thing.

  4. There were two leaks in last years draft. It got leaked that we wanted T Mike McGlinchey shortly before the 49ers took him. And CBS Jason La Confora reported our interest in Kolton Miller pre draft. We obviously couldn’t find out who leaked and we can’t afford for that to happen in this years draft with four picks in the top 35 overall. So here we are…

  5. firstdownbrowns says:
    April 22, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    ok I will bite . who is the surprise pick ?

    ———————-

    If we stay at 4 it’s gonna be an offensive player. A lineman or a quarterback.

  6. Sounds like were drafting a qb at 4 or part of the script Gruden and Mayock are trying to play mind games with everyone.

  7. If Gruden allows Mayock to do his job they’ll be fine. If not, Gruden will screw up the draft.

  8. If most of the mocks are on track, the surprise pick will be picking the best player in the draft, Quinnen Williams. That’s how they got Khalil Mack. Other teams prioritized needs and the consensus best player fell to the Raiders. Could happen again, and that would be a surprise.

  9. The Raiders are doing what any intelligent new regime would do. The old regime had one winning season in the last 16 years, so Mark Davis decided the Raiders’ fans deserve better. I always heard that the way to define insanity was by doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. The good news for Raiders’ fans is Gruden is going away from the losing tradition that has taken over since he left the last time. The last time Gruden was in Oakland he turned them into a super bowl team. Mark Davis wants to get back to that. It sounds like some people are really, really scared of Gruden. That’s good news for Raiders’ fans too. Fear is the greatest compliment.

  10. Nobody, and I mean nobody, drafts more 1st round busts than this joke of a franchise. I don’t see that changing with television personalities running the show.

  11. It’s always some elaborate story to paint the Raiders in a bad light instead of looking at things from a simple common sense angle. As the old saying goes “the Hay is in the barn and there is nothing left for these guys to do.” This is not unusual in that some teams like the Patriots also don’t have a lot of people in the war room and I read this morning that there are going to be other people in there with Mayock and Gruden including a scout they trust and plan to keep beyond this draft. Second, Mayock was hired late in the process so I’d guess there’s a pretty good chance that scouts who know they are going to be relieved of their duties after the draft wouldn’t be above leaking info to teams in an attempt to gain favor for a possible position going forward.

    The last and most obvious counter point: One or more of these guys is texting Ian Rapoport and detailing what is going on. If that isn’t clear proof that Mayock did the right thing in sending them home, I don’t know what is.

  12. The scouts are mainly all Reggie’s guys that know they will be looking for new jobs next week, nice way to get in the door at another team is to tell them the Raiders board or worse yet tell the press. I would have sent them all home too. Trying to make a mountain at of a hole in the ground.

  13. Or, maybe these are scouts who will be not retained going forward and they don’t want them blabbing info about the Raider’s final plans to other teams they may be reaching out to for jobs. With a new HC/GM, they may pick their own scouts.

  14. Nobody and I mean nobody is scared of Gruden or the god awful Raiders. The secret that Gruden, understandably, wants to keep hidden, is that he’s been conferring with Mike Ditka on how he mastered the ‘99 NFL draft.

  15. It’s easy to find out who’s leaking what. Give each scout a different fake leak (e.g., really interested in Oliver, may trade up from #24 for Fant, etc) and see which one(s) make it to the press. Then decide if the scout’s analysis is worth keeping him, but keep him out of the draft room regardless.

  16. Based upon their recent history, the surprise would be if the Raiders draft a good player and then do not trade him for less than he is worth.

  17. Love how everyone is taking the bait. Gruden and Mayock are laughing. They were in the media, and part of the draft coverage for years. Open mouth, insert hook.

  18. There were two leaks in last years draft. It got leaked that we wanted T Mike McGlinchey shortly before the 49ers took him. And CBS Jason La Confora reported our interest in Kolton Miller pre draft. We obviously couldn’t find out who leaked and we can’t afford for that to happen in this years draft with four picks in the top 35 overall. So here we are…

    So SF took him based entirely on the fact that the raiders wanted him? And guys like LaConfora do this every year to every team. And I see nothing wrong with them sending scouts home after thinking g about it. The bills fired a bunch of people after the draft 2 years ago and appear to be in much better shape u see Brandon beane. The biggest concern I’d have as a raiders fan is that Mayock not training to run an organization in any capacity and Gruden really having an up and down career In Tampa. Doesn’t mean they can’t succeed thiugh

  19. It’s just like when Al was running the show! The last 10 plus years of the Al Davis era were marked by complete chaos and Lack of Trust within the organization. Michael Lombardi who worked for The Raiders, wrote quite a bit about the dysfunction within the Raider organization.

  20. The surprise is they will collect picks for a better draft next year as they head to Las Vegas with the ability to promote interest by going after the first pick. There are support players in this draft and not many that stand out as no-kidding future pro-bowlers

  21. Only surprise pick that would make sense would be QB Haskins; therefore, don’t want someone leapfrogging them to 3rd pick. No other position player would warrant secrecy, as the top 3 teams would have no interest in some surprise pick.

  22. the only thing that gets leaked is what you want leaked….Keep talking up all the QBs’. It would be great to see a couple of them off the board before we go at 4, or get enough interest for another team to move up so we can trade down. Lot of value late on day 2 and early on day 3. Raiders need players….Gruden needs to chill on trading picks for players that he will just cut months later.

    Go Raiders, Go Mayock!!!

  23. onebuffalove716 says:
    April 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    So SF took him based entirely on the fact that the raiders wanted him?

    ————————————–

    The problem with other teams such as the 49ers knowing that we wanted McGlinchey. Would be the fact that if the 49ers were considering trading down a few spots and then picking McGlinchey. They would have known not to do that since they knew we would have scooped him up with the very next pick.

    Remember we were originally slotted at pick 10 (49ers had pick 9) before we traded down (to Cardinals – pick 15) out of pick 10 after seeing the 49ers took McGlinchey.

  24. In this case the scouts all know that they are likely to be let go anyhow because Mayock is going to be bringing in his own people. Since they know they are about to be job hunting they are already probably already networking with other teams. Although they do work for whoever is paying their salary their loyalty more on who will be (or might be) paying it going forward not who has been, really their loyalty is to themselves. So with all the elbow rubbing going on during this period that does create an environment where Raider secrets become more at risk.

  25. The Raiders and Cardinals really affect the early portion of this draft, will be interesting to see what they will do.

    Raiders are liable to pick almost any position except OL at #4.

  26. Please child. The Raiders trying to be ultra secret after only one winning season in decades, no playoff wins, no division titles, new head coaches every two years, no nothing? Gruden is a jobke. Gook luck with him.

  27. Regardless of how this plays out, the airing of seriously dysfunctional dirty laundry right before the draft looks really bad. Doesn’t bode well for the Mayock/Chucky regime.

  28. slick50kc says:
    April 22, 2019 at 6:08 pm
    Nobody, and I mean nobody, drafts more 1st round busts than this joke of a franchise. I don’t see that changing with television personalities running the show

    All those first round busts and yet they still have three times as many Super Bowls as the Chefs

  29. I can see why Gruden and Al Davis had a complicated working relationship. I think they are both compelled to do “look at me” type moves more to make everyone assume they know something everyone else missed than for the potential benefit of the team. The Raiders have a lot of holes, I’d frankly be more impressed if they turned the three ones into six 2s and maybe a 1 for next year from a team likely to be picking near the top and loaded up.

  30. There is nothing cute about oversized special teamers. But $6 bowl cuts. Now youre talkin.

  31. I wonder if thier fear is based off of thier former jobs, you know getting people to blab… Draft “secrets” always come out, as in this just in…. Team X is going to take Y. It was not that long ago both of the guys were looking for the scoop.

  32. Well the only suprise would be a quarterback and I just don’t see that happening. The Raiders should just sit still and take the best player with each pick. Don’t overthink it.

  33. Gruden and Mayock want to trade up to #1 and take Murray. So obvious.

    That is why Gruden and Mayock are acting all sketchy. These 2 idiots think they are going to pull off some great move and become legends.

    I hope Arizona gets the Raiders whole draft for the #1 pick.

    Complete clown show the Raiders have become. I am going to enjoy every second of this car crash.

  34. I just hope they don’t take Gary with the pick, beyond that, I’ll likely be at least somewhat ok with it.

  35. How does Rap’s “report” that they may make a surprise pick (White at 4 wouldn’t be a shocker if Bosa and Q are off the board) equate to the Raiders “blaming” sending the scouts home because of it?

  36. If anyone has heard Mayock’s combine commentary they know he knows players better than most GMs. To state anything ludicrous like they are dysfunctional or going crazy is ignorant. Now if you can site guys he said would be great but we’re busts, that’s where we have a conversation… and then we talk about his whole resume, not 25 out of 3000 evealuations.

  37. Belichick and the Pats do win a lot of games but the drafting is not so great considering how many picks they get every draft.

  38. With the 4th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select Cole Tracy, Kicker, LSU.

  39. kevin7777777 says:
    April 22, 2019 at 7:33 pm
    It’s just like when Al was running the show! The last 10 plus years of the Al Davis era were marked by complete chaos and Lack of Trust within the organization. Michael Lombardi who worked for The Raiders, wrote quite a bit about the dysfunction within the Raider organization.

    LOL at someone quoting Lombardi. He’s not working for an NFL team now because he was the leak with the Raiders as well as the Pats.
    All these guys are getting fired anyway. If this were most any other team, the storyline would be how nice it was for the team to give them a head start finding jobs.

  40. slick50kc says:
    April 22, 2019 at 6:08 pm
    Nobody, and I mean nobody, drafts more 1st round busts than this joke of a franchise. I don’t see that changing with television personalities running the show.
    _________________________________________
    Nobody drafts more despicable human beings than the Chiefs

  41. Funny how someone who isn’t in the building, knows what is going on, based on thoughts conjectured… sadly typical of the world we live in.

  42. I have to give the Raiders fans credit. Despite this team moving around and around and around and they’re about to do it again, the fans who are repeatedly abandoned stick with them. One person actually suggested that “the hay was in the barn and there’s nothing for the scouts to do. That’s a pretty good deal, but not realistic. There’s always something to do. The reason is probably exactly as laid out in the article. There is now an unpredictable air of disfunction circling around your franchise. I applaud you Raiders fans for your loyalty. You’re certainly not fair weather fans and thus regime is not easy to support. They are about to reward you with a great run, or embarrassment and ridicule. Keep your fingers crossed.

  43. When teams want to spread a smokescreen, just send a tip to Ian Rapoport that guy will run with anything

  44. I have heard of teams in both NFL and MLB not wanting scouts in the room unless they are needed. The GM and Coach do not want to be swayed in their picks.

    Football media just trying to pile on the Raiders.

  45. sigbouncer says:
    April 22, 2019 at 8:07 pm
    onebuffalove716 says:
    April 22, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    So SF took him based entirely on the fact that the raiders wanted him?

    ————————————–

    The problem with other teams such as the 49ers knowing that we wanted McGlinchey. Would be the fact that if the 49ers were considering trading down a few spots and then picking McGlinchey. They would have known not to do that since they knew we would have scooped him up with the very next pick.

    Remember we were originally slotted at pick 10 (49ers had pick 9) before we traded down (to Cardinals – pick 15) out of pick 10 after seeing the 49ers took McGlinchey.

    *********************************************

    Stop saying “we”, the word you’re looking for is they. You’re not an employee of the team.

  46. I think Mayock and Gruden are building that group from the ground up after this draft (which would be Mayocks first full year).That’s what i’ve heard from local radio, and it makes sense that there would be less trust in the scouting group from preventing leaks. In the aftermath, it looks like the right call because this story was apparently leaked after this move was made.

  47. I said it before and it’s worth repeating. Chucky has a 2 year plan. 10 yr 100 million contract, get fired in 2 years and pocket 80 million for nothing. Brilliant. Hiring Mayock was by far his best move in his brilliant plan.

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