Mike Mayock on Alex Leatherwood pick: “We knew it would be controversial”

NFL: FEB 25 Scouting Combine
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The Raiders’ selection of Alabama offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood with the 17th pick in the 2021 NFL draft was widely viewed as one of the biggest reaches of the first round. Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock is fine with that.

We knew it would be controversial,” Mayock said, via the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We completely understand that.”

So why do it? Mayock said offensive line coach Tom Cable and head coach Jon Gruden were both high on Leatherwood, and the scouts were, too.

“Coach Cable has been all over him for months now,” Mayock said. “Gruden loved this guy. Our scouts loved this guy. And what I like is, when the second floor in our building, which is all the coaches, and the third floor, which is all the scouts, when we’re united on a conversation like Leatherwood, that makes me feel really good about the pick.”

The Raiders have reached a lot in recent years. Last year they chose cornerback Damon Arnette 19th overall, far higher than most projections had him, and also shocked everyone by taking Lynn Bowden 80th overall (they traded Bowden just a few months later). The year before the Raiders had three first-round picks, and all three of them were reaches: Clelin Ferrell fourth overall, Josh Jacobs 24th overall, and Johnathan Abram 26th overall.

With Gruden going into Year 4, the Raiders badly need these young players to pan out.

53 responses to “Mike Mayock on Alex Leatherwood pick: “We knew it would be controversial”

  1. Normally I’d say “Who?”, but it’s been the Raiders’ M.O. for so long, it’s more of a shock when they make a sensible pick….

  2. Not one pick or move made by the Raiders under Mayock has worked out, that I can find. At some point, even his colleagues at the Networks will have to start wondering if maybe he isn’t a qualified GM & should go back to being a commentator, on air personality.

  3. These guys do know their defense was horrible last year right? Or perhaps Mayock was lying through his teeth when he said the Raiders felt good about their o-line. And perhaps Mayock and Gruden don’t want to live in Vegas anymore.

  4. It’s all about stroking his massive ego and proving that he knows better than everybody else. If the picks actually panned out I might believe him.

  5. Dumpster fire pick that should have been selected in the 2nd round at best!

  6. Nothing controversial here. They could have traded down big time and still gotten this guy. So it’s not controversial, just bad business.

  7. As along suffering RAIDER fan i say BUST just like all the rest. Fire Mayock and Chucky!

  8. Loving the player is great, but they easily could have traded down, got more picks, and selected Leatherwood anyway.

  9. The Raiders are the only team that “Galaxy Brain” more than the Eagles. At least the Eagles have had some recent success.

    Gruden’s contract is the biggest con job in coaching. If the Gruden wasn’t Mark Davis’s idol the Raiders might’ve gotten someone who was good at something other than joking around with the media. He is reminding me alot of Jeff Fisher. Great at giving interviews and not much else.

  10. Translation: “yeah we know it was a dumb pick, but since we’ve screwed up so many other picks and let too many other offensive linemen go, we were desperate”.

  11. Smoke and mirrors leading up to the draft and all, blah, blah, blah.
    If you’re committed to a guy, Vontae Mack no matter what. But, at least trade back and get better value. Once, I get it, maybe twice. Consistently losing trade value with picks? You have a problem. Are you losing an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick each year because you are so inefficient with the higher round picks? Really looks like it. I’m a Mayock fan, but someone needs to be helping him steer the value board better. OR, the entire scouting department completely misreads where other teams are valuing players.

  12. Yes they do a bad job of picking for value in the first round but to say no picks under Mayock have worked out is a reach. I’ll give you a few and maybe you’ll feel better – Renfrow, Maxx Crosby, Ingold, Josh Jacobs, Foster Moreau, Byron Edwards. Not a bad list

  13. This is when good teams trade back bc they know the guy they want will still be available at somewhere in the 20s and get an extra 5th or 6th… but that’s what a good team would do…

  14. The OL could be a great prospect but Cable is a terrible OL coach so it won’t matter. Ask any Seahawk fan and they’ll tell you the same thing as they were screaming for the team to fire him which they did.

  15. Millen 2.0. Won’t be around much longer to make anymore of these strange choices..

  16. Is it me, or does Mayock look like he’s aged 20 years since he took this GM job?

  17. Thank you Raiders for reaching for Leatherwood and not taking Darrisaw. -Vikings Fan

  18. Wow a lot of you really believe Mayock is running the show in Raiderland huh. That’s precious

  19. Saying that Mayock may be in a little over his head is like saying that the Titanic may have taken on a little bit of water.

  20. You draft the Outland trophy winner who comes from a real football program and it’s wrong. What a surprise, haters will be haters. What a line being built by Raiders!

  21. The only way they come out of the draft looking better than they did before is if they can somehow Jedi mind trick Green Bay to take Derek Carr and future picks for Aaron Rodgers.

  22. DON’T blame Mayock. Gruden makes the personnel decision, Mayock is just the front man. Do you think Gruden is going to coach someone else’s player choices. Unfortunately, personnel decisions are what got Gruden run out of Tampa years ago. Apparently, he learned nothing from that experience and is headed that way again.

  23. Really? Josh Jacobs hasn’t worked out?, Hunter Renfrow? Darren Waller? Maxx Crosby? This is a good right tackle, he’s just a reach at number 17

  24. C’mon man: Josh Jacobs wasn’t a reach and neither is Leatherwood.
    Who cares, if you’re a NFL GM, what sportscaster windbags have to say?
    They all miss on some picks, most hit on some.

  25. “Not one pick or move made by the Raiders under Mayock has worked out, that I can find. At some point, even his colleagues at the Networks will have to start wondering if maybe he isn’t a qualified GM & should go back to being a commentator, on air personality.”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    Actually Josh Jacobs has been outstanding. Check the numbers.

  26. The real problem for the Raiders is not understanding, or simply not caring, how to work the draft. I’m guessing all the players mentioned would have been available at least a few picks later and probably many picks later for some. They could have traded down, added additional picks, and still got their guys.

  27. Ferrell might have been a reach, but I disagree about Jacobs. He has considered a late first round pick in many mock drafts. He went where he was supposed. Same thing with Abram, to a certain extent, even though he has yet to pan out. I’m personally very unhappy with the Leatherwood pick. I’ll be glad to be proven wrong, though. We really need to kill it the rest of the draft is all I have to say.

  28. Was rooting for the Mayock hire because he seems like a good guy. I don’t think he is working out as a GM.

  29. Josh Jacobs was a reach? Sure fooled me! Then again, during the draft, EVERYONE is a reach.

  30. they could have traded back into the late 20’s, still gotten him and picked up valuable picks to build. Don’t know what they are doing. Mark Davis doesn’t seem to mind.

  31. Outland Trophy Winners and Team Captains of National Championship programs constitute , ” NOT A REACH”!

  32. Ferrell might have been a reach, but I disagree about Jacobs. He was considered a late first round pick in many mock drafts. He went where he was supposed to. Same thing with Abram, to a certain extent, even though he has yet to pan out. I’m personally very unhappy with the Leatherwood pick. I’ll be glad to be proven wrong, though. We really need to kill it the rest of the draft is all I have to say.

  33. You can’t go wrong with stud offensive lineman. You just can’t. They’re a high reward low risk choice, they’re affordable, and everything on offense is only as good as the o-line.

    Andy Reid showed it in Philly when year after year he took offensive and defensive lineman. It made players like McNabb and runners like Duce Staley look better than they were.

    Great pick, Raiders!

  34. In the meantime, the only team using their 1st round pick on an actual Pro Bowler is the Chiefs.

  35. Leatherwood at #17 wasn’t even close to as much of a reach as Lance @ #3!

    The biggest steal of the 1st round was Jones to the Pats @ #15, he should ahve been the 2nd QB off of the board.

  36. Why pick a guy that would be there in the 2nd round when the greatest need was Defense?
    Unless the plan is to trade every remaining pick this year and all of the picks next year for Rodgers there is absolutely no reason to pick Leatherwood at 17.

  37. They been terrible at the draft as a group so far. That being said i think atleast from on field how good point i think Leatherwood is gonna be fine. I do think value wise they should have tried to move back if thats who they wanted, or maybe they tried and couldnt find a taker.

    Oline is such a crap shoot in the draft . Just off the top of my head i can think of ten guys drafted in the top ten who never lived up to it and ten guys drafted way after that, that way over performed. Oline, corner, and qb are just really hard to predict how they will play from college to the pros.

    I do think this group needs to start getting good players from the draft, even if they arent getting the best value. You can live with bad value, but bad players is a coach and gm killer. (Unless of course you are howie roseman, then you have no accountability what so ever and when he does one thing right he gets praised like he is bill walsh.)

  38. I mean, I’m sure the Patriots loved Julian Edelman but that doesn’t mean they went crazy and drafted him in the first round lol. Shouldn’t the Raiders have a sense of what other teams are doing, so they could comfortably trade down, grab a couple extra picks, and still get their guy later in the first round? Not only is this bad business, but it’s putting too much pressure on these kids to come in and play up to their draft number. If this kid isn’t Steve Grogan everyone will call him a bust.

  39. Jdog63 says:
    April 30, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Actually Josh Jacobs has been outstanding. Check the numbers.

    ——————————–

    Raiders were 24th in rushing yards, and 20th in YPC in 2020. How many numbers do I need to check?

    Jacobs hasn’t been bad but drafting an RB in the 1st round is not good value in general as they have the shortest careers and most need the right conditions to succeed. A very select few can create on their own and Jacobs isn’t one of them.

    It’s not that he isn’t a good player, it’s that drafting him where they did is bad value.

  40. “Not one pick or move made by the Raiders under Mayock has worked out, that I can find. At some point, even his colleagues at the Networks will have to start wondering if maybe he isn’t a qualified GM & should go back to being a commentator, on air personality.”
    ______________

    That was the first mistake the Raiders made: Equating being able to talk about the draft with actually being able to run one for a single club. It’s way easier to look at what all the teams are doing and give opinions when you never have to settle on a single pick for the team you are running and never have to pay the price for being wrong.

  41. Jacobs isnt a reach we love the guy. Recent history says most of our picks are indeed busts. Jamarrcus Russell anybody?

  42. Within 3yrs we’ll see that 50% of these 1st round QBs were more controversial than other 1st round picks, we’re at a time in the NFL where nothing but mear desperation and fear of missing out drives 2nd and 3rd day QB picks into the 1st round, don’t believe it just look back over the last 10-15yrs at all of the 1st round QB’s that ended up being busts, that number is hovering at right around 70% of them!

    And one thing not a one of these experts will ever admit is that they see a bust in any of those 1st round QB’s, until they are but by then it’s too late.

  43. Does not matter if he is the best O-lineman ever drafted it was still a bad pick when they could have improved in other areas and still got him in the 2nd round. NOBODY other than the Raiders would have picked him. Just a complete waste of value.

  44. Reach? Jacobs is one of the best RB’s in the NFL.

    How about Crosby? Reach too?

    Ferril was on the verge of a breakout season when he got inured last year.

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