Mike Mayock

Mike Mayock’s Multiple Failures Sealed His Fate

The Las Vegas Raiders parted ways with now ex-general manager Mike Mayock following the team’s loss on Saturday.

Most people figured there was a lot riding on the Raiders’ winning in Cincinnati this past weekend. It seemed several jobs were on the line, particularly Mayock’s and interim coach Rich Bisaccia’s. The latter’s fate has yet to be decided. In what was arguably the most bizarre and eventful season in Raiders’ history, it seemed appropriate that Mayock’s fate was likely tied to a playoff game.

Following Jon Gruden’s resignation, all of Raider Nation wondered if Mayock would get a shot to lead the organization as the lone decision-maker. After surviving a near-collapse in December, they bounced back and clinched a playoff spot. So, perhaps, Mayock would indeed live to fight another season. Instead, owner Mark Davis had other plans, and the first domino in the Raiders’ offseason has dropped. If you look at Mayock’s track record as what could only be described as the underboss of the Raiders, his fate appears to have been sealed long ago.

Mayock, the draft guru?

Prior to Mayock’s entry, Gruden nailed a franchise-altering pick in the first round of the 2018 draft with tackle Kolton Miller. The rest of that draft class was questionable at best, with none of those picks panning out save for Maurice Hurst Jr. Upon taking over scouting duties and becoming the Raiders’ general manager the following season, Mayock inherited three first-round draft picks. It should’ve been a draft class that launched the Raiders into playoff stardom. Instead, he drafted one solid running back, one slightly above-average safety, and a bust with the number four overall selection.

His work in the first round and the two following seasons also didn’t pan out much better. In 2019, he drafted a wide receiver that became a star this year, only for him to throw his life away after a day of hard drinking. The second choice in that first round was no better; that particular cornerback is no longer on the team after a less than stellar off-field debacle and an even less impressive on-field performance. According to many fans, Mayock’s defense is that he did a stellar job in the mid-to-late rounds. This too is questionable, though he landed Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow, and Trayvon Mullen in that 2019 draft. But if you look at mid-round picks for the following class in 2020, none of those players could be seen as “impact players,” with several of them no longer on the team, which makes the matter worse.

2021 draft was more of the same…

This past April, the Raiders’ brass had outstanding selections that filled out the defense, with some of them becoming instant cornerstone pieces, such as Nate Hobbs and Trevon Moehrig, along with others that could end up having a similar impact next season. We’re referring to Divine Deablo and Malcolm Koonce. Again, though, it was a similar narrative when it came to the first round. The Alex Leatherwood selection was universally panned on draft day, and it was painfully obvious that they reached on this selection from the outset. Even if Leatherwood was the top player on the Raiders’ board, we then have to question the Raiders’ scouting if this is indeed true. The fact is, you can’t miss on first round choices. Picking up players later in the draft doesn’t make up for that disastrous course of action.

Free agent busts

Mayock is normally linked to the work he did when it came to the draft. However, he too gets blamed for blowing it in free agency. This is true for several arguable decisions that simply didn’t turn out well. One big example of this is when Mayock pushed for Carl Nassib’s addition, according to The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. He was signed to a $25 million deal, and what does Nassib have to show for it? Well, just four sacks. Clearly, this is not what Mayock likely imagined back in 2020.

The additions of Lamarcus Joyner, Maliek Collins, and Cory Littleton also had underwhelming results. To say the Raiders didn’t get a good return on their investment on these signings would be putting it nicely. This past offseason, the Raiders scored big with some signings such as Yannick Ngakoue, Solomon Thomas, and Darius Philon. Unfortunately, it was likely too little, too late. They were impressive additions, but clearly Davis had seen enough.

Was Mayock a good guy? It seems so; his family was universally beloved on social media. There’s no doubt that he worked hard to get the Raiders into playoff contention. Sadly, he had too many flops in key areas, and it could be argued that some of those follies have hurt the Raiders in the long run. Regardless, Davis and the Raiders have turned the page, and now fans anxiously await the next general manager.

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*Top Photo: Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal

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