Jon Gruden has final say in all Raiders football matters. That was the case before Mike Mayock became the team's general manager, and that remains the case now that he’s rocking silver and black.
That’s no secret. That’s also no issue for Mayock, who was scouting Alabama and Clemson players before Monday night’s college football national championship at Levi’s Stadium.
“In all honesty, Jon’s got final say if it ever comes to that, and I have zero problems with that,” Mayock said in a pregame interview with ESPN’s Steve Levy. “Having said that, I think we’re going to come to a consensus. I like a little yelling and a little screaming and a little fighting for what players you believe in, but, at the end of the day, I guarantee you Jon Gruden and I are going to know what a Raider looks like and smells like. I don’t think we’re going to have any issues.”
Mayock was considered the media’s preeminent NFL draft analyst during his NFL Network tenure, which ended last week after he took the Raiders gig.
He’s a Gruden-like grinder and someone the Raiders coach respects and has known for more than 20 years, so Mayock will have a loud voice in free agency and the NFL draft.
That voice will be educated, thanks to extensive study that started the moment Mayock signed on the dotted line. Hours are long in this job, and Mayock admittedly was happy to enjoy fresh air while watching Alabama-Clemson.
"This is the first time I’ve gotten out of the building in a week, and I’m not even kidding you,” Mayock said. “(The new job) has been awesome. I have been a little overwhelmed with the non-football duties that go along with being a GM, and you have to prioritize and get back to the tape, because that’s the reason I’m there in the first place.”
The Raiders will help Mayock with the mechanics of being a GM -- the day-to-day responsibilities beyond player evaluation -- while he learns on the job. His priority at this stage is finding the right players heading into a pivotal offseason where the Raiders have salary-cap flexibility and four picks in the first 35 selections of the NFL draft.