Mike Mayock says Raiders can benefit from Antonio Brown's chip on shoulder

Mike Mayock says Raiders can benefit from Antonio Brown's chip on shoulder

PHOENIX – The Raiders were never giving up a first-round draft pick for Antonio Brown. They jumped at the opportunity to acquire him when the Pittsburgh Steelers' trade demands went down, and they ultimately got him for a third-round pick, a fifth-rounder and a significant raise.

It wasn’t part of the team’s free-agency plan. It also wasn’t something they could pass up.

“It was a game-changer,” Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said in an interview Monday with Raiders beat reporters at the NFL owners meeting. “We feel like he’s still in the prime of his career, and that his interests are aligned with our interests. He’s going to have a little chip on his shoulder and show everybody how good he is.”

Brown certainly shows everyone how hard he works. Gym sessions are often broadcast live on Instagram. Well-edited hype videos document trips to East Bay parks with quarterback Derek Carr. And, sometimes, there’s no point to Brown’s posts at all. He just talk to the public on social channels as part of a non-stop modern marketing machine.

The Raiders like Brown's all-access pass as he builds excitement during this offseason stretch.

“I love it. I’m not even on … what’s he use? Instagram?” Mayock said. “My wife shows me stuff, and I get fired up when I see him fired up and working with our guys, whether it’s at our facility or at a park or in Fresno. It’s a really cool dynamic.

“Players recognize talent. Tyrell Williams wants to come play with him. Derek Carr can’t wait to throw with him. The dynamic in our building changed a little bit, and it has been fun watching him.”

Brown won his introductory press conference, promising to set a new standard for work ethic and accountability on this roster. Saying it is easy. Backing it up takes constant work and maintenance.

[RELATED: NFL owners approve Raiders' stadium lease with Coliseum]

But Brown seems committed to making the most of his fresh start, planning to lead and produce at an All-Pro level. If he can do both things, Brown will start his career’s next chapter off right.

The last one didn’t end well, tainted by disagreements with Pittsburgh teammates and coaches. He left the team for a stretch and didn’t play in the final game of the 2018 season, virtually assuring his Steelers exit.

The Raiders did their homework, though, and aren’t concerned about Brown pouting in the face of adversity or discontent. They believe he’ll be a positive force while wearing silver and black.

“I think I know enough about his history and background,” Mayock said. “I did do a pretty deep dive with some of the people I know in Pittsburgh, but the point is that, for the majority of his career, could you criticize him for wanting the football more? Sure. Tell me a great receiver who doesn’t want the ball. He has some of that in him, but he was a positive force in that building for a lot of years. Whatever happened last year happened. I look at it in the opposite (way).

“He’s a little pissed off. He has something to prove. I think he’s going to come out and prove it in Oakland next year, and we’re going to be the beneficiaries.”

Mike Mayock's thought on Raiders' last three first-round draft picks


Mike Mayock's thought on Raiders' last three first-round draft picks

Mike Mayock is one of the most respected minds in the NFL Draft community.

When he was a draft analyst for NFL Network, his word was gospel. Now, the Raiders get to benefit from his wisdom.

So, what did Mayock think of the Raiders last three first-round drafts? We're glad you asked.

In 2016, the Raiders selected West Virginia safety Karl Joseph with the No. 14 overall pick. He struggled during his first two seasons, but 2018 was seen as a breakout campaign for the 25-year-old.

Here's what Mayock wrote about Joseph when the 2016 NFL draft had concluded:

"With his range, toughness and ability to drop down in the slot and cover man, he's like a poor man's Earl Thomas. He says he models his game after Brian Dawkins. Some say he's much like Bob Sanders. This is a dynamic playmaker."

Joseph certainly hasn't lived up to the Earl Thomas comparison. Thomas is a three-time First Team All-Pro. After three seasons, Joseph isn't at that level yet.

The next year, the Raiders addressed the secondary again, picking Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley at No. 24. It was a risky pick due to the baggage that came along with Conley. Just before the draft, he was accused of rape.

Injuries cost him most of his rookie campaign, but Conley played in 15 games in 2018, and finished with three interceptions and 37 total tackles.

At the time, Mayock focused on Conley's legal troubles when he wrote this:

"You can't make that pick and be wrong because your owner is gonna hold you accountable for it if this kid ends up with any kind of jail time."

Two years later, Reggie McKenzie is out as general manager.

Last year, the Raiders wanted Mike McGlinchey at No. 10, but the 49ers snagged him at No. 9. So Oakland traded the No. 10 pick to Arizona No. 15 and two later picks. They used the No. 15 pick to select UCLA offensive lineman Kolton Miller.

Miller had his ups and downs during the 2018 season. At one point late in the season, he was leading the league in sacks allowed. But big things are still expected from him, and some pressure will taken off Miller with the addition of high-priced free agent Trent Brown.

Here's what Mayock wrote about Miller at this time last year.

"They get the No. 2 offensive tackle in this draft to put behind Donald Penn, the incumbent left tackle. He can start on the right side. He only answered the bell 23 times in three years. Durability is a concern."

[RELATED: Mock draft has Raiders trading up for a QB]

Miller erased any concern about his durability by starting all 16 games as a rookie.

Now, instead of critiquing the Raiders draft class, Mayock is in charge picking the players others will critique. mock draft has Raiders trading up to No. 2 for ... a quarterback mock draft has Raiders trading up to No. 2 for ... a quarterback

The 2019 NFL Draft is just around the corner, and we hope you've soaked in as many mocks as you can possibly handle. If not, how about a game-changing one?'s Chad Reuter's devised a mock that had some "selections that may be off the beaten path." Basically, a mock that would shake things up -- which we love.

This included five first-round trades, one of which has the Raiders projected to move up to take ...  a quarterback.

"Projected trade with the 49ers. Jon Gruden gets his quarterback [Drew Lock] by moving up two spots," Reuter writes. "Gruden coached Lock at the Senior Bowl, and it's easy to see him appreciating the former Missouri quarterback's demeanor and physical tools. If he doesn't move up to get him, Miami or Denver could make a deal with the Jets to land the Mizzou QB."

The Raiders, as you know, have Derek Carr pegged as the starter next season, but newly hired general manager Mike Mayock mentioned that as much as they love Carr, the team is "going to do all of their due diligence." They complimented the three-time Pro-Bowler, but Mayock made it clear that at that position, and every other position if they found someone they liked better and "had bigger upside," then they would do what they need to do.

[RELATED: Raiders send scouts home over lack of trust]

It was also reported the Raiders are "super impressed" with Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

All moves appear to be on the table.