One week after the Raiders announced Mike Mayock as their general manager, the former longtime NFL draft analyst found his first assignment: The College Football Playoff National Championship.
Clearly, he liked what he saw at Levi's Stadium. The Raiders selected four players -- defensive end Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and receiver Hunter Renfrow -- from the national championship. These players came from winning college programs in Clemson and Alabama, and it showing on and off the field.
Quarterback Derek Carr has taken notice to the maturity of the Raiders' rookie class, giving a round of applause to Mayock and coach Jon Gruden.
"They already understand what it means to be a top-level pro, and their effort and determination is there. The only thing that's gonna stop them is circumstance. These guys are completely understanding of what it means to be a professional at this league, and you have to give a lot of credit to Mr. Mayock and coach Gruden," Carr said on the Raider Cody Podcast.
"They sought these guys out. They interviewed them. They obviously went through that rigorous process with the draft and things like that."
Mayock and Gruden's draft picks are panning out so far for the 3-2 Raiders.
Jacobs looks like a future star and already has 430 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground. He also has added another 77 yards receiving. Renfrow ranks third on the team in receptions (12) and receiving yards (101). Ferrell missed last game with a concussion. He has 10 tackles, one sack and three tackles for a loss.
Even late-round draft picks like defensive end Maxx Crosby and tight end Foster Moreau look like contributors for years to come.
[RELATED: Raiders mailbag: Crosby is high among standout rookies]
Carr and the Raiders are enjoying their bye week after a big Week 5 win over the Bears in London. The QB is staying in shape, though, and had tight end Derek Carrier over for a home workout this week. One of the first subjects they brought up was the team's rookies.
"They're all professionals. You don't look at these guys as rookies, they're just pros," Carr said. "They get it. They're able to contribute, they know their weaknesses, they know their flaws, they're OK admitting their flaws."
Through the early portion of the season, the Raiders have surprised many with a winning record after an offseason full of drama and headaches. And their rookies are a big reason why.