Raiders

Notes: Osweiler impacted by green laser aimed at his eyes

Notes: Osweiler impacted by green laser aimed at his eyes

MEXICO CITY – There was a large, pro-Raiders crowd at Estadio Azteca for Monday night’s clash between the Silver and Black and the Houston Texans.

The crowd tried to knock Houston off its game, and used more than just cheers to do so.

A fan shined a green laser into Brock Osweiler’s eyes starting in the second quarter, something that was certainly a distraction in the Raiders’ 27-20 victory over the Texans.

“I never want to say one thing is a difference maker,” Osweiler said, “but certainly having a laser zoomed in on your eye definitely affects how you play a game.”

NFL security went into the crowd to find the fan at halftime, but the laser showed up again in the third quarter.

Osweiler didn’t want to put too much weight on the adverse situation, but admitted it was an issue.

“As far as the laser goes, it was certainly very distracting,” Osweiler said. “I’ve never experienced a laser being shined into my eyeball in a football game, let alone a professional football game in the National Football League so I think that was certainly disappointing, but at the end of the day that is not why we lost the game. That was just one small factor, but it certainly affected how I was playing and able to see down field.”

The Raiders saw it on defense, and weren’t sure what to make of the situation.

“I saw it and I thought I was in the twilight zone a few times,” Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack said, “but I didn't really know what it was.”

Malcolm make play of the day: Many consider Jamize Olawale’s 75-yard touchdown as the game-changing play that helped the Raiders surge to victory, but Raiders quarterback Derek Carr picked out a different play.

He highlighted inside linebacker Malcolm Smith’s tough tackle of Akeem Hunt for no gain twice to forced a turnover on downs. The spot was poor, but the Texans lost a challenge trying to overturn it.

Carr brought up Smith’s great effort on third down, shedding a tough block in time to bring Hunt down early. Smith actually did that twice to give his offense the ball back.

“Watch him on that play, he almost gets thrown because he's trying to get off the block and he almost, he could have easily quit, could have easily been blocked, but he kept fighting,” Carr said. “Malcolm made the play of the day right there. I think that's the play of the game that goes unseen and unheard, but that was the play.”

In addition to clutch tackling, Smith also had an interception earlier in the game.

Cooper’s great cut: Raiders receiver Amari Cooper scored the game-winning touchdown on Monday night, turning a short reception into a 35-yard into a massive gain.

Seth Roberts made a great block in front of him, but he broke free with an excellent cut that left Texans defenders grabbing air. Cooper surged through heavy traffic and found the end zone to give the Raiders a 27-20 lead later in the fourth quarter.

“The last game I had the same play and I kind of got it and got like a yard on it,” Cooper said. “So I just told myself to catch it and just get vertical and run and that's what I tried to do, so the cut was just instinctive.”

Davis, Goodell have pre-game chat: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in Mexico City for the Raiders game, and was in a long conversation with Mark Davis on the sidelines before kickoff. Del Rio also stopped by to exchange pleasantries.

General manager Reggie McKenzie joined him for a spell. They'd all have things to discuss with Goodell, including  still exiled edge rusher Aldon Smith. Davis is also pushing to relocate to Las Vegas, with an application coming as early as this winter.

This ‘n that: The Raiders recorded their first four-game winning streak since 2002, which also marks their last winning season. …The Raiders have allowed just 19 points in the first quarter of games, which marks a league low. … Bruce Irvin recorded his third sack of the year against Houston, and matched Karl Joseph and Malcolm Smith with a team-high 10 tackles. …QB Derek Carr was 21-of-31 passing for 295 yards and three touchdowns, giving him a 117 pass rating. It’s the 11th time Carr has had a triple digit passer rating.

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

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USATSI

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.

NFL.com mock draft has Raiders trading up to No. 2 for ... a quarterback

NFL.com 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?

NFL.com'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.