Raiders

What Mike Mayock said on Raiders' last three first-round draft picks

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What Mike Mayock said 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 after hiring him as their general manager.

So, what did Mayock think of the Raiders’ last three first-round draft picks? 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 said 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 again addressed their secondary, picking Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley at No. 24. It was a risky pick because of the baggage that came 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 said 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 was out as GM.

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 for No. 15 and two later picks. They used that 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 still are expected from him, and some pressure will taken off Miller with the addition of high-priced free agent Trent Brown.

Here's what Mayock said 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 of picking the players whom others will critique.

Raiders sign veteran linebacker Preston Brown, add another new face

Raiders sign veteran linebacker Preston Brown, add another new face

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders added another veteran defender on Monday, signing Preston Brown to supplement the linebacker corps. Brown worked out for the Silver and Black and officially joined the team in the wake of Sunday’s 17-10 win over a Cincinnati Bengals team that cut him recently.

Brown’s an old-school middle linebacker, someone who can make sure tackles and fit in well on obvious rushing downs. The Raiders primarily use two linebacker sets even in base packages, bringing in relative newcomer Will Compton against heavier sets.

Brown believes he’ll be able to integrate well and play quickly, considering the similarities between Paul Guenther’s scheme and what is run in Cincinnati.

“I have a lot of the terminology down already, so it’s just a matter of getting back,” Brown said. “I’m excited about it.”

He has watched Raiders film already and likes what he has seen from this group. Brown helped run the Bengals defense until recently. He was released on Tuesday, spent a couple days as a free agent and now is with a new team.

He goes from a winless crew to one in the playoffs, an intriguing aspect of this new gig.

[RELATED: Crosby-Mullen bond leads to winning plays vs. Bengals]

“It’s really cool, especially coming from an 0-9, now 0-10 team,” Brown said. “There’s a lot more life, a lot more energy over here. That’s fun to be around.”

The Raiders are Brown’s third team in six seasons. He spent his first four NFL years as a full-time starter in Buffalo before moving on to Cincinnati in 2018. He wasn’t as integral to that team. His best season came in 2017, when he had 101 tackles and three passes defensed.

Raiders-Chiefs Week 13 AFC West matchup flexed to afternoon slot

Raiders-Chiefs Week 13 AFC West matchup flexed to afternoon slot

Remember back in Week 3 when the Raiders were licking their wounds after being dismantled by the Vikings to open their five-game road trip?

Jon Gruden's club was 1-2, two games back of the Chiefs in the AFC West with four consecutive road games staring them in the face. The AFC West crown was the Chiefs and no one would be told otherwise.

How the tables have turned.

The Raiders survived their road odyssey and returned home to win three straight games to head into a Week 12 matchup with the Jets at 6-4. The Chiefs, meanwhile, hit some road bumps. They dropped games to the Colts and Texans before quarterback Patrick Mahomes dislocated his knee cap.

Backup quarterback Matt Moore went 1-1 in relief. Mahomes returned in Week 10, but KC's defense was gashed on the ground by the Titans and they fell to ... 6-4.

Gruden and old friend Andy Reid still have one more showdown on the calendar, with the Raiders' Week 13 visit to Arrowhead Stadium possibly serving as the AFC West title game. 

As such, the NFL has opted to flex the Dec. 1 game from the 10 a.m. PT window to the 1:25 p.m. PT slot. The move shifts the Browns-Steelers matchup into the 10 a.m. PT slot. The 49ers-Ravens game will remain in the 10 a.m. PT slot with the NFL opting to keep Patriots-Texans as the Sunday night game.

[RELATED: Raiders rookie class having profound impact on season]

The Chiefs still have to play the Chargers on Monday night in Mexico City. A loss will drop them a half-game behind the Raiders heading into their bye week. A win will ensure the AFC West rivals will be in a virtual tie at 7-4 -- with KC holding the head-to-head tiebreaker -- should the Raiders beat the Jets at MetLife Stadium in Week 12.

Gruden's Raiders have fought tooth and nail to survive injuries, a brutal schedule and the loss of Antonio Brown to give themselves a shot at the playoffs and even the division title. The Chiefs beat the Raiders at the Coliseum in Week 2, with Mahomes accounting for four second-quarter touchdowns in a 28-10 win.

This is a different Raiders team. One with an offensive identity and rookies growing more comfortable with each victory put under their belt.

The Chiefs' run defense is primed to be gashed by Josh Jacobs and the Raiders' offensive line. Oakland's banged-up secondary could be an issue against Mahomes. It's going to be quite the showdown at Arrowhead.

Knock on wood, if you're with us.