Bill Belichick

How Mike Mayock plans to approach his first NFL Draft as Raiders GM


How Mike Mayock plans to approach his first NFL Draft as Raiders GM

Most of Mike Mayock’s NFL draft prospect evaluations reside in the public domain. The Raiders general manager got paid to voice his opinions on the NFL Network, leaving video clips and epically conference call transcripts as evidence on how he views talent.

He was also charged with matching talent with team needs, providing insight from relationships within NFL organizations. There was nobody better than Mayock in doing exactly that.

“My job was to be in all 32 buildings,” Mayock said a few weeks back, during a sitdown with Raiders beat writers at the Senior Bowl. “I had a team that wanted to hire me several years ago that looked at that as an advantage. They were like you’re not scouting for any one team. You’re scouting for the whole league the way you have to do it and they liked that. They also liked the fact that I had a lot of information on a lot of coaches and GMs around the league and what they prefer.”

Then, Mayock broke down Hall of Fame former GM Bill Polian’s tendencies. Polian didn’t like to move around. He preferred players from big schools, and always wanted to secure “his guy.”

Bill Belichick was next, and Mayock cited his propensity for moving around the draft board with trades.

“Every guy has a footprint,” Mayock said.

Many are wondering what Mayock’s will look like now that he’s a GM himself. Head coach Jon Gruden remains the team’s last word and chief decision maker, but Mayock will have massive influence over the NFL draft process and selections.

Mayock said he wants to be open-minded and flexible with his draft plan heading into a 2019 NFL Draft, where the Raiders have three first-round picks and four selections in the top 35.

“I’ve always thought (that), if I had to first pick in the draft or if I had two picks (in the first round), I’d be open for business,” Mayock said. “I think you have to be. I’m not trying to say I’m Vegas Mike or anything like that.

“I’m just saying, whether you have 10 picks or four picks in the draft, I think you have to be open. I mean, let’s be honest, would I move up to get somebody? Sure I would. If it’s the guy you feel like you have to have, but you’re diminishing your odds a little bit when you trade up and give away draft picks.”

[RELATED: Raiders hire A.J. Neibel as new strength and conditioning coach]

Being open to movement really just says the Raiders could do anything, which is what teams want the competition to think. The Raiders have the capital required to make big moves in the April's draft, especially if they're trading up to get someone. That would mean fewer opportunities to mine this draft ore for the most important selections in recent Raiders memory, though.

The Raiders could fall in love and do whatever it takes to get a player, or they could stand pat and hope that four top picks turn into at least two (or three) quality starters with those early picks.

Super Bowl 53: Have Patriots surpassed 49ers as NFL's best dynasty?


Super Bowl 53: Have Patriots surpassed 49ers as NFL's best dynasty?

Tom Brady has a lot on the line in Super Bowl LIII. 

It'll be the New England Patriots quarterback's ninth appearance in the game, which is already the most in NFL history. A win would be Brady's sixth, giving him more rings than any other player. 

He'd also surpass his boyhood team. 

Brady, a San Mateo native, grew up rooting for the 49ers. In a span of 14 seasons, San Francisco won five Super Bowls. Brady was four when the 49ers won their first in 1982, and a senior at Junipero Serra High School when they won their fifth in 1995. 

[RELATED: How to watch Super Bowl LIII, full of Bay Area storylines]

With a victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, the Patriots would win their sixth championship in 18 seasons. They'd tie the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins in league history, but in a much tighter span than the 34 years that separate Pittsburgh's first and sixth titles.

That spread, spanning practically the entirety of Brady's career, is a big reason why one could argue Brady's Patriots dynasty would eclipse the 49ers. That is, if they haven't already. 

The Patriots have turned over the roster quite a bit since Brady took over as the team's starting QB in the 2001 season. He and coach Bill Belichick are the only on-field constants who have been there every step of the way, which was not the case with the 49ers.

Joe Montana won four of the 49ers' five Super Bowls, and longtime backup Steve Young got the monkey off his back with their fifth. Bill Walsh coached San Francisco to three, and George Seifert to two. Jerry Rice, the true bridge between the Montana and Young iterations of the 49ers, has three rings. 

Whether or not they beat the Rams on Sunday, Brady and Belichick already exceed them all. No head coach has more Super Bowl appearances than Belichick, either. 

[RELATED: 49ers Super Bowl records Patriots or Rams could break]

In addition to having more kicks at the can, the Patriots have also been in position to do so more than the 49ers. During those aforementioned 14 seasons, San Francisco appeared in a conference championship game nine times. New England has played in one 13 times, and has made it past the Divisional Round every season since Brady turned 34.

That regularity in the game's most important weekends is unprecedented, and has raised the bar that the 49ers themselves raised from the 1980s through the mid 1990s. One more win on Sunday would satiate the Count The Rings crowd, and put Brady and the Patriots into rarefied air in terms of championships. But the Patriots really already occupy their own echelon in the league's history, and a victory in Super Bowl LII would just be running up the score. 

The good news for 49ers fans is they can root for another Bay Area quarterback who grew up cheering for San Francisco. The bad news? Jared Goff plays for their biggest rivals, and that would open up its own can of worms for The Faithful. 

Jimmy Garoppolo channels Bill Belichick as 49ers look ahead to Lions

Jimmy Garoppolo channels Bill Belichick as 49ers look ahead to Lions

SANTA CLARA -- It does not get more Belichickian than the approach Jimmy Garoppolo is taking this week as the 49ers look to bounce back after an error-riddled season opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

The 49ers quarterback divulged the message he has been sharing this week with his teammates:

“It’s just, ‘We’re on to Detroit,'” Garoppolo said.

Garoppolo completed fewer than 50 percent of his pass attempts, going 15 of 33 for 261 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions in the 49ers’ 24-16 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. His 45.1 passer rating was worst among all quarterbacks in the opening week who attempted at least 20 passes.

The attention quickly shifted -- as New England coach Bill Belichick often advises when he does not appreciate a certain line of questioning about something in the past – to the upcoming game. The 49ers’ home opener comes on Sunday against the Detroit Lions at Levi’s Stadium.

“There’s a lot of things that we need to put into this week and that’s kind of how the whole season goes,” Garoppolo said. “It’s a 24-hour rule after the game whether you win or lose, and then it’s on to the next opponent.”

Some of Garoppolo’s problems – two of his interceptions and a missed throw to tight end George Kittle in the end zone -- in Minnesota were of his own making. But he also did not get a lot of help. There were potential big plays on catchable passes that fell to the ground, and Kendrick Bourne ran the wrong route, which hung Garoppolo out to dry for an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

Has coach Kyle Shanahan detected any change in the quarterback’s demeanor this week?

“No, it’s been the exact same,” Shanahan said. “I’d be disappointed if it was different. Jimmy tries his hardest every week. I know he didn’t have his best game last week, but he doesn’t need to come in here and make stuff up.

“He’s had some successful games in this league. He’s going to have plenty more. He just needs to get back to work. He went against a good defense, they made some good plays and we missed some. That’s what it was and now we’re ready to do better this week.”

Said Garoppolo, “I come in here every day grinding, trying to be the best quarterback for this team that I can be. As long as I have that mindset, I think I’ll be all right.”

Garoppolo now takes one loss on his resume into his ninth career NFL start. And he will be facing a coach whose defenses he has gone up against more than any one else throughout his five-year NFL career.

Former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is the Lions’ first-year head coach. His new team is coming off a disastrous 48-17 home loss to the New York Giants in his debut.

“There’s a couple of little things you remember from over the years and stuff,” Garoppolo said. “But Matty P’s a smart coach, and I’m sure they’ll have something game-planned for us.

“They’re talented. Matty P, they’re a game-plan team. Across the board, good D-line, they get penetration, they set the edge, fast linebackers and talented secondary. They’re good at every level. We’ll have to come out with a good mindset.”

This Sunday, be sure to watch 49ers Pregame Live at 12 p.m. and 49ers Postgame Live immediately after the game on NBC Sports Bay Area and live streaming on the NBC Sports app. Greg Papa, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Matt Maiocco and Laura Britt will have everything you need to know from the 49ers’ season opener.