The Raiders hired a television analyst as their head coach, so why not look to the silver screen for a new general manager?
Philadelphia native Mike Mayock, the NFL Network’s lead draft analyst, has been hired as the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders new general manager, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Mayock will fill the void left after the Dec. 10 firing of general Reggie McKenzie.
“All I can say is I had an interview. I know they’ve interviewed a whole bunch of guys. And I have no idea the status,” Mayock told reporters at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, where he watched the Chiefs dominate the Raiders 35-3.
Though Mayock has never held a team job in the NFL, he’s considered a draft expert, and his mock drafts are so revered by fans that the NFL Network doesn’t reveal them until the night before the draft. The Raiders have four picks in the top 35 of the 2019 NFL draft, including the No. 4 pick.
“He loves it. He’s a passionate, passionate personnel man. He’s done it for a long time,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said following the game. “I know he’s had opportunities to get back into the NFL as a general manager. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see how the dust settles.”
Reports indicate the job won’t be a traditional general manager position, and will report to Gruden, who will have final say on all personnel decisions, including during the draft and free-agent signings. Former Giants general manager Jerry Reese reportedly declined to interview for the job because it lacked the power he had in New York.
“The concern of potential GM candidates around the league is that the job will not carry the type of autonomy that many GM jobs do,” Schefter reported last week.
Mayock has been with the NFL Network since 2004, but earlier this year revealed he was “frustrated” over not having the opportunity to act as a color analyst during football games, which he did for a couple of seasons on Thursday nights alongside Brad Nessler before the package went to CBS and ultimately FOX. He also provides commentary for the Philadelphia Eagles' preseason television broadcasts alongside play-by-play announcer Scott Graham.
“I am highly frustrated and agitated that I cannot find a television gig in the fall to do games because that is the favorite thing I do,” Mayock told The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch in April. “I love the draft, but to me there is nothing better than walking on the grass and talking to the coaches and players and being part of that three hours where you either know what you are talking about or you don’t.”
Mayock has also had more lighthearted frustrations with the network. He was also angered by network’s decision to repeatedly cut back to the Indianapolis Zoo during the 2017 NFL Draft, which was held in Philadelphia, to allow two orangutans – Azy and Rocky – to announce picks.
“I’ve about had it with the zoo. Enough. I mean, is this good TV?” an annoyed Mayock said.