Jon Gruden has some words of wisdom for new Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.
While speaking Thursday at his pre-draft press conference, Mayock revealed the advice the Raiders coach gave him ahead of this month’s event in Nashville.
“‘Don’t mess it up, dude,'” Mayock said Gruden told him, via ESPN. “‘I took a lot of slings to get you three first-round picks.'”
Oakland holds eight picks, with half of them coming in the first 35 and none from 36 to 105. Gruden has endured his share of criticism in acquiring the selections, most notably for trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. However, the team has since added Antonio Brown, Vontaze Burfict, Brandon Marshall and Isaiah Crowell.
Mayock, who was hired in late December, has no prior experience as an executive, but does as a player, broadcaster and analyst.
“I’m a son of a coach and I know how coaches think, and coaches think need,” Mayock said. “And we’re a coach-driven building, our coaches are highly involved. That’s good. I embrace that. The flip side is, you can’t reach. You’ve got to use some common sense. And that’s what I preach.”
Given he has much to prove, Mayock isn’t worried about his reputation and is confident he will make the most of his team’s picks.
“The way I look at this thing from a how-do-people-perceive-me perspective is a lot of people doubted that anybody could come out of the media and go and be a GM for any team,” Mayock said. “I know that. I get that.
“But at the end of the day, here’s the deal — if we win, everything will be fine. And if we lose, I’ll get fired. And I’m perfectly fine with that.”
The NFL Draft is slated to take place April 25-27.