Can Mike Mayock strike gold for the Las Vegas Raiders in Round 4 again?
By Brad Weiss
Last year, Raiders GM Mike Mayock brought in stellar pieces in the fourth round, and with two picks in 2020, can he strike gold again?
During the 2019 NFL Draft, his first as an NFL general manager, nobody really knew what to expect from Mike Mayock. Sure, he had played in the league, and was an expert on television as an analyst, but being a general manager in the NFL is a completely different story, and the then-Oakland Raiders had a ton of draft capital.
Not only did Mayock come on as the general manager, but he went into the draft with three first round picks, looking to revamp this roster for the long run. He brought in talented players in the first, including Josh Jacobs, a running back from Alabama who should have been the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
After the first round, the Raiders held only a second round pick, and then some later round selections, and he landed another talented player in the second in Trayvon Mullen from Clemson. Then came the fourth round, where he not only landed good players, but also a player who is now a cornerstone of this defense.
Holding three fourth round picks, Mayock went right to work, selecting a surprising player from a small school in Maxx Crosby from Eastern Michigan. All Crosby would go on to do is rack up double-digit sacks as a rookie, and based on statistics, he had a better season than NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Nick Bosa from the San Francisco 49ers.
At pick No. 129, Mayock continued to work his magic, adding a talented cornerback in Isaiah Johnson. While Johnson had an injury-plagued rookie season, there is no doubt he will be in the mix to earn significant playing time in 2020, based on the need the team has at the position.
Finally, sitting at pick NO. 137, Mayock struck again, bringing in a tight end who did a little it of everything for the team as a rookie. While Darren Waller got most of the publicity due to his breakout season, Foster Moreau was a solid contributor, adding five touchdowns in 13 games, while proving to be a great blocker.
In 2020, Mayock holds two fourth round picks, as the team traded with the New England Patriots on Day 2 to get another selection. They hold the No. 121 and 139 picks in that round, and based on Mayock’s history, you have to be excited about what today may bring.
Not only did Mayock strike gold in the fourth round with Moreau and Crosby, but then he came back in the fifth round and brought in the talented Hunter Renfrow. This is where Mayock is at his best, and holding three more picks in these three rounds in 2020, you can expect more talent to flood this roster.