On Friday afternoons in April, sometimes it can get a little slow for national NFL reporters. A week ago on Friday, many of them whiled away their afternoon on Twitter, comparing notes on how they get annoyed when the person in front of them on an airliner reclines their seat.
But on Friday, they were tweeting about a report out of Oakland that started with NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.
Sources: #Raiders coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock sent their scouts home for the weekend and they are not expected to return by draft time. The belief is they don’t know who to trust and wanted to clear the room.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 19, 2019
In some ways, this wasn’t eyebrow-raising news. In other ways, it was. On a segment of NFL Network’s Up To The Minute, Rapoport acknowledged it isn’t uncommon for NFL offices to be pretty empty on Easter weekend, but said that what made this unusual was the lack of trust Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and new general manager Mike Mayock have in their scouting department.
“Mike Mayock does not know who he can trust with his draft secrets,” Mayock explained. “He does not know who he can talk to or who he can confide in — and it is no surprise that there is going to be some significant turnover in the scouting department for the Raiders after the draft.”
The last part is certainly true. As Las Vegas Review-Journal Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken noted (yes, Las Vegas newspapers already have Raiders beat writers) this is not an uncommon situation for new NFL GMs.
It is worth noting what Raiders scouts have anticipated for months. That is, a shakeup in scouting department likely will occur after draft concludes. Not uncommon when new general manager is hired.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) April 19, 2019
Kansas City Chiefs fans will recall that John Dorsey was in a similar situation when he arrived in January 2013. He had to depend on the scouting department hired by his predecessor Scott Pioli for the 2013 NFL draft, and brought in some of his people for the following season.
Still... there’s something about this report about Mayock’s lack of trust in his scouting department that seems a little... off — especially after his daughter Leigh Mayock joined the Twitter conversation among the NFL reporters.
May I remind you he took his draft binder TO THE BATHROOM > leaving it with his own blood. ( ♀️) — don’t take it personal scouties. https://t.co/vw6pF7ItAE— Leigh (@LeighMayock) April 19, 2019
First, how can you not love Leigh Mayock for this response?
But it does bring up another question: does Mayock take his draft binder to the bathroom because he doesn’t trust his own family with it, or because he is so obsessive about the upcoming draft he can’t stop thinking about it — even when there is... uhh... other business at hand?
In Mayock’s defense, if there’s a draft to obsess over, this one is probably it. Not only will it be the longtime draft guru’s first time in a GM chair on draft day, there is much at stake. The Raiders will have eight picks — including pick 4, pick 24 and pick 27 in the first round — and it’s not unreasonable to think they could be planning something big. That’s the point ESPN’s Bill Barnwell brought to the Twitter conversation on Friday afternoon.
Also, I'd be a little scared of what the Raiders plan on doing if it's so far removed from chalk that they don't want any of their scouts to reveal their secret plan https://t.co/J6ejq2L5D6— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) April 19, 2019
But it was NFL.com senior analyst Gil Brandt — who had been an NFL personnel executive for two decades before Chiefs general manager Brett Veach was even born — who got the last word during Friday afternoon’s NFL reporter Twitter klatch with an old-school solution to Mayock’s problem.
We never cleared the room but sometimes we'd lay traps for scouts we didn't trust. In 1987 we showed our board to a scout with us taking Mike Junkin, a LB we didn't like. Two days later, Cowboys beat writer Jim Dent wrote story saying we were taking Junkin.— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) April 19, 2019
Hook, line, stinker. https://t.co/ETAM1JNZSv
The NFL Draft begins Thursday night. On Friday afternoon, these folks will all have other things to discuss.