New GM May­ock hit and missed as draft an­a­lyst

The Mercury News Weekend - - SPORTS - By Jerry McDon­ald jm­c­don­[email protected]­yare­anews­group.com

ALAMEDA » Raiders gen­eral man­ager Mike May­ock has spent the last 15 years as an NFL Net­work an­a­lyst spe­cial­iz­ing in the NFL draft.

His true feel­ings about prospects will from now on be tied to the Raiders, rather than the NFL Net­work. His opin­ions re­gard­ing col­lege tal­ent have been on dis­play in pub­lic ei­ther on the air, through con­fer­ence calls with the me­dia or on NFL.com web con­tent.

Al­though it’s un­rea­son­able to ex­pect May­ock to be so forth­com­ing when he’s work­ing for a spe­cific team, it’s worth check­ing out his opin­ions on draft- el­i­gi­ble play­ers be­fore they be­came Raiders or played for an­other NFL team.

Here’s a sam­pling, al­though keep in mind even those with good track records at eval­u­at­ing the draft (as well as the teams them­selves) are of­ten wrong. It’s a hit-and­miss process.

So here goes on the hits and misses:

Hits

KHALIL MACK » Mack was se­lected No. 5 by the Raiders in 2014 out of Buf­falo, but was the top player on May­ock’s board. ( Where May­ock ranks a player is not nec­es­sar­ily where he thinks he’ll be drafted, tak­ing into ac­count team needs, draft his­tory, etc.) His mock draft had Mack go­ing to Jack­sonville at No. 3. “He’s ex­plo­sive off the edge. He’s tough, he’s twitch, he’s got a lit­tle edge about him. When I watch him on tape I feel he’s pissed off at the world, and I like that,” May­ock said. ANDREW LUCK » Yes, this was an easy one. Luck as the No. 1 over­all se­lec­tion by the In­di­anapo­lis Colts in 2012 and ranked as the top quar­ter­back by May­ock over Robert Grif­fin III. “He’s go­ing to sit down with teams and get up on the boards and draw what he knows about football. He’ll process and as­sim­i­late in­for­ma­tion for those teams and spit it back at them. All of those teams will go away say­ing, ‘ Wow, I want that guy,’” May­ock said. LA­MAR JACK­SON » Jack­son who went No. 32 to Bal­ti­more, wasn’t May­ock’s top-rated player at his position, but his com­ment about the Louisville quar­ter­back proved pre­scient for the rookie who led the Ravens to the play­offs af­ter tak­ing over for Joe Flacco. “I think some­one is go­ing to make a philo­soph­i­cal and schematic com­mit­ment to this kid and change what they do of­fen­sively ... I can’t wait to see what La­mar Jack­son be­comes,” May­ock said. DEFOREST BUCK­NER » The 49ers took Buck­ner in the first round, No. 7 over­all, and he’s become a dom­i­nant player. “Buck­ner re­minds me of the Car­di­nals (now Jaguars) Calais Campbell. He has power and length. Ide­ally, he’s a five-tech­nique, which is the de­fense the 49ers play,” May­ock said. DERWIN JAMES » Lasted un­til No. 17 when the Los Angeles Charg­ers took who might be the NFL’s de­fen­sive rookie of the year as a safety out of Florida State. The Raiders passed on James twice. May­ock had James go­ing No. 12 to Tampa Bay. “You ex­pect big­ger safeties to have hip tight­ness, but you don’t see it with him ... when he gets there, he ar­rives in bad hu­mor,” May­ock said.

Misses

JOHNNY MANZIEL » Taken No. 22 by the Cleve­land Browns in 2014, Manziel was a wildly pro­duc­tive quar­ter­back out of Texas A&M. Off-field prob­lems re­lated to drink­ing have de­railed his ca­reer. May­ock’s No. 2 quar­ter­back was Blake Bor­tles, who has been mostly a dis­ap­point­ment in Jack­sonville. “The kind of pro­jec­tion I want to make with Manziel is Steve Young ... ( but) off the field, is he the kind of per­son you want as the face of your fran­chise?” MARK SANCHEZ » The USC quar­ter­back was rated by May­ock ahead of Matt Stafford, the even­tual No. 1 pick by the Detroit Lions. Sanchez went No. 5 to the New York Jets and caught on with Washington this year, but his ca­reer never took off. “I think the safest pick is Mark Sanchez. Sanchez has a very good arm that I would com­pare to Matt Ryan,” May­ock said. BLAINE GABBERT » Gabbert was the 10th over­all pick by the Jack­sonville Jaguars in 2010. He never panned out in Jack­sonville, and it didn’t work with the 49ers ei­ther. Gabbert is cur­rently play­ing for the Ten­nessee Ti­tans, where he backed up Marcus Mar­i­ota. May­ock had Gabbert rated ahead of No. 1 over­all pick and even­tual 2015 MVP Cam New­ton. “I’m telling you he’s a top 10 pick. I be­lieve in Blaine Gabbert,” May­ock said. AARON CURRY » Curry was the No. 4 over­all pick by Seat­tle out of Wake For­est in 2009. He was sent on his way af­ter three sea­sons with 5.5 sacks and hav­ing forced zero turnovers. The Raiders traded for Curry in 2011 and he made no im­pact and is out of football. “Aaron Curry might be the safest pick in the draft. He’s clean off the field and you’re go­ing to hand him $30 mil­lion or $40 mil­lion and he’s go­ing to put in the bank and he’s go­ing to go to work.”

Raiders

DEREK CARR » Carr wasn’t May­ock’s No. 1 quar­ter­back in the 2014 draft. But May­ock does deserve credit for pre­dict­ing the Raiders would trade into the first round to draft Carr. ( The Raiders ac­tu­ally waited and got him in Round 2). “He’s more ath­letic than peo­ple think. A lot of teams thought he was the best pure thrower in the draft. I love the way this kid throws the football.” KOLTON MILLER » Miller was mostly re­garded as a reach when the Raiders traded back and took him at No. 15 out of UCLA in the 2017 draft. May­ock fore­cast the Raiders as tak­ing Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchy at No. 10. McGlinchy went to the 49ers. “They get the No. 2 tackle in the draft to put be­hind Don­ald Penn, the in­cum­bent left tackle. He only an­swered the bell 23 times. KARL JOSEPH » May­ock be­lieved the No. 14 pick the Raiders used on Joseph was a lit­tle high but said of his skill set: “... He’s like a poor man’s Earl Thomas. He says he mod­els his game af­ter Brian Dawkins. Some say he’s much like Bob San­ders. This is a dy­namic play­maker.” May­ock had the Raiders tak­ing line­backer Myles Jack at No. 14. GAREON CON­LEY » The Raiders took Con­ley No. 24 over­all in the first round of the 2017 draft out of Ohio State. May­ock liked Con­ley’s abil­ity, but was con­cerned about a rape al­le­ga­tion which came out be­fore the draft and did not rate him. May­ock had the Raiders tak­ing tackle Cam Robinson in­stead. GABE JACK­SON » Jack­son, a guard out of Mis­sis­sippi State taken in the third round of the 2014 draft, wasn’t given a first-round grade but his power did catch May­ock’s eye. “He’s a mauler and a brawler and about as phys­i­cal a guy as you’re go­ing to see.”

JOSE CAR­LOS FA­JARDO — STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Raiders GM Mike Mayok nailed it as NFL draft an­a­lyst on Khalil Mack and Andrew Luck, but missed on Johnny Manziel.

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