Mike Mayock Press Conference Quick Hitters
Quote: “A guy like Ferrell can play on either side of the line of scrimmage and he can kick inside. That was important for Paul Guenther. There were flashier players. Players that others may have had higher on their board. On our board, it was he and Bosa at that position. Right next to each other at that position. We knew he would probably be there. Everybody else had all of the big names up there, but Jon (Gruden) and I went in this morning and double checked everything and he was our guy. Again, he checked all of the boxes. He’s gonna be a three-down player, he’s 267 pounds, and he’s a captain.”
Analysis: There were lots of speculation about what the Raiders would do with the fourth-overall selection. On the Tuesday leading up to the draft, reports surfaced that the team had a “surprise pick” in mind and those rumors proved to be true. It’s clear that the team wanted to build their draft class around high floor types of players who they saw as safe prospects overall. Mayock admitted that while Ferrell might not have the highest ceiling of this group of edge rushers, he was a player that they felt could come in and contribute right away as a rookie. Saying that he exemplified everything that he envisioned the Raiders becoming.
Quote: “As far as Josh Jacobs, the explosion quickness that he brings, and remember, if you’re going to play for Jon Gruden as a running back, you gotta pass protect, and you have to catch the football. This is a three-down back. He’s explosive. He’s tough. We’ve watched him pass protect and he’s got really good natural hands. He brings versatility on the offensive side.”
Analysis: Mayock spoke glowingly when mentioning Josh Jacobs. Checking a lot of boxes that the team required, it was clear that the franchise circled him as a fit as a result. Known for his hard running style and potential upside, Jacobs walks into a situation where he could be the long-term solution for a team that lacks high-end talent in the backfield. After playing in a committee at Alabama, he will now receive a bulk of the carries, which is what many wanted to see from him after playing in a limited role during his collegiate career.
Quote: “We’re excited to get Trayvon (Mullen). Another Clemson player. He had a great National Championship Game. He’s a long corner. 6-1, almost 6-2. About 190 pounds, ran in the 4.4’s. We love his length and he fits Paul Guenther’s defense to a tee. Long, press corner that runs. We’re really excited about this kids upside and we’re happy to pick up the extra picks.”
Analysis: Upside is always the first word mentioned when talking about Mullen. His development improved every season while at Clemson, but he’s far from being a finished product. Still raw in many areas, he has the potential to develop into a starting caliber player, which is what the quote eluded to. In defensive coordinator’s Paul Guenther’s defense, he preaches length on the perimeter, which leads to disruption. Mullen’s traits will be an added asset to his defense because many of his characteristics are an ideal fit within his scheme.
Oakland Raiders Draft Recap
(1st-Round) No. 4 – Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
A franchise that had a league-low 13 sacks a year ago, the Mayock and Gruden tenure elected to take Ferrell. Coming as a huge surprise to most, he was an overshadowed prospect in this talented edge rusher class. After nursing a toe injury, Ferrell was unable to participate in the Scouting Combine and Clemson’s Pro Day. He steps in right away to help out the league’s worst scoring defense last season (29.2 points per game allowed).
(1st-Round) No. 24 – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
A prospect-team fit that many projected for months leading up to the draft was placing Jacobs in the Silver and Black. With Marshawn Lynch officially hanging up his cleats and Isaiah Crowell being the only serviceable option behind quarterback Derek Carr, Jacobs gets a chance to capitalize on a prime opportunity to step in right away and contribute immediately.
(1st-Round) No. 27 – Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
The team continued to build up Gruden’s roster with toughness and attitude. Selecting Abram brings that tone-setting option who always seems to play with an edge. The former leader of the Bulldogs’ defense brings a certain type of physicality and leadership to the back-end of the Raiders’ defense. The Raiders will no longer lack an identity in their secondary with Abram at strong safety.
(2nd-Round) No. 40 – Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
With a need on the perimeter for one of the worst passing defenses in the league a season ago, Mullen enters onto a defense where he will be counted on as a day one starter. He possesses the length, athleticism, and speed combination to contribute early on, but there will be some growing pains due to his lack of strength and unrefined technique.
(4th-Round) No. 106 – Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan
A massive edge prospect, Crosby had a bit of a late surge during the draft process. Still a bit raw in many areas, but he has the natural pass rushing ability to his game. A potential and upside pick, Crosby is precisely the type that can help a defense that needs to figure how to generate consistent pressure.
(4th-Round) No. 129 – Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston
A long and athletic athlete, Johnson started his career at wide receiver. After making the transition in 2016, he showed to be a consistent contributor as a cornerback. The length is evident, but he still is learning how to use it. A bit of a project, but Mayock wanted to continue to add projects with upside.
(4th-Round) No. 137 – Foster Moreau, TE, LSU
Moreau wasn’t allowed to show much as a receiving threat in the Tigers heavy running offense, but the upside when allowed to touch the ball glowed. A team that needs help at the position, Moreau can help contribute in a multitude of ways, but early on, it will mostly come as an in-line blocker.
(5th-Round) No.149 – Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson
An unsung hero for the Clemson’s offense during the 2016 National Championship Game, the Raiders continued to select high character prospects that could contribute right away. Renfrow is a terrific fit which provides slot value on a receiving corps that has been rebuilt on the fly this offseason. His combination of knowing how to generate separation, twitch, and consistent hands give this offense an option in the middle to the back-end of the depth chart.
(7th-Round) No. 230 – Quinton Bell, EDGE, Prairie View A&M
Coming from small school prominence, Bell garnered plenty of attention after his eye-popping Pro Day workout. Running a 4.38 at 238 pounds helped his cause tremendously. The exact type of late-round lottery ticket that teams opt to take, Bell’s athleticism could prove to be vital later on the down the road in his career.
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