Things aren’t looking good for the Las Vegas Raiders right now. For the third year in a row, they’ve made a pick in the first round that was widely considered a huge reach by most people in the media when they selected Alex Leatherwood. While the young offensive lineman is a capable player, the belief is that he would’ve been available to the team had they waited until the second round.
Year after year, the Raiders are showing very little awareness of how the players they like are valued. It would be one thing if they were making the playoffs every year but they’ve only made it once since 2002. At a certain point, owner Mark Davis can only stand for mediocrity for so much longer. According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, changes could happen sooner rather than later.
“Word in league circles is a major shake-up in the Las Vegas Raiders’ front office will be coming soon after the draft and significant heads are expected to roll,” Pauline reported on Friday. “The pick of Alex Leatherwood in the middle of Round 1 last night, a player they could have traded down and selected, is opening a lot of wounds and seems to be the final straw. Additionally, I’m also hearing about a lot of friction between major players in their front office.”
“This follows the selection of Damon Arnette in the middle of Round 1 in 2020 — a player I reported earlier this week has one foot out the door — and the surprise selection of Clelin Ferrell with the fourth pick of the 2019 NFL Draft,” Pauline continued. “Last night follows the trend of players the Raiders select much earlier than their grades warranted.”
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A Lot to Unpack Here
Pauline’s report is certainly concerning for Raiders fans. “Significant heads” could mean a lot of things, even general manager Mike Mayock. Jon Gruden is the safest man in the building and Davis isn’t going to fire him barring a complete meltdown. It’s possible that the team could shake up their scouting department.
They have a shaky track record, to say the least. The Raiders have not done a good job in the draft and it’s keeping the team from reaching the playoffs. Pauline’s comments on Damon Arnette are also very notable. This is the first rumor that’s come out suggesting that the Raiders have already soured on the cornerback. Mayock just recently came out and praised Arnette. Though he struggled significantly last season, there’s no reason to believe Las Vegas is going to give up on him already. Pauline’s comments seem a bit farfetched.
Pauline Has Been Wrong About Raiders Before
While Pauline is a credible NFL insider, take everything he says about the Raiders with a Costco-sized grain of salt. In previous years, he said the team was interested in drafting Dwayne Haskins and then Jordan Love a year later. The Raiders had a chance to take both of them and passed.
Pauline also reported last year that Las Vegas could use both first-round picks on wide receivers in 2020. That obviously didn’t happen. It makes sense why there might be tension in the Raiders’ front office. The team hasn’t been good enough and a big reason for that is because of their failures. It wouldn’t be a surprise if there were some moves made but don’t expect Mayock to go anywhere quite yet.