Defensive Player of the Year Told Raiders to Trade up & Draft Him: Mike Mayock

mike mayock

Getty Former Las Vegas Raiders GM Mike Mayock.

After sitting out the first two rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft thanks to the Davante Adams trade, Las Vegas Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler is getting his first chance to put together a full draft class. There’s a lot of pressure on him due to the well-documented failures of his predecessor Mike Mayock.

The former general manager made plenty of questionable picks throughout his three years with the Raiders but perhaps the worst was taking defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the fourth pick in 2019. If the team would’ve been able to pick a couple of spots earlier, things would’ve been much different. Defensive end Nick Bosa was the best defensive player in the class and went second overall to the San Francisco 49ers. Had the Raiders had the second pick, they almost certainly would’ve taken him. If Mayock would’ve figured out a way to trade up to get him, he might still have a job.

For his part, Bosa did try to convince the Raiders to move up and get him. Mayock shared a story about an interaction he had with the reigning Defensive Player of the Year prior to the 2019 class.

“I said, ‘Nick, we’re picking four, you’re not gonna be there.’ He said, ‘Well then you need to move the f*** up, don’t you?'” Mayock said on the “Green Light with Chris Long” podcast.

Bosa & Maxx Crosby on Same Team Would Be Unstoppable

There’s an argument to be made that Maxx Crosby and Bosa are the two best defensive ends in the NFL right now. Had the Raiders been able to land Bosa in 2019, there’s a chance both of them are on the same team. Ferrell only notched 10.0 sacks in four seasons and didn’t get a second contract with the team. Ironically, he’s now Bosa’s teammate on the 49ers.

It’s easy for Bosa to tell the Raiders that they should’ve traded up to get him but there’s no guarantee the 49ers would’ve listened. He was a generational defensive prospect and has more than lived up to his draft status thus far. With this year’s selection of Tyree Wilson, maybe the Raiders have finally found the elite pass-rushing dup they’ve been longing for.

Wilson Wants to Be an Influential Pass Rusher

The Raiders were hoping Ferrell and Crosby would be their pass-rushing duo of the future. When that didn’t work out, they brought in Yannick Ngakoue to form a strong passing duo. That only lasted one season. The team then spent big money to sign Chandler Jones last offseason but that didn’t work out. Las Vegas is now hoping that Wilson will finally provide Crosby with the long-term running mate he needs.

Wilson has all the tools to be a premier pass rusher in the NFL but has a lot of work to do. He was asked if he tries to emulate his game after any pass rushers in the league but said that he wants to be the one influencing others.

“I want to be different than other pass rushers in the NFL,” Wilson said. “I want to have my own ideal pass rush playing, and for other people to take bits and pieces from my game.”

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