Mike Mayock was known for years as the guy on NFL Network’s draft coverage hyping up every single player taken.
To his credit, it is a special day for the draft picks and their positives should be highlighted.
But there is a huge difference between doing this as an analyst as opposed to doing it as a general manager.
Mayock has been in that GM role with the Las Vegas Raiders since 2019 and is likely on the hot seat in 2021.
Jon Gruden appears to have most of the power with that franchise, yet Mayock is still the GM and personnel decisions, and whether they succeed or fail, fall on his shoulders.
He recently made a decision that brings his draft decisions into focus.
A surprise: The #Raiders are waiving linebacker Tanner Muse, source said.
Muse was a third-round pick out of Clemson in 2020. Missed his entire rookie season because of a toe injury, but took starter reps throughout camp and was a core special teamer.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 6, 2021
Cutting a third-round pick who has never played a snap with the team is not exactly a great sign.
Every single draft pick cannot make the roster on an annual basis.
However, Tanner Muse never even getting into a game with the team before being cut is alarming.
He missed all of 2020 with an injury and was back this year ready to claim his spot.
Muse was the No. 100 overall pick last year.
Was he not good enough to at least land on special teams and get opportunities from there?
It should be noted the team had three third-round picks in 2020.
So it’s not like he was the only third-round pick and was cut.
Yet we have another fair note to make in that while the team had three third-round picks, the total draft class was still only seven players.
Cutting Muse essentially admits that pick was wasted.
Prediction: If Raiders fail to make the playoffs this year, Mike Mayock will be gone. Jon Gruden will stay. @OldTakesExposed.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 6, 2021
Gruden appears to be safe as he remains on his 10-year, $100 million contract.
That leaves Mayock on the hot seat, even if Gruden does have a lot of say over personnel matters.
All Mayock can do now is hope the team he has assembled wins in 2021.
And to be fair, some responsibility does indeed fall upon him for the roster, regardless of what Gruden is doing.
The GM is supposed to build a winner and let the coach go from there.
If there are holes on the roster or top draft picks never contribute, that will doom any GM’s job security.
A bad year all around likely means the Raiders could get a fresh start without Mayock or Derek Carr.
As for Gruden, owner Mark Davis clearly wants him around and it would take some drastic losing to move on from the coach before others take the fall first.