Draft Analyst Who Was “90 Percent Sure” Mac Jones Was Headed to SF Says Teams Like Raiders Should Follow Media Draft Boards

In what has become somewhat of a yearly tradition, the Raiders have once again taken heavy criticism for the use of their first-round draft pick. Most believe Alex Leatherwood could have been drafted later in the first round (or even the second round), and GM Mike Mayock is already on record saying that the Raiders passed on an opportunity to trade down because they weren’t willing to miss on Leatherwood.

It doesn’t help matters that one of last year’s first-round picks, Damon Arnette, did not play well in his rookie year (though there does seem to be a hint of an explanation for that). But some media draft analysts have suggested that teams like the Raiders need to place more stock in media coverage and get a better understanding of what draft boards look like around the league.

ESPN’s Matt Miller wrote this about the Raiders after the selection of Leatherwood with the no. 17 overall pick:

“The Raiders could have traded back and still landed Leatherwood, who was projected as a Round 2 player. There is something to be said for drafting your guy despite what draft analysts say, but smart teams play the board and gather intel on other team’s boards (this is where looking at draft analysts’ rankings can be valuable to get a consensus on a player’s grade) and then trade back if possible to land their player.”

The problem with this thought process is that draft analysts get bad information as well as everyone else.

Several years ago the aforementioned Miller was told by a source that USC quarterback Matt Barkley wouldn’t fall past the no. 7 overall pick. Miller reported it and Barkley ended up going in the fourth round. This year, on the morning of the draft, Miller said he was 90 percent sure the 49ers were going to draft Alabama quarterback Mac Jones with the no. 3 overall pick.

The information coming out of the 49ers building was hot garbage and the 49ers took North Dakota State QB Trey Lance.

Bottom line?

Teams are getting smarter in this age of information.

A recent NFL.com report detailed the tactics used by the Broncos to hide their interest in Patrick Surtain II and it’s no secret that teams are getting better at clouding their intentions prior to the draft – in some cases, even to the point of misleading their own scouts. There is too much on the line in the NFL for general managers to fully trust scouts (some of whom only make around $50k per year) to not talk to their media friends.

So yes, media draft boards and mock drafts can be a resource for teams, but if the Raiders believed Leatherwood was that much better than the remaining tackles on the board, was it really worth the risk to trust a media mock draft that they could get him four picks later?

Why trust the mock drafts that were so far off on the third overall pick when that pick wasn’t even one the 49ers had real motivation to hide?

The Raiders got the tackle they wanted. Now let’s see how the first part of his career plays out.

twitter: @raidersbeat


4 thoughts on “Draft Analyst Who Was “90 Percent Sure” Mac Jones Was Headed to SF Says Teams Like Raiders Should Follow Media Draft Boards

  1. This is the kind of guy, Miller, who probably thought Jawalrus would be a great QB and Foolondo McLame was going to be a start MLB for years to come.

    Notice the word ‘analyst’ starts with the word anal.

  2. The Media LOVE to hear Themselves Talk… Most of them are being Paid to be Dummies. They don’t really know much. Mayock actually addressed the Media Brilliantly when he said…PARAPHRASE: I know about media pundits and their opinions… I did it for 17 years as he laughed at them…

  3. It doesn’t matter what grade Miller, or Kiper, or Jeremiah had. Mayock and his staff put a Raider Grade on every player.

    We knew months ago The Raiders would be downgrading opt out players. You have to rely on 2019 tape and guesstimate how they will be im 2021. Not a single draft ‘expert’ mentioned players sliding due to opting out.

  4. This writer missed a part of Mayocks quote. The rest of the quote is. Teams that were looking to trade up weren’t giving full value for the trade and one of the teams that was looking to move up was moving up for a tackle. These geniuses keep saying Leatherwood was going to be there in round 2 are wrong Leatherwood was going in round 1. At least the Raiders tried to move down some but were getting screwed on offers. So they took their guy. If Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, Tampon Bay or Kansas Shitty were to have traded up for Leatherwood all these geniuses would be blowing the general managers of those teams about how smart they are for recognizing talent and going and getting it. F these aholes get over it the pick was made.

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