Antonio Pierce called Raiders TE Michael Mayer after team drafted TE Brock Bowers

When the Raiders shocked the NFL by selecting tight end Brock Bowers in the 2024 NFL Draft, more than a few fans and media had the same initial thought.

What about TE Michael Mayer, the Raiders second-round pick just a year ago? Las Vegas coach Antonio Pierce didn’t forget about Mayer, either. According to Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Pierce called Mayer after selecting Bowers to reassure the second-year pro he’s still part of the plan on offense.

Pierce said as much during the Raiders rookie camp on Friday.

Pierce did make sure to call Mayer, the Raiders’ second-round pick and starting tight end last year, when the team selected Bowers.

“I said ‘Damn, this is going to be a great combination. Two young studs to grow up together within our organization that can help us win a lot of games,’” Pierce said.

Mayer is good enough that tight end was not considered a need going into the draft. Most had Las Vegas targeting a cornerback or offensive lineman with their first-round pick. When the Raiders’ time to select at No. 13 arrived, not a single defensive player had been chosen, allowing them to draft the best CB on their board. Plenty of offensive line talent was available as well.

But the Raiders couldn’t pass on the value of Bowers. Anyone who watched him star at the University of Georgia, even as a true freshman, can understand why. He possesses a potent combination of toughness, athleticism, and skill that is rarely seen and was a projected top-10 pick.

As Pierce says, the two tight ends could become a potent combination in their own right. If Mayer continues to improve as he did toward the end of his rookie season and Bowers fulfills expectations, expect them to provide elite toughness and skill and impact the Raiders offense for the better.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire