Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock ranked as NFL’s worst drafting GM

The weeks leading up to the draft each year is a lot like the weeks leading up to the season. Hope springs eternal. Fans have visions of their team landing all kinds of great prospects and they will all be steals. Then the draft arrives and inevitably there’s a letdown.

Part of that is the best-case scenario rarely plays itself out. Part of it is the GM’s having a very different idea of ranking draft talent.

If you’ve been feeling like that especially goes for the Raiders, you’re not just imagining it. And just to put it into focus,’s Greg Rosenthal went about ranking all of the NFL’s GM’s. A total of 23 so as to exclude those GMs who haven’t had enough time to prove anything.

The Raiders were dead last.

Yup, coming in at 23 out of 23 was the general manager combo of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock.

Best pick: Josh Jacobs | Round 1 (No. 24), 2019
Worst pick: Lynn Bowden | Round 3 (No. 80), 2020

I’m counting Gruden’s first draft in this exercise because he’s had final say, even since Mike Mayock’s arrival. The Raiders have taken five first-round draft picks in the last two years, and the best player is running back Josh Jacobs.

Mayock’s first draft class looked a lot better before the 2020 season, when Maxx Crosby, Trayvon Mullen and Jacobs took a step back. First-round safety Johnathan Abram’s aggressiveness was used against him in his first healthy season.

Taking Henry Ruggs first among all receivers in a deep class last April was a big risk that didn’t pay off in Year 1. Selecting Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall in 2019 was a similarly big swing that’s been fouled off so far. I like Mullen and 2020 first-round cornerback Damon Arnette more than most, but the Raiders’ vision for many of their players has yet to be realized.

It’s been a mixed bag for the Raiders, but they’ve also had a ton of first-round picks due to the trade of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper and having losing records to give them high picks in each round. And yet they haven’t had a lot to show for it.

I disagree with Rosenthal on a couple of things. I disagree that Josh Jacobs was their best pick. I think that goes to Maxx Crosby. And I don’t think Mullen took a step back last season. Other than that, it’s hard to argue any of his criticisms.

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