The Oakland Raiders closed ranks last week. You may have seen it; it was a big story when they sent their scouts home before the draft. The reason seemed to be that Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock didn’t want their draft plans leaked.
Keep that in mind as we go through the following report on the morning of the NFL draft.
With less than 24 hours left until the first round of the NFL draft, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted this:
As the #Raiders ponder where to go with their fourth overall pick, worth noting: Oakland brass moved QB Dwayne Haskins up their board late this week, source said. He impressed them in his workout, and could be a consideration at No. 4 🤔🤔.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 25, 2019
Maybe the Raiders actually do love Haskins. He was a great player at Ohio State and it’s easy to see why teams could like him. But remember that this is the time of year where teams aren’t exactly sharing their draft plans.
Their real draft plans, anyway.
The Raiders’ draft is hard to figure out
Oakland could be in play for a quarterback. They visited with Kyler Murray. They met with Haskins too. While they’ve said Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback, their actions tell a slightly different story. And with four picks in the top 35, a ton of needs and a fairly unusual power duo of Mayock and Gruden, the Raiders might be the most unpredictable team in this draft.
But why would they ever share it in the media if they were truly interested in Haskins at No. 4?
Keep in mind the first part of this tale: The Raiders sent home their scouts last week to avoid leaks. Perhaps one of the few people still around the building who would know what the draft board looks like was willing to risk his job — with so few people around, it would be easier to figure out who is spilling secrets — to tell a national reporter that Haskins suddenly moved up. Not to mention, the notion that Haskins suddenly moved up Oakland’s draft board this week, after months of preparation, is strange in itself. It’s not like new information about Haskins came to light 48 hours before the draft, and it would be weird if their opinion changed that much this late in the process.
Or maybe, just maybe ...
Misinformation is spread during draft season
This is the silliest season in the NFL. As the draft gets closer, the lies get heavier. There is so much lying, we can actually rank which prospects are being lied about the most.
Maybe the Raiders are going to draft Haskins fourth overall. Maybe one of the few people left in the building felt an overwhelming urge to risk the trust of Gruden and Mayock, and perhaps his employment, to leak a pretty important secret that could actually seriously harm the team’s chances to get Haskins. Of course, it would be a fairly common trick to announce to the world your “draft plans” to entice another team to trade up, perhaps a quarterback-needy team like the New York Giants at No. 6. Hmm.
As Thursday goes on, keep this in mind: With the draft upon us, very few things are actually as they seem.
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