Mike Mayock: I was disappointed in the productivity of our rookies

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Myles Simmons
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The Raiders selected seven players for their 2020 draft class, the team’s first since relocating to Las Vegas.

Apparently General Manager Mike Mayock wasn’t thrilled with the results of his own picks.

“I was disappointed in the productivity of our rookies,” Mayock said in an interview with Eddie Paskal of the Raiders’ website. “I’ll be the first one to admit that. You can make excuses. You can have a conversation why.”

Part of that dissatisfaction likely comes from Las Vegas sending third-round pick Lynn Bowden to the Dolphins before he ever played a snap.

But the team’s No. 12 overall pick, Henry Ruggs, was one of the least productive rookie wide receivers in 2020. In 13 games, Ruggs caught 26 passes for 452 yards with two touchdowns — most notably a last-second 46-yard touchdown to beat the Jets in Week 13. He also took nine carries for 49 yards.

“Henry Ruggs, I think, is who he is. I’m not disappointed in Henry. I think Henry’s got to get better,” Mayock said. “We knew how fast he is, but he’s got to get stronger and he’s got to get in and out of his breaks better. You’ve got to feel him coming out of his breaks more for him to get to the next level. And I think he will. But we’ve got a long-term view on Henry Ruggs.”

Selected at No. 19 overall, Damon Arnette was limited to nine games due to injuries and a stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He had a pair of passes defensed and no interceptions as a rookie.

“In training camp, prior to injury, he was playing really well. We were excited about Damon Arnette. He’s instinctive, tough, and fast,” Mayock said. “He’s got to take care of business in the offseason. Nutrition, strength coach, consistency of a day-to-day program.”

Third-round pick Bryan Edwards caught 11 passes for 193 yards with one touchdown in 12 games. Third-round pick Tanner Muse didn’t play all year due to a toe injury. Fourth-round pick John Simpson appeared in seven games, starting two on the offensive line. And fourth-round pick Amik Robertson appeared in eight games, seeing snaps at corner and on special teams.

But Mayock was in charge of all the selections and he took accountability for the choices.

“I’ve got to do a better job. We drafted some guys last year who were position changes, and maybe that wasn’t fair in a COVID year,” Mayock said. “We drafted a guy in the third round that was a quarterback/slot that we wanted to become a running back [and traded him].

“I kind of look back and say, that’s probably on me. I kind of look back and say, that’s probably on me. Are we asking too much of these kids from a productivity perspective in year 1 in a COVID year when they’re changing positions? So I think the entire building has got to be accountable. That’s me, the personnel side, the coaching side and the players.”

Mike Mayock: I was disappointed in the productivity of our rookies originally appeared on Pro Football Talk