Regardless of how the Las Vegas Raiders end the 2021 season, it’s already been a colossal failure. For the third straight season, the Raiders have had a horrible second half to their season. In this case, the team started 3-0 and has since gone 3-7 in the last ten games. While it’s disappointing, it’s not overly surprising to most people. The Raiders roster building has been nothing short of a disaster, on and off the field. With draft picks such as Damon Arnette, Lynn Bowden Jr., and Henry Ruggs going based on character issues, the Raiders have failed the fanbase on and off the field since the move to Las Vegas. Former head coach Jon Gruden is no longer with the team due to his own character issues, so the blame can no longer be put on his shoulders. So where do they go from here? The Raiders must build this thing from scratch and fire General Manager Mike Mayock. With countless bad picks, and terrible player evaluation the blame can’t go solely on Jon Gruden. Here are the reasons why Mike Mayock deserves his fair share of criticism as well.
The Raiders Need to Fire Mike Mayock
With a plethora of picks in the past three seasons, the Raiders had a chance to rebuild their franchise. Instead, they have arguably made the situation worse with a slew of major whiffs in the draft. It started with the pick of edge Clelin Ferrell at number four overall, a major reach while passing on some really good players. However, the picks that stand out the most are the ones that never played a snap on the team, especially after Mayock himself said ” three third round picks are like stealing”. Those three third-round picks turned into Tanner Muse, Lynn Bowden Jr. and Bryan Edwards. Bowden Jr. and Muse never played a snap for the Raiders, while Bryan Edwards has turned out to be pretty average. The huge misses combined with the first-round reaches have caused a lack of depth and talent on the Raiders. While most blame Gruden solely, Mayock has to have had some say in the picks or he wouldn’t have a job. Mayock just like Gruden is more of a tv personality than an actual football evaluator and his draft picks show that.
Free Agency Whiffs
Even with the gems in the 2021 free agent class, the Raiders have whiffed too many times. The list of whiffs includes; receiver John Brown, linebacker Nick Kwiatoski, linebacker Corey Littleton, guard Richie Incognito and tackle Trent Brown. The problem with Incognito and Brown isn’t the price tag, more so that the Raiders brought them in to start and they never played a snap for the team in 2021. While linebackers Corey Littleton and Nick Kwiatoski are just simply overpaid for what they offer. Kwiatoski is often injured and plays a style that isn’t conducive for today’s game. Littleton has been very disappointing considering his price tag and what the Raiders expected for him. Perhaps, the most important whiff of all was right tackle, Trent Brown. Brown got a record deal, and never lived up to it. Often injured and disgruntled, the whiff on Brown set the Raiders back a few years, since they had to waste a pick on potential bust Alex Leatherwood to replace him.
Riding The Carr
This article isn’t about Derek Carr, who very well might be a top 15 quarterback in this league. However, the Raiders had a chance to get a franchise-changing quarterback at some point in the past three years. Whether it was signing Tom Brady as a free agent or trading up in either of the 2019 or 2020 drafts to get a future franchise quarterback. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but the Raiders simply have met their peak with Carr at the helm. The most confusing part of all is the Raiders not drafting a quarterback at all in any of Mayocks drafts. If Carr is the guy, why not groom a guy behind him to be a long-term backup? If Carr fails, you have a guy with potential that knows the system. Hitching his job on the back of Derek Carr looks like it’s going to end up biting Mayock in the end.
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