Report: Raiders send scouts home ahead of draft

Field Level Media

April 19, 2019 at 9:12 pm.

The Oakland Raiders sent their scouts home for the weekend and are not expected to bring them back before the draft begins on Thursday, NFL Network reported Friday.

The report adds it is believed head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock “don’t know who to trust and wanted to clear the room,” presumably to avoid any leaks about their intentions.

The Raiders’ scouting department has seen significant turnover since Gruden was hired in January 2018 — including the firings of general manager Reggie McKenzie and director of player personnel Joey Clinkscales — and further changes are expected after the draft. Gruden and Mayock, who was hired from his NFL Network draft analyst post on New Year’s Eve, are expected to run the draft room when the first round begins Thursday.

Mayock spoke openly in February about evaluating the team’s scouting staff and making changes moving forward.

“These guys know they’re on notice” Mayock said at the time. “There’s a new GM in the building.”

Oakland has three first-round picks — Nos. 4, 24 and 27 overall, the latter two acquired in trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper — and a second-rounder at 35th overall, the team’s only pick on Friday. The Raiders do not have a third-round pick (dealt to Pittsburgh for Martavis Bryant) but have four picks on Day 3.

NFL Network’s new lead draft analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, said this move by the Raiders isn’t uncommon in NFL front offices these days.

“When I started scouting in 2003, most teams allowed scouts and coaches to see the draft board,” Jeremiah tweeted. “By 2012, most teams only allowed 3-4 people (HC/GM/Personnel Director/College Director) to have access to the board. This isn’t that unusual.”