Mike Mayock is too smart to openly praise players he might want to draft. Instead, the Raiders are working to get other teams interested in Dwayne Haskins.
Taking anything an NFL GM says about a draft prospect at face value is a mistake this time of year. Misdirection is the currency with which people like Mike Mayock trade during the month of March. That’s why no one should trust that the Raiders are really interested in acquiring Dwayne Haskins.
Mayock and a number of his NFL peers descended on Columbus on Wednesday to attend Ohio State’s Pro Day. Haskins was the premier attraction. By all accounts he really improved his draft stock on the day. The Raiders GM went so far as to say that Haskins “put on a show.”
The team has even gone so far as to schedule a private workout with Haskins in the near future. That would seem to be an action of a team really interested in making him the No. 4 pick in this year’s draft.
That’s exactly what Mayock, head coach Jon Gruden and the rest of the Raiders brain trust want the rest of the NFL to think. Oakland is very open to moving around in the first round if they can get good value for any of their three Day One selections. The hope is that a quarterback hungry team might elect to make them a massive offer to move up to No. 4 to get their hands on Haskins.
History shows this tactic might work out really well for the Raiders. The list of teams willing to pay massive sums to position themselves to take potential franchise quarterbacks in the draft includes almost every franchise in the league. Just last season the Jets paid a heavy price to move up to take Sam Darnold. Haskins occupies a similar place in this year’s draft class that Darnold did in last year’s group.
Specifically, the Raiders want to pressure the other teams scheduling private workouts with Haskins. To date, the Dolphins, Giants, Redskins and Broncos all have visits set up with the former Buckeyes standout. None of those teams have a pick higher than the Raiders. If Oakland can convince one of those front offices they really do want to take the signal caller at No. 4, they might be able to extract a serious asset to swap first rounders with them. It’s not out of the question that the Raiders could acquire another future first rounder in that type of deal.
Given the quantity of holes on the Oakland roster they could really benefit from adding additional picks. Conning a team into giving up the farm for Haskins would be a great way to accelerate the Raiders’ rebuild.