Mike Mayock and his Oakland Raiders just completed their first NFL Draft together, and the general manager sure didn’t try to disguise which two college programs he prefers. That’s because, of the nine players the Raiders took in the 2019 NFL Draft, four of them came from either Alabama or Clemson, which happen to be the two teams who have played for the National Championship Game against one another in three of the past four years.
With the amount of talent on both teams — which doesn’t appear to be slowing down in the near future given the two head coaches, Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney, have built powerhouse programs that produce lots of winning — it’s safe to say we’ll see more kids from each school being selected in future NFL Drafts. And, if you ask Mike Mayock, any NFL team that wants to be successful would be smart to choose those guys, because he says those are the only two college football programs worth a damn when it comes to NFL-ready talent.
In a column by Albert Breer on SI.com, which focused on Mike Mayock describing his first draft with the Raiders, the general manager provided a little insight into why he covets players from Alabama and/or Clemson.
Mayock said he “didn’t consciously set out to make that happen,” but he also sounds like he would have been happy with a draft entirely composed of players from the two schools.
“I felt it on the field before the game, these were the two best college programs in the country and have been for several years now,” Mayock said, via Albert Breer of SI.com. “And when you walk around on the field before the game and watch these guys warm up, and you do your body types, you’re taking notes — they look like two NFL teams. I said it to somebody, I don’t remember who, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘Man, if you just draft from these two teams, you’re gonna do well, forget the rest of the country.”
Talk about falling hard for a couple schools, right? It’s clear Mike Mayock trusts Clemson and Alabama the most when it comes to producing top-level talent. And, to show just how much the Raiders love Clemson, coaches even donned t-shirts of the school at practice over the weekend.
With both Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden kicking out their entire scouting department leading up to the NFL Draft, it’s clear these two guys are running a pretty tight ship in Oakland. And, if anyone opposes the whole Clemson and/or Alabama mentality, it doesn’t seem like Mike Mayock wants to hear a single thing from them.