The Mike Mayock Era is Over in Las Vegas
In these days of identity politics and representation, sometimes an individual's failure is about much more than just themselves. It's can also be a larger failure for the group they belong to. A setback to the Cause, so to speak.
In the case of Mike Mayock his firing after just three short years with the Raiders is a blow to that much maligned, long overlooked demographic he belonged to, and for whom he has been a symbol of hope. Draft Nerds.
Mayock was the Great Geek Hope. The icon of a movement. Someone other draft gurus could look up to. And hold up as an example to their draft guru kids to inspire them that someday they too might get to live the dream. Mayock's hiring in 2019 took draft punditry out of the shadows and gave it legitimacy. Now no longer would they be looked down on as just some loser with a mock draft on a Squarespace page. They had arrived. And the days of getting shots taken at them by the professionals were finally over:
Because now they were the professionals.
But sadly, the dream has died hard. Mayock found out the tough way that the ability to speak extemporaneously over video of some 4th round cornerback from Auburn, or have strong opinions about whether some prospect is better suited to life as an off-the-ball linebacker or with his hand in the dirt as a War Daddy who has sand in his pants, is not the same as running an NFL organization. When you're an NFL Draftnik, nobody remembers your mistakes. No employee calls you a "Cracker" and cusses you out. If a first round pick in your mock draft kills someone while going 150 m.p.h. on a city street, that's not on you. And on the odd chance a coworker gets targeted for a takedown by the NFL because of stupid shit he said in old emails, that doesn't cost you a thing. You can just go back to work obsessing over 40-times and quarterback hand measurements. In an actual front office, all these matters have real world consequences. And Mayock just paid the professional price.
Maybe this won't set the cause of Draft Punditry back too far. After all, Mayock leaves the Raiders with home runs like Josh Jacobs, Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfroe and Alex Leatherwood. But that thinking is just being naive. He was the last, best hope for legitimizing Draft Guruism, and his time is at an end. Hopefully he goes back to NFL Network in time for the Combine, as God intended. But this dream is over. Sad.