Vontaze Burfict
The Raiders signed Vontaze Burfict. Take a guess what Mike Mayock had to say about him during the 2012 NFL Draft process. It’s clear Jon Gruden is running the show (Aaron Doster/USA Today)

Mike Mayock is the new general manager with the Oakland Raiders and he has a lot of old footage people are going to bring up from his days working the draft for NFL Network. After the Raiders signed Vontaze Burfict, people went digging for Mayock’s old draft notes on Burfict. It was not pretty.

“I put his tape on with absolutely zero preconceived notions,” Mayock said in a conference call with the media in the days before the 2012 draft. “I watched three tapes and really didn’t like him as a football player. . . . I think he’s a non-draftable kid. For me, he’s a free agent.”

I remember this like it was yesterday. The 2012 NFL Draft was before the days that I was writing. I was still in college but I remember Burfict at Arizona State. Here’s the truth. The guy was nasty and a hell of a football player. Talent was not the reason he didn’t get drafted. After his Freshman year at Arizona State, it was pretty common knowledge that Burfict belonged in the first round. Then he never really improved. Don’t think it was really a talent thing. Then Burfict went to the combine and he ran a 5.09 – 40 yard dash and scouts freaked out. I would have drafted him in the 2nd round. He was a NFL starter all day, a hell of a player, nasty, and great instincts. He just wasn’t fast. Reminded me of a more talented Brandon Spikes. That was my scouting report back in the day.

This just tells me that Jon Gruden is running the show. Mayock has no say. He’s just a puppet. If Mayock really didn’t like him, the Raiders wouldn’t have signed him. This is clearly a Gruden move, just like every other move has been.