An eye-opening report emerged on Friday morning stating that there could be a significant change in the Las Vegas Raiders’ front office after the surprise selection of Alabama tackle Alex Leatherwood with the No. 17 overall pick in the NFL draft on Thursday night.
Major friction in Las Vegas?— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) April 30, 2021
PFN Chief NFL Insider @TonyPauline is reporting that after the Alex Leatherwood selection last night, a major shake-up will be coming soon and 'significant heads' are expected to roll within the #Raiders.
This is odd, frankly. I’m not disputing the report. Anything is possible and Tony Pauline has been plugged into the NFL scouting community for years.
But the concept of major change being discussed 12 hours after the first round pick was made is strange to say the least. Usually picks are made by a lead decision maker or by consensus of the draft room.
This report suggests to me that someone went rogue on the Leatherwood pick. I’m not sure if that is the case at all. But again, the fact that there is already a report claiming people could be fired for a draft choice so quickly is highly unusual.
This is just guesswork on my part, perhaps Las Vegas owner Mark Davis wasn’t happy with the choice, which has been universally panned because Leatherwood was expected to go much later. Immediately after the pick, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah — who is close to Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock — said he had Leatherwood as the No. 62 best prospect on his board.
The thought was that the Raiders could have traded down. On Thursday night, Mayock said there were some trade-down opportunities, but the Raiders wanted a tackle. They bypassed the likes of Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw and Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins for Leatherwood.
Two most surprising picks of Round 1 to other teams:#Raiders taking OT Alex Leatherwood at 17. Mike Mayock said “we knew it would be controversial” but they loved him.#Saints taking DE Payton Turner at 28. Many said reach. But he's long, high motor, smart. Another Cam Jordan?— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 30, 2021
If heads do roll, as Pauline suggested, it won’t be coach Jon Gruden, the final decision maker. Could it be Mayock or top scouts?
We will just have to wait and see what happens.
UPDATE: This story is being denied in Las Vegas, which is understandable.