One GM candidate the Raiders NEED to bring in

Well, Mike Mayock got the axe. Regardless of how I feel about it (it was wrong and he should not have been fired), it happened. But this is also an opportunity. Mayock did some good things but he was not the best. We can get one of the best GM's now. The Raiders (well, Mark Davis) need to do this right and there is one candidate no one has mentioned yet which is frustrating. He is JoJo Wooden.

JoJo has been with the Los Angeles Chargers organization since 2013. If you go back and look at the Chargers draft picks, particularly their first round picks, it is unbelievable how well they have done in that regard. I was hearing rumors that the Chargers were going to fire Tom Telesco but it doesn't appear to be happening. If it did we should have jumped on that. But JoJo was there since Tom was there. He is currently the Director of Player Personnel and leads the College scouting ranks. This is significant. From 2014 to 2021, all their 1st round picks have made at least one Pro Bowl playing for the Chargers except for 2 and both are significant contributors. This includes their current rookie, Rashawn Slater, who just made the Pro Bowl and looks like a stud for them. What I love about their picks in the first round is they don't over think it. They pick the player that everyone knows will be solid to good in the NFL. They don't go for these "high ceiling, massive potential" guys. They get guys that can come in and play right away.

In 2014, everyone knew Jason Verrett was going to be a good cornerback even if he was on the short side. In his second year with the team, he made the Pro Bowl. Injuries have really derailed his career thus far but he still is a good cornerback. In 2015, everyone knew Melvin Gordon was going to be a good running back but not as good Todd Gurley (at least the scouts thought so). Melvin Gordon made two Pro Bowls with the team before they found someone better. In 2016, everyone knew Joey Bosa was going to be a stud in the NFL and while the Rams and Eagles were busy overthinking their draft picks, the Chargers scooped him up (and we all know about him). In 2017, everyone knew Mike Williams would be a good, big wide receiver coming out of Clemson. While he has yet to make the pro bowl, he did just have his second 1,000 yard season with the team and is a regular starter for them and a massive red zone target for them (we could have used one of those). This is what's expected of 1st round picks. In 2018, everyone knew Derwin James was going to be a good safety in this league. I was yelling at the TV for the Raiders to pick him at 10 and then 15. While I'm glad we got Kolton Miller from that draft, James has been a stud and been to two Pro Bowl's and two All-Pro teams which is something that Miller hasn't done yet. 2019 first rounder, Jerry Tillery, has been the worst of the lot however he is a regular rotation guy and a contributor. Not quite a bust but closest to it. He still can turn it around. In 2020, everyone knew Justin Herbert was going to be a good quarterback in the NFL and he just made his first pro bowl and was the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Even if you go further down, they have had some good finds in other rounds. Denzel Perryman was their 2nd round pick in 2015, found Adrian Phillips and Tyrell Williams as undrafted free agents. They picked Hunter Henry in the 2nd round in 2016, got an All-Pro in Desmond King in the 5th in 2017, got Uchenna Nwosu in the 2nd and he was the reason they sent Melvin Ingram packing. Nassir Adderly was a 2nd round find for them. They have been unspectacular finding later round gems but they hit it when it counts. The beauty of their picks is they are solid and don't overthink it.

If I had one criticism of Mayock (and Reggie McKenzie had this problem too) was he tended to overthink his draft picks especially his first rounders. Clelin Ferrell was considered a borderline 1st round or 2nd round pick and he made him the 4th overall pick. Damon Arnett was considered by some to be a 3rd round pick and Mayock took him at 19. Alex Leatherwood was going to be a mid-2nd round pick and we took him at 17. It looks like to me that someone was convinced that while those picks might be a reach, in the end it will work out for them because of their upside. They were banking on potential and not solid picks. They were right about it with Kolton Miller and to some extent, Henry Ruggs. But it has cost the Raiders more than it has helped them.

If Mark is tired of 1st round picks not panning out and finding solid contributors on the back end, he really needs to take a strong look at JoJo who was there for all of that. Mark has an infatuation with big name coaches. With this being said and if JoJo does get his first GM job here, it might work out well if indeed Harbaugh is the guy who is going to be next head coach (yes, I strongly believe he will be the next coach).