By Evan Bleier / April 19, 2019

Oakland’s Jon Gruden Sends Raiders Scouts Home Before Draft

Gruden and Raiders GM Mike Mayock are nervous about information leaking out

Oakland head coach John Gruden. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Oakland head coach John Gruden. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

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Loose lips sink ships — and sometimes NFL teams.

In a bid to make sure their club isn’t sabotaged by leaked information, Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock took the unorthodox step of sending their scouting department home less than a week before the NFL draft.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gruden and Mayock, “don’t know who to trust and wanted to clear the room.”

It’s a somewhat worrying sign for an Oakland team that went 4-12 last season and has failed to make the postseason in 15 of 16 seasons since losing in Super Bowl XXXVII to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

There has been some optimism things would start to turn around in Gruden’s upcoming second season with the Raiders after the team was able to pull off a trade for Antonio Brown this offseason, but this development certainly seems to go against that aura of positivity.

Or perhaps not.

As former VP of player personnel for the Cowboys Gil Brandt said, the Dallas front office would sometimes “lay traps” for scouts they didn’t trust. “In 1987 we showed our board to a scout with us taking Mike Junkin, a LB we didn’t like,” he wrote on Twitter. “Two days later, Cowboys beat writer Jim Dent wrote a story saying we were taking Junkin. Hook, line, stinker.”

Brandt did say that the ‘Boys never went so far as to clear the room the way Gruden and Mayock have.

Regardless of who is in the Raiders war room on Thursday night for the first round of the draft, the team will have a trio of selections among the first 32 picks. The Raiders have their own pick at No. 4, the Chicago’s pick at No. 24 and Dallas’ pick at No. 27. The latter two selections came via the trades that sent Khalil Mack to the Bears and Amari Cooper to the Cowboys.

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