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Raiders' Mike Mayock Says COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Team's NFL Draft Plans

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorApril 26, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. The NFL Draft is April 23-25. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Las Vegas Raiders general manager Mike Mayock spoke with reporters after the draft Sunday and said that the COVID-19 pandemic affected their draft plans, specifically their reticence to bring in players in the late rounds.

Levi Damien of Raiders Wire provided the quotes.

"We didn't have any six or seven [round picks] heading into this weekend and one of our concerns was depending on what happens with the pandemic, we think there's a pretty good chance we're not going to see our rookies in person until maybe training camp. And if that's the case, you'd better make sure your drafted rookies are smart, hard-working, and accountable, because they're going to have a shortened amount of time to make the team."

Las Vegas took seven players over the first four rounds and none after landing Louisiana Tech cornerback Amik Robertson at No. 139 overall.

They entered the draft with one pick past the fourth round at No. 159 overall (fifth-rounder). Eventually, that pick was traded as part of a package that landed Las Vegas the No. 172 selection. That one was then used to move up to take Clemson guard John Simpson at No. 109.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the entire NFL to make adjustments.

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Of note, teams were unable to make scouting trips to pro days or bring players in for visits during the predraft process. The draft was also held virtually, and offseason programs will be as well at least to start.

Of course, far more serious effects of the disease have taken place worldwide. Per the World Health Organization, over 2.72 million people have confirmed positive cases, and over 82,000 people have died.

The real unemployment rate in the United States has also risen above 20 percent as of last Thursday, per Lance Lambert of Fortune.

Many people and organizations have made charitable donations for COVID-19 relief in response, with Mayock one of them, per ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Raiders GM Mike Mayock will donate $1,000 for each draft pick he makes this year to the Clark County Delivering with Dignity Program that supports vulnerable families in Las Vegas. Each donation will be made in the name of the pick. Raiders have 7 picks. Hope they trade for more.

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