Khalil Mack is an absolute monster. He ran a 4.65 at the NFL Combine, then he ran in the 4.53-4.55 range at his pro day. He’s 6′ 3″, 250 and set FBS records in tackles for loss (75) and forced fumbles (16). Some have said that he’s the best player in the draft, and the Oakland Raiders were more than happy to submit his name when it was their turn to pick on Thursday night.
He has All-Pro potential, and the Raiders need as many elite players as they can collect. But he isn’t a TV star, and the station that carries Raiders games wants some guys they can talk about. They want ratings. They wanted Johnny Football.
Well, not all the hosts wanted Johnny Football. The Raiders already have Matt Schaub and need to stop losing 10+ games per season, and taking a smallish quarterback who’s raw and displayed some questionable judgment at times in college probably isn’t the most logical path back to respectability. Greg Papa will probably be 100% in favor of the Mack selection, and other hosts like John Middlekauff were down with the pick.
But others weren’t quite so pleased that the Raiders said no to Johnny Football.
Raiders just lost out on a once in a lifetime player. Manziel will be a star in this league. Couldn’t be more upset right now!
— AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
Congratulations Raider nation you just went from 4 wins last year to 4 wins next year! Need a diff maker and Manziel was it. Not Mack! Ahhh — AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
Can’t wait to have to listen to all the callers 2 years from now say “I told ya the Raiders should have taken Manziel not Mack!” Ughhh — AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
Then Aubrey Huff started channeling Jon Gruden and ripped any team that didn’t have the cojones to take the J-Football plunge.
I guess the Browns want to keep sucking! Justin Gilbert really? I don’t want Manziel in Cleveland anyway! — AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
Huff then focused his Twitter energies on making sure Manziel didn’t feel too badly about his situation.
That’s right Johnny nobody believes in you! That chip on your shoulder will make you a hall of famer! — AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
Then Huff decided he just wanted ANY team in the Bay Area to take his beloved Johnny Football. Hey, a talking point is a talking point, amirite? (I really hope this next tweet was tongue-in-cheek, but it’s hard to make any assumptions on draft night.)
Maybe Manziel will be there for the 49ers!! — AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
Finally the Browns moved up and took Manziel at 22, historically a fail-safe spot for quarterbacks going to Cleveland.
Go Browns!! I’ll be the first one to buy my doo doo brown jersey! Manziel to Cleveland not sexy for him! — AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
Cleveland Browns Super Bowl champs in 3 years. Book it! — AUBREY HUFF (@aubrey_huff) May 9, 2014
But it wasn’t just the Huffster. I don’t even know what this next tweet means (maybe Bruce meant “fell” instead of “feel”), except that it was going to be followed by one that signaled disappointment.
Raiders fans questioned Damon Bruce’s questions, and he went to the Chucky card.
Then he went to the “I know more about not knowing anything about Buffalo than all y’all” card.
I’m from Upstate NY, and have never seen a down of University of Buffalo football. Don’t pretend. — Damon Bruce (@DamonBruce) May 9, 2014
If you haven’t noticed, Bruce’s skin isn’t all that thick.
If you hear Huff and Bruce hosting shows on Cleveland radio shows in a year or two, don’t be surprised.
What’s ridiculous about Huff’s and Bruce’s logic is it’s completely wrong for the NFL. In the NBA, when there are at most a half dozen stars in any given draft, passing on a guy with supreme talent (i.e. “upside”) can put your franchise into a tailspin. In the NFL, that isn’t the case. The team that drafts Johnny Football with the fifth overall pick is a laughingstock for a decade-plus if he goes kablooey. If Manziel ends up being a superstar, the Raiders will be one of 20 teams that had a chance to take him and said “no thanks.”
But these two hosts aren’t interested in how these teams are perceived in several years, they’re worried about the ratings implications now. They’re forced to talk about the Raiders because they work for the flagship station, and the Mack pick only lends itself to about 15 minutes of “So, he’s probably really good at sacking quarterbacks and separating running backs from the football” analysis. Long-term reputations, whether it’s the Raiders’ or their own, are secondary. Ratings are built on “hot takes” and emotion-based judgments on players you’ve watched a lot on TV.
@DamonBruce Uh, I think you are the only nobody.
— Christopher Hansen (@ChrisHansenNFL) May 9, 2014
@BASportsGuy Looks like Huff’s as good a football prognosticator as he is an outfielder.
@justme2 (second baseman)
@BASportsGuy how's that radio career working out for Huff?
@BASportsGuy pure comedy, thanks for the story!
@aj_strong and I'll keep coming after ur bitch ass
niners fan here. Raiders drafted well. They chose well, and the players they got are playmakers. The lb Mack is a good cornerstone, just like we had Patrick Willis, and guys like Gore, Davis, etc. 1st round picks are not always the cream of the crop. And besides, this draft was loaded from top to bottom. The veteran defense they have now is to set a template as they keep acquiring younger guys for the future, like Mack. Huff and Bruce just need to relax. Raiders, just do your thing: get the job quietly done, without drama. Good luck, and can't wait to see niners and raiders this year.
Its pretty annoying that Bruce and Huff are so upset at the raiders pick. I personally feel like they have become accustomed to "the sexy Al Davis pick" when he's no longer around. There's a reason he wasn't selected by other teams. Bortles was selected #3. Why not slam the Jags for not taking Manziel?
Defense wins championships just ask the Broncos and the whooping they took from Seattle.
I don't wish an awful career for Manziel just to prove a point. I just hope Mack is the start of something great. It just feels right this time around.
"Can’t wait to have to listen to all the callers 2 years from now say “I told ya the Raiders should have taken Manziel not Mack!” Ughhh"
I love Huff's optimism. Not about Manziel, but that Huff believes he'll still be on radio 2 years from now.
Huff is an idiot who isnt even going to make it past 6 months in that show because he wont be able to get up that early on a consistent basis.
@erikh WE HAVE A WINNER!!! NO MORE CALLERS!
Jon Gruden is a "brand", he is the ESPN QB guru, just like Mel Kiper Jr is the draft guru. Gruden honking his clown horn for Manziel was so bush league. As an NFL draft freak, I want some halfway reasonable analysis, not ratings-driven schtick.
The Raiders need O-Line, D-Line, Khalil Mack, and DB's. You could argue they need a legit WR, but I think other positions are a much higher priority and they can limp along with the mediocre receivers they currently have.
I hope if one of the QB's is there today, they pass on him and get some beef on either side of the line. Need building blocks.
I didn't listen to Aubrey Huff, I was glued to the Telly.
@Pulgas de Brent Burns The BTH show is ok, but it might be better without Huff though, no offense to Huff.
Yeah, Huff is kind of dumb. He does provide good insights on the Giants, specifically the 2010 team, but other than that, there's not much there with Huff. He kind of sounds like a typical ex-jock at times.
Aubrey Huff is an idiot, who is clearly wanting a talking point to further his new career. Drafting Johnny Manziel, with all the Raiders needs, is as good of an idea as still having Huff at 1st base. I get Damon's argument, but I want a better Raider team, whose biggest problem (of many) was a horrific defense.
Now if the the Raiders land a good QB in round 2 or 3, they may get a better all around player, then a hyped possible upside. Manziel will either be the biggest bust, or huge success, but not a gamble this sputtering raider team needs. Carr or Garoppolo will both be there...
Wow, this is embarrassing for both Damon and Huff. Huff has been banging the Raiders should draft Johnny Manziel drum since 95.7 started talking about this year's NFL draft. Huff only likes Manziel because he's from Texas like Huff is.
Damon's argument is valid, but at the same time, a lot of us probably haven't heard of these guys who are drafted or watched them play, especially the guys from the smaller colleges. I never heard of Jimmy Ward until last night when the 49ers drafted him.
The Raiders weren't going to draft Manziel though, and Mack apparently was their guy all along. They already have Schaub as the starting QB, and I'm guessing McGloin will be his backup, unless the Raiders plan on drafting Derek Carr.
But yeah, the Raiders weren't going to draft Manziel. At least this issue is now put to bed and 95.7 can stop talking about it. I'll admit it was getting kind of anoying.
Their opinion is like yours and mine, just an opinion. It's like when KNBR has their guys rambling on about nonsense as well. I'm guessing the witch hunt continues.
@BASportsGuy Let me guess...Huff? The guy has the football analysis skills of a shoelace.
@BASportsGuy Good point about being the flagship station. But damn if Aubrey Huff isn’t a clown
@NinersNation I just hope he wasn't serious when he mentioned Manziel and the 49ers at the same time.
@BASportsGuy We were joking about it in the office. I would have been speechless if something like that had happened
Terrible precedent for me, as I don't think even SLC deserves Damon Bruce RT @MACatHoyos SLC gets the crap other cities don't want
@BASportsGuy huff is a joke in regards to any real analysis, baseball included. often sounds unprepared and just comes off as a dude-bro.