Jon Gruden's draft advice for Mayock: Don't mess it up

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The Oakland Raiders got rid of two very talented players in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper in exchange for two first-round picks. Known commodities for future potential.

Jon Gruden took a lot of heat for the trades over the past seven months, especially the Mack deal.

On Thursday, new GM Mike Mayock relayed what Gruden told him about owning three first-round picks.

"Don't mess it up, dude," Gruden told Mayock, per ESPN.com. "I took a lot of slings to get you three first-round picks."

The Raiders own their own pick at No. 4, the No. 24 selection (from Chicago) and the No. 27 pick (from Dallas). It's a lot of needed capital for a team with a bevy of holes to fill if they are to crawl out of the cellar of the AFC West.

The new GM suggested he might consider trading one of his top selections to earn more capital in a draft expected to be heavy with talent in the second and third rounds. Mayock noted the breadth of options will allow him to build a better team.

"Between 24, 27 and 35 we have three awesome opportunities," he said. "I happen to like 20 through 60. Always have. I think there are a lot of guys that love the game and are safer picks, sometimes, than top-10 picks.

"I'd love to get a couple more picks in there. We've got a lot of holes that need to be filled and I think that's a really good place to go fishing."

Mayock was hired to serve as Gruden's draft point-man -- or to be blamed if things go south if you choose to see it from that bend. The long-time media draft guru and first-time GM understands the dichotomy he's working under.

"The way I look at this thing from a how-do-people-perceive-me perspective is a lot of people doubted that anybody could come out of the media and go and be a GM for any team," Mayock said. "I know that. I get that.

"But at the end of the day, here's the deal -- if we win, everything will be fine. And if we lose, I'll get fired. And I'm perfectly fine with that."

Whether Mayock keeps his Raiders job or returns to the media after being fired by Gruden depends heavily on nailing his first three selections when the draft kicks off in 13 days.

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