McDaniels says TE Michael Mayer has a lot to learn following Week 1 win

Sep 13, 2023, 1:00 PM

Michael Mayer #87 of the Las Vegas Raiders enters the stadium prior to a game between the San Franc...

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 13: Michael Mayer #87 of the Las Vegas Raiders enters the stadium prior to a game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on August 13, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders walked out of Denver with a win last Sunday, but two of the team’s top rookies — Michael Mayer and Tyree Wilson — failed to make an impact.

Mayer, who the Raiders selected with the 35th pick in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft, ended his first professional football game with zero targets and a holding penalty.

Wilson, the team’s seventh overall pick in this year’s draft, did not record a single tackle. He did, however, assist with a tackle. Pro Football Focus ranked all 31 first-round picks, with Wilson among the lowest-graded rookies with a score of 40.5.

Speaking to the media Wednesday, coach Josh McDaniels talked about how his rookies fared in Week 1. When asked about Mayer, McDaniels said Sunday’s win was a unique game, but there’s “a lot to learn from.”

“He didn’t have a bunch of opportunities in the passing game,” McDaniels said. “I think all of them got to feel the speed of the game, you know what I mean? Just changes, you can see it on film, and you can watch last year’s stuff, but then when you get into a regular season game as a rookie for the very first time, you just sense a different tempo. And so, I’m eager to see our guys kind of build off of some of the things that they learned and go into another hostile environment and see how they do.”

McDaniels hopes the rookies who played last week —Mayer, Wilson, Byron Young and Jakorian Bennett — learn from their first NFL experience.

“I think they probably felt a much different speed of the game as you go into the regular season from the preseason. It’s just a different speed and so everything happens a little quicker. I think that’s what we’ll see. And JB did a nice job, had a few opportunities there to make some open field tackles and I thought he did a decent job of getting the guy to the ground. Our corners need to do that if they’re going to go in there and crack the safeties and all the rest of it, so at some point the corners going to have to be out there isolated on the on the edge one-on-one, and I thought we did a good job of getting them the ground.”

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