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Raiders’ 1st-round pick Brock Bowers grew up in 49ers household

Updated April 26, 2024 - 7:32 pm

Brock Bowers never could have dreamed he would be drafted by the NFL franchise that held training camp each year on the fields adjacent to his middle school in Napa, California.

Yet that’s exactly what happened Thursday when the Raiders called the former Redwood Middle School student’s name as the 13th pick of the NFL draft’s first round.

“If someone would have told me that then, I’d have been like, ‘No way,’ ” he said of joining the Raiders. “It’s crazy.”

Bowers said one of the most enduring memories of the Raiders training at his school was getting quarterback Derek Carr’s autograph.

“It’s kind of cool how things come full circle like that,” said Bowers, who admitted he grew up in a 49ers household. “I remember going to watch them. It’s cool how it all comes around.”

Bowers gathered with a large group of family and friends to watch the draft in Northern California on Thursday and insisted not everyone’s allegiances were with the 49ers.

“There were a lot of Raiders fans there,” he said, smiling. “A lot of people in Napa like the Raiders.”

Athletic family

There might be more people jumping on the bandwagon now that a hometown kid has been selected by the Raiders. That starts with his mother, DeAnna, who was wearing Raiders apparel to his introductory news conference Friday at Raiders headquarters.

Bowers’ father, Warren, might be a tougher sell. He wore neutral colors during his son’s news conference, but was spotted in a Raiders shirt later in the day.

Both parents also were great athletes. They met at Utah State, where Warren was an all-conference center on the football team and DeAnna was an All-America softball player and now a member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Bowers’ sister Brianna played softball at Sacramento State.

Bowers has credited his family’s competitiveness with helping to drive him to greatness.

“I feel like I’m a hard-working guy and am always competing,” he said. “I love to compete. And I feel like that’s something I bring to the table every day in practice. I’m going to be trying to win every rep.”

It was the same mentality with everything the family did growing up, but Bowers knew better than to answer when asked who was the best athlete in the household.

“That’s always a big argument,” he said. “I usually let my parents argue about it, so I don’t want to say anything. No comment on that.”

Welcome to Las Vegas

Bowers spent the day meeting people around the building, a process that started with coach Antonio Pierce leading the welcome committee.

The 21-year-old said the process of the past 24 hours has been a whirlwind, but he’s excited to learn about the organization and his new home.

“I feel like it hasn’t all soaked in yet, just because last night was a lot of emotions, and then I went to sleep and got up early and caught a flight here,” he said. “So it’s exciting to see where I’m going to be at for the next couple years, and hopefully it’s a good place.”

The plan is to get to work immediately. Bowers said he looks forward to having conversations with coaches to determine a plan for his role in the offense. That’s why he hasn’t set any long-term goals.

“I’m more focused on what I can do right now,” said Bowers, who will join former college teammates Zamir White and Chris Smith with the Raiders. “Just be as ready as I can for rookie minicamp and everything upcoming this next year.”

That means working with fellow tight end Michael Mayer, drafted by the Raiders last year in the second round. Fans should expect to see them on the field together in two tight end sets.

“I’m excited to get to work with him,” Bowers said. “Hopefully he can teach me a thing or two. I remember watching him in college and at the next level.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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