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Raiders tight end excited to team with Bowers: ‘We can both do it all’

The Raiders raised some eyebrows last month by taking Georgia tight end Brock Bowers in the first round of the NFL draft.

It was a surprising selection because the team selected Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer in the second round the year before. But one person who wasn’t shocked was Mayer himself.

He knows the Raiders offense needs to put as much pressure on opposing defenses as possible. And what better way to do that than by pairing up two of the best tights in college football in recent years?

“We can both do it all,” Mayer said Saturday at the Raiders’ Business on a Course golf event at Las Vegas Country Club.

Coach Antonio Pierce reached out to Mayer immediately after the team drafted Bowers to explain the selection. And express his excitement over what Bowers and Mayer can do together.

“I said, ‘Damn, this is going to be a great combination,’ ” Pierce said. “Two young studs to grow up together within our organization that can help us win a lot of games.”

Bowers won back-to-back John Mackey Awards as the nation’s top tight end his final two seasons at Georgia. Mayer was a finalist his final season at Notre Dame.

Bowers finished his three-year career with the Bulldogs with 175 catches for 2,538 yards and 26 touchdowns. Mayer had 180 catches for 2,099 yards and 18 touchdowns in three years with the Fighting Irish.

Both played in offenses that featured multiple tight ends. So they’re each accustomed to sharing the field with another player at their position. They’re also both versatile enough to line up at different spots.

Those skills should boost a Raiders offense that scored 19.5 points per game last year, which ranked 23rd in the NFL.

The team’s struggles to score meant Mayer did not bat an eye when the club decided to add another weapon like Bowers in the draft. The two should be able to open holes in the running game and create more space in the passing game for wide receivers Davante Adams and Jakobi Meyers.

“Our job is to win ballgames,” said Mayer, who had 27 catches for 304 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. “As an offense, we need to score touchdowns. And that’s what we’re going to do to the best of our ability.”

Mayer missed the Raiders’ final three games with a toe injury last year but said he’s made a complete recovery. He’s been a full participant in the team’s offseason program so far.

He and Bowers hit the practice field together for the first time last week, which already has Mayer excited about the Raiders’ potential under new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

“I think we’re gonna be dangerous,” Mayer said. “I think we’re gonna gave a great offense.”

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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