Inside the Raiders Draft Room: GM McKenzie’s Top Staff

RaiderNation knows who the general manager is. While Reggie McKenzie oversees football operations in Oakland, little about his personnel staff sees daylight. With the draft three weeks away, many become curious to look behind the curtain and see who help McKenzie evaluate talent. In the scouting department, these two offer valuable input. With that said, they assist in plotting the Raiders future.

Joey Clinkscales: This is McKenzie’s right hand man. As the Director of Player Personnel, Clinkscales reports to only one person. Since high school, McKenzie has trusted him. Through their days playing at the University of Tennessee, the bond remains to this day. Yet, Clinkscales earned his reputation away from McKenzie. After the Bucs released him in 1988, he took a scouting job with the Steelers. After, the Jets hired him. Clinkscales advanced through the organization. Eventually, he earned the title of Vice president of College Scouting.

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If you look at some of the talent that Clinkscales assembled in New York, you can see why the Dolphins interviewed him for their open GM spot. Players like D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, and Darrelle Revis found their way to Broadway, in part due to Clinkscales. On the other hand, so did Vernon Gholston and Mark Sanchez. This proves that drafting is the most inexact of sciences However, Clinkscales can disagree with McKenzie and state reasons why.


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Shaun Herock: Although the name may not ring any bells, his family’s legacy in Oakland should. Shaun is the son of former Raiders player and scout, Ken Herock. Also, Shaun occupies the title of Director of College Scouting. As a result, many draft picks own his fingerprints. A former offensive lineman, Herock buys into the Mike Tice style of brute. As a result, don’t be surprised if the Raiders draft a mauler at right tackle. As an illustration, Bryan Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton, and current Raiders OT Marshall Newhouse were the work of McKenzie and Herock during their years in Green Bay.



Ultimately, Reggie McKenzie’s word in Oakland remains final. As the ultimate arbiter, what he says goes. But, to his credit, McKenzie surrounded himself with a staff that he will trust. While they may not sway him on a first-round pick, room exists for debate on Day 3 players. Therefore, Clinkscales and Herock exist to provide insight to McKenzie. Any strong leader needs a braintrust to help them navigate complex situations. There is no trickier time than draft season. Reggie McKenzie is the administrative face of the Raiders. In the background, Herock and Clinkscales work to better the team each season.


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