General manager Reggie McKenzie remains the Raiders draft czar. As always, he takes input from his personnel department and the coaching staff. This is his first draft working with Jack Del Rio, and it’s crystal clear the team’s new head coach wants to be heavily involved in the process.
“Can you guys get Jack out of my office?” McKenzie said with a laugh.
McKenzie was clearly joking, but it goes to show that Del Rio wants more than an advisory role. He wants to get his hands dirty. McKenzie has let him do that.
“Reggie’s been great about being inclusive,” Del Rio said Friday afternoon during an NFL-mandated pre-draft press conference. “Knowing the process, coaching evaluation (from Del Rio and his assistants) is an important part of it. Their input has been taken into consideration along with all the work the scouts do year-round.”
Del Rio is playing a small amount of catch-up in the draft needs department, having only seen his charges in action during this week’s voluntary veteran minicamp.
“Our first task was evaluating the roster and getting to know our guys better,” Del Rio said. “(The minicamp) was just another piece of information about our own roster. We’re getting to know our guys better, and the past three days gave us something to go through before we go to the draft.”
Del Rio has been carefully scouting college players since the combine, and has a solid gauge on the players he likes. He wasn’t telling secrets, but he’s certainly up to speed and has strong opinions that will be heard.
McKenzie will ultimately pull the trigger on draft day, but Del Rio will have a loud voice in the draft room.
“Reggie does a great job of taking everyone’s take into account,” Del Rio said. “The inclusiveness shows the value of the work done by the coaches and the scouts, who do a great job helping rank players on our board. Reggie is inclusive and does a great job gathering information in that way.”