ALAMEDA – Zack Crockett should get a raise. The former Raiders fullback and current Raiders regional scout mined significant talent from his region of the country.
He covers the Southeast for his former team, and had a ton of his players taken in this week’s NFL draft. The Raiders selected half of their 10 picks from Florida, and another from Alabama.
Not bad for one region of the country.
“Zack Crockett is a popular scout up there,” head coach Jack Del Rio said with a chuckle shortly after the draft.
It wasn’t just Crockett’s influence. The personnel department also took in first-hand accounts from linebackers coach Sal Sunseri and defensive line coach Jethro Franklin.
Sunseri was Florida State’s defensive ends coach the past two years, and Franklin was University of Miami defensive line coach from 2011-14.
The Raiders took defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. from Florida State. They took tight end Clive Walford and guard Jon Feliciano from Miami, and defensive end Max Valles from Virginia, which is also in the ACC. Sunseri also has a close connection to Alabama receiver Amari Cooper.
“We listened to Sal and Jethro,” Del Rio said. “Jethro was at Miami, Sal was at Florida State. We have players from both programs and certainly they [coached] and recruited a lot of those young men as well. That’s a part of it. We’re obviously tied in when you have a couple of guys that are straight out of the college ranks. The recruiting and the relationships with the players, relationships with coaches, the ability to get really good, detailed information and those things are all there.”
Mining the Sunshine State wasn’t a draft strategy, but it did benefit the Raiders to engage in insider training.
“It just worked out where we had some really good players come out of the area they had just left,” Del Rio said. “Trust me, Sal wasn’t running the draft board up there.”