In Jack Del Rio, the Raiders got someone with more experience and a better resume than this team has seen at head coach in a very long time. Because of what Del Rio brings to the table, it appears he will be heavily involved with the upcoming draft.
In an interview on 95.7 The Game, Del Rio had this to say about draft preparations:
Watched a lot of tape. Very involved in meetings. We’ll continue that process. It’s been my experience, the more inclusive the better. I think Reggie does a great job of bringing the guys together, all the scouts spend a lot of time putting the information together, coaches, getting their opinion and gathering all that information so we can make good decisions for the Raiders.
McKenzie definitely spoke with former head coach Dennis Allen in previous years to get an idea of what players he preferred, but it was clearly McKenzie’s show. It appears Del Rio sees it as a group effort in 2015, noting that he is heavily involved in the process and perhaps most telling, using “we” when discussing the decisions that will be made.
This shouldn’t be very surprising to` those who have followed the Raiders over the past few months. Del Rio has done a good job of saying the right things with regards to Reggie McKenzie. He has shown respect to the general manager and noted that they work well together. But he has also done a good job of getting himself out there to talk to the media while making sure that he is putting his own mark on this team as well. In fact, since being hired, Del Rio may have talked to the media more times in a few months than Allen did in his entire first year. And when Del Rio talks, he makes it pretty clear that he views this as his team and he’s going to do what it takes to build it in line with the vision he and his coaches have in mind.
McKenzie will be the one making the final call on draft picks, but don’t be surprised if this draft looks very much like one with Del Rio’s fingerprints.