You can’t really say you didn’t see this coming. For the past ten months this Raiders franchise has been headed for a front office overhaul. Reggie McKenzie tore down this Raiders team from a 3-13 club in 2013 to a playoff team in 2016. Then Gruden came in and stripped it of most of the players who were part of that rebuild including an incredible 18 of McKenzie’s draft picks, leaving just nine active former McKenzie draft picks on the team as of last week.
Among those jettisoned from the team was McKenzie prize pick, Khalil Mack, who had won Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. and 2015 top pick Amari Cooper — both of whom were traded away since September.
These moves put the writing on the wall that McKenzie would soon be departing himself. And now the inevitable report that he will be gone come the close of the season has come out. It comes from CBS which reports McKenzie will be out as part of a major front office overhaul.
You expected it mainly if you simply asked yourself what GM in the NFL would stand for being ripped for his drafting by the team’s head coach and summarily watching as twice as many of those former selections are gone as still remain.
Not only is that extremely disrespectful, but he has to be asking what he has to gain by remaining in a GM role without full GM duties and personnel.
McKenzie did have his share of draft duds. There’s no denying that. His second round picks in particular have all been risky and thus far the only one that hasn’t been a colossal failure is Derek Carr (though, that’s a big one) and perhaps Obi Melifonwu, who Gruden gave up on due to frustrations with injuries. He’s since signed in with the Patriots to see if he can develop.
Gruden will be looking to bring in his own front office, or rather Mark Davis will be looking to give him his own front office. According to the report, Gruden knows he needs some help in the draft process so he can make the most of the haul of draft picks he has from the Mack and Cooper trades, including three first round picks this April.
As far as GM replacements, a couple names come to mind quickly. Bruce Allen, who worked with Gruden in Oakland and was his GM in Tampa, and Scott McCloughan who is a well respected NFL personnel man.
Allen is currently the team president in Washington where Jon’s Brother Jay is the head coach, but his days appear to be numbered there. McCloughan was most recently the GM for the same Washington club from 2015 to 2016. He got his start as a scout with the Packers in 1994 while Gruden was the wide receivers coach there.