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Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Exec Clinkscales leaving for Raiders

By Rich Cimini

As expected, Joey Clinkscales, the Jets' VP of college scouting, is leaving for the Raiders. The speculation started two weeks ago, when reported his likely departure, and it was confirmed Tuesday night by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Clinkscales did his best to shoot down the original report, claiming at the conclusion of the draft that his plan was to remain with the Jets. But this was a done deal before the draft. It appears to be a lateral move, which certainly raises eyebrows.

Clinkscales won't be the general manager in Oakland; that job belongs to his lifelong friend Reggie McKenzie, who was hired in January and already has taken a wrecking ball to the Raiders' personnel and scouting departments. Clinkscales will have a prominent position, a source told Schefter, but he won't be running the show.

The Jets apparently want a fresh approach in the draft room. Clinskcales ran the last five drafts for GM Mike Tannenbaum, doing a solid, if not stellar job of accumulating talent.

They whiffed in 2008 with Vernon Gholston (folks will tell you that was Eric Mangini's call), but they found their quarterback (Mark Sanchez) in '09. The '10 and '11 drafts were lackluster, producing only three starters and kickoff-return ace Joe McKnight.

The Class of '12, headed by Quinton Coples and Stephen Hill, has a chance to be special -- or a bust. In many ways, it typified Clinkscales' approach. The Jets placed an emphasis on size and speed, betting on potential instead of past production.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The bottom line is, they haven't drafted a Pro Bowl player since Darrelle Revis in 2007. This is an organization, coming off a disappointing year, in the process of shaking it up. New offensive coordinator. New team president. And, soon, they will have a new man in charge of the draft.