Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Sources: Joey Clinkscales to Raiders
ESPN.com news services
Joey Clinkscales, the New York Jets' vice president of college scouting, is leaving the organization for a prominent front-office position with the Oakland Raiders, league sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Tuesday night.
Clinkscales, who has coordinated the Jets' draft since 2008, will work under general manager Reggie McKenzie, a lifelong friend. McKenzie, hired by the Raiders after the season, has since restructured the team's scouting department.
The Raiders recently fired Jon Kingdon, their longtime director of college scouting, and replaced him with Shaun Herock.
The Jets knew before the draft they'd likely be parting ways with Clinkscales, a source told ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini. On the final day of the draft, Clinkscales addressed an ESPNNewYork.com report that said he was leaving for the Raiders.
"I expect to be here," Clinkscales said. "My job is a talent evaluator. I understand where the connection comes in, to be honest with you. Reggie and I have played high school and college ball together. We were in each other's weddings. I've known Reggie forever. But this is where I started and this is where I plan on being."
Clinkscales ran the last five drafts for general manager Mike Tannenbaum, ascending to that role at a time when the team was coming off two stellar drafts. But, in 2008, the Jets missed badly, selecting linebacker Vernon Gholston with the sixth overall choice. He lasted only three seasons, failing to record a single sack while costing the team $20 million in guarantees. He was out of the league last season.
The seminal drafting moment under Tannenbaum and Clinkscales came in 2009, when they traded up in the first round to take quarterback Mark Sanchez with the fifth overall choice. Sanchez won four playoff games in his first two seasons, but the luster dimmed when his play regressed in 2011. They traded for Tim Tebow last month, creating an immediate threat to Sanchez's job.
In the just-completed draft, the Jets made eight selections, their most since 2006. They picked North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples in the first round and traded up in the second to choose Georgia Tech wide receiver Stephen Hill. Clinkscales said Hill has Calvin Johnson-like athleticism, referring to the Detroit Lions' top receiver who, like Hill, is a Yellow Jackets alum.
The Jets, coming off a disappointing 8-8 season after two consecutive trips to the AFC Championship Game, are shaking things up. They changed offensive coordinators, replacing Brian Schottenheimer with former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano, and they recently hired a new team president, Neil Glat.
With Clinkscales gone, it could lead to changes in the scouting department.
Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Rich Cimini contributed to this report.