George Kokinis

Ravens Announce Several Front Office Promotions

Much like their roster and coaching staff, the 2023 Ravens saw their front office fall victim to departures for bigger jobs around the league, as well. Executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta announced seven promotions this week to help fill some of the new vacancies.

George Kokinis was the first staffer mentioned to take the next step up in his career. After spending the past five years as director of player personnel, Kokinis has been promoted to the title of vice president of player personnel. He is one of the longest-tenured staffers in Baltimore’s player personnel department and has worked in the NFL for 33 years. His tenure with the team technically dates back to when he was a scouting intern in Cleveland in 1991. He was invited by former owner Art Modell to join in the franchise’s move to Baltimore in 1996.

In 2023, the team had two directors of player personnel: Kokinis and new Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz. With Hortiz gone and Kokinis receiving a title bump, former assistant director of player personnel Mark Azevedo will step up into the role the former two once shared. Azevedo is another long-term staffer, joining the team as a player personnel assistant in 2005. In the past 19 years, Azevedo has worked his way up through the scouting department.

Former director of college scouting David Blackburn crossed the beltway to work with the Commanders, leaving the door open for former national scout Andrew Raphael to step up into the role. Raphael has been with the team for 10 years, joining as a player personnel intern in 2013. He will be joined atop the college scouting department by Joey Cleary, a nine-year Ravens staffer who served as a Southeast area scout for the past three seasons.

On the pro scouting side of things, Corey Frazier has been promoted to assistant director of pro personnel. Joining the team as a player personnel assistant in 2017, Frazier spent two years as a pro scout before working the past three seasons as the team’s West Coast area scout.

The team also named a couple of promotions in their analytics departments. DeCosta announced that David McDonald would be named vice president of research and development. McDonald has been in Baltimore for nine years, leading all software and data development aspects of the player personnel department as director of research and development since 2019.

Lastly, Derrick Yam was promoted to director of data and decision science after serving the past two seasons as manager of data and decision science. Yam joined the Ravens as a quantitative analyst in 2019 after earning a master’s degree in biostatistics from Brown University.

Staff Notes: Newsome, Panthers, Lions

Despite ceding his post as Ravens GM to longtime lieutenant Eric DeCosta, Ozzie Newsome remains a central presence in Baltimore’s front office. He played a key role in the Ravens adding Earl Thomas, despite not having an official title. He does now. Amid a staff shakeup, the Ravens revealed (via Newsome will serve as their executive vice president. The Hall of Fame tight end and Super Bowl-winning executive will continue to advise DeCosta. This should help a Ravens team in a bit of a transition, considering Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco and C.J. Mosley are no longer with the franchise. Newsome, 63, sticking around will provide vital continuity.

Here is the latest on some front office situations around the league, staying first with more from the Ravens’ new-look staff:

  • The Ravens will now have co-directors of player personnel, moving former college scouting director Joe Horwitz and previous senior personnel assistant George Kokinis into the position. The Ravens brought in Kokinis in 2010, following a short stay as the Browns’ general manager. The Ravens promoted Mark Azevedo from his northeast area scout post to player personnel coordinator and made Chad Alexander their assistant director of pro and college personnel. Vincent Newsome will move from director of pro personnel into a senior player personnel executive position, and Nick Matteo will now oversee the Ravens’ salary cap. Matteo spent 10 years as an NFL management council exec.
  • While their staff changes were not as sweeping as the Ravens’, the Panthers have some key figures in new positions. A 22nd-year Panthers exec, Jeff Morrow will take over as Carolina’s player personnel director after heading the franchise’s college scouting department. Fourth-year Panthers staffer Eric Stokes will move into Morrow’s former role. Former Panthers wide receiver Mark Carrier, a ninth-year member of the team’s front office, will become executive director of the Panthers’ football staff.
  • Lastly, the Lions reshuffled a few roles. Dave Sears will rise from Detroit’s assistant director of college scouting to leading that department. Rob Lohman will make the same move on the pro side. Both Sears and Lohman have been with the Lions for 13 years.