Two members of the Ravens' player personnel department have been invited to participate in the NFL's Front Office & General Manager Accelerator Program, to be held at the upcoming league meetings (Dec. 11-13) in Dallas.
Director of College Scouting David Blackburn and Assistant Director of Player Personnel Mark Azevedo will participate.
The accelerator program, launched in 2022, is part of the NFL's continuing efforts to strengthen the pipeline of diverse candidates across all levels. Clubs were asked to nominate individuals who were vetted by an NFL selection committee.
Forty-two candidates from player personnel, football operations and assistant general manager disciplines were selected for the opportunity to build relationships with club owners and executives ahead of the hiring cycle.
In addition to networking, candidates will participate in a range of personal and professional development programming, including practice interviews led by former general managers and leadership sessions with outside experts. For the first time, personal development workshops have been included to focus on candidates' overall wellness and mental preparedness when applying for roles.
Blackburn was promoted to Ravens director of college scouting in 2022 after spending two years as a national scout and seven years as the West area scout. He originally joined the organization as a player personnel assistant in 2007.
Azevedo was promoted to assistant director of player personnel in 2022, where he has worked closely with the team's two directors of player personnel, George Kokinis and Joe Hortiz. Azevedo is in his 19th year with the Ravens and has coordinated the rookie free agent signing process since 2014. He has also been the organization's assistant director of college & pro personnel, player personnel coordinator and Northeast area scout. Azevedo began with the Ravens as a player personnel assistant in 2005.