Continuing the NFL's efforts to strengthen the pipeline of diverse candidates across all levels of the league, the NFL will host its Front Office & General Manager Accelerator Program from Dec. 11-13 at the league meeting in Dallas, Texas.
The Baltimore Ravens are pleased to announce that director of college scouting David Blackburn and assistant director of player personnel Mark Azevedo have been invited to participate in the Front Office & General Manager Accelerator.
This Accelerator is the fourth time the league has hosted the event since it was launched in 2022 and follows the Coach Accelerator that was held May 2023 in Minneapolis, Minn.
In a refresh to the selection process, Clubs were asked to nominate individuals internal and external to their organizations, which were then vetted by an NFL selection committee.
Forty-two highly-qualified candidates of diverse backgrounds, across 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 from 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, who is in his 17th season in Baltimore, was promoted to director of college scouting in 2022 and oversees the college scouting process for the Ravens. Since he joined the team in 2007, he has worked his way up the scouting ranks, starting out as a player personnel assistant, then advancing to area scout and then becoming a national scout from 2020-21.
Azevedo, who is in his 19th year with Baltimore, was promoted to assistant director of player personnel in 2022. He works closely on all scouting efforts with directors of player personnel Joe Hortiz and George Kokinis, both on the college and pro sides. Azevedo spent six years as the Ravens' Northeast area scout, covering schools from the ACC, AAC, Big Ten, Big 12, Ivy League, MAC, MEAC and SEC. Following each year's draft, Azevedo coordinates the post-draft free agent signing process.