Normally, you see a lot of pieces on top GM candidates in December, around the time when seasons are ending and vacancies are being created. This is no accident. Agents are good at what they do, and they want to have their clients in the front of owners' minds when it's hiring time.
In fact, now might be considered the exact opposite of hiring time, with no current openings at GM and, in fact, hiring freezes in place
across the league. However, we do things differently at
Inside the League
, so we decided now might be a good post-hype moment to talk to scouts and executives and get a sense of the people they respect the most. In other words, to get a list of accomplished evaluators whose stories haven't been told quite as widely.
Before getting started, this list is probably going to be sent around the business. We want to make it clear this is far from exhaustive, and it's impossible to talk to every single person in the industry. We at Inside the League have plenty of favorites that aren't on this list, and often, the people we talked to didn't have time to compose a polished group of names, and instead just spoke off the cuff. In other words, please don't shoot the messenger.
It's also important to note that GM candidates are a lot like draft prospects. Most players have a time when their status is elevated, and that time is finite. Some of the names
you don't see may have been omitted because they are not as sexy anymore. That creates a perception that they are less qualified. This is not true.
And finally - this list includes
only those who have not been a GM so far, so Saints Assistant GM
Jeff Ireland, one of the hottest names on the market, is not here.
With those disclaimers out of the way, here are the people we were told have what it takes to sit in the GM seat. They are presented in alphabetical order, and with a couple of sentences gathered from those who submitted their names.
Ed Dodds, Assistant GM, Colts: Kinda old-school, but his people would run through a wall for him. He's one of the main reasons things have gone well in Indianapolis. Can be gruff, but can still get along with people. Good evaluator.
Scott Fitterer and
Co-Directors of Player Personnel: It's hard to separate these two, as it was rare when one was mentioned without the other. Seahawks GM
John Schneider is respected for the team he's built as well as his development of those under him (which is rare, by the way). Both are expected to get a shot because of it.
Quentin Harris, Director of Player Personnel, Cardinals: Has been part of a build, then a rebuild, in Arizona (12 seasons in Phoenix). On the right track. Ex-player. Smart, conscientious, professional. Good person. Kinda quiet.
Champ Kelly, Assistant Director of Player Personnel, Bears: Good dude. Highly respected. Detailed. Quiet. Good person.
Monti Ossenfort, Director of Player Personnel, Titans: Deserves a chance. Smart. Not a robotic New England guy. Has been exposed to other systems.
Adam Peters, VP of Player Personnel, 49ers: Has been with some great teams that have gone to and won Super Bowls (New England and Denver as well as San Francisco). Has helped get the 49ers back on track. Sharp, works hard, deserving. Has a college and pro background. Polished. Great personality.
Jon-Eric Sullivan, Co-Director of Player Personnel, Packers: Outstanding personality. Has worked his way up the ladder. Great people skills. Been ready for a while. Understands talent. Good communicator. Good guy.
Joe Schoen, Assistant GM, Bills: Great guy and good person. Has done a good job in Buffalo. Hard worker. Not a political guy, and a real grinder. Well-respected. Good on the football side. Highly organized.
Brandon Hunt, Pro Scouting Coordinator, Steelers:
Knows what he knows very well. He's been there and had success without getting credit, but would do a good job. He's seen as the next in line whenever GM
retires, and it's unlikely the team would let him out of the building.
On the other hand. . . .
Dwayne Joseph, Director of Pro Personnel, Raiders: Won a Super Bowl in Philadelphia, where he led one of the more successful pro departments in the game. Ex-player. Has pro personnel experience with four organizations (Raiders, Eagles, Bears and Dolphins).
Rex Hogan, Assistant GM, Jets: Excellent communicator with a strong network, inside and outside the league (college). Highly personable. Outstanding evaluator. Has worked with good people.
We're far from done. We'll talk about several highly respected post-hype names and another dozen "on the horizon" names of younger scouts and executives in next week's
Succeed in Football
blog as well as the June 19 edition of the
Here's a look at what else we saw, heard, read and said in the world of college and pro football this week.
More on this week's list:
Putting together this week's Wrap wasn't easy, for a lot of reasons. We explain them in
this week's post in our blog, Succeed in Football
, in which we talk about the reason why it's hard to pull opinions out of scouts on their peers; how important being a "people person" is, according to people in the scouting business; and one reason top minority GM candidates come from the pro side. If you are interested in the scouting profession, it might be worth a look. Check it out (and all our posts going back to June 2014
Want to be a scout?:
It's that time again when
Sports Info Solutions
is looking to hire video scouts for football; we always
post the listing
because it's a real-live chance to get paid for watching film and learning the game. What's more, you'll work with former NFL scout
and his crack staff. Full disclosure: this is not a remote job, and will require you to move to Pennsylvania by Aug. 17, while the job concludes Dec. 2. The post pays $9/hour and college credit is available. For more details, click
Want to be a GM?:
We're really excited about next week. It's the first
ITL GM Academy
, in which a half-dozen director-level NFL evaluators will be on a Zoom call with a different former NFL GM Monday through Thursday. Monday, we'll have
(Seahawks). Tuesday, it will be
(Bears), followed by
(Bills) on Wednesday and
(Falcons) on Thursday.
Cost is $500
, and we still have room for 1-2 more. If you're eager to learn more about the interview process, how to deal with the media and what you need to know about dealing with owners and building a staff, now's your chance. Naturally, all participants will be held in confidence. We hope to make this an annual occurrence. If you're interested or have questions, hit us up.
This week, we had three reports.
, we looked at the supplemental draft, which would normally take place next month. What about this year? We talked to scouts and discussed what we found. Also, we had scouting developments, an interesting transfer involving a player with NFL bona fides (and an NFL dad) and more.
, we talked up a retirement from the Dolphins scouting department, a prospect out of Lexington whose got football roots, and more buzz.
, we revised some numbers from Tuesday's report, had the return of one longtime NFL scout (and member of the ITL Scouting Department) to the league, and more. It was a short week but we'll be back with more reports next week. As always, check out all our work from this year
Monday through Thursday, our nights will be dominated by the
ITL GM Academy
. We're incredibly excited about our first-ever chance to help the people in the league develop themselves professionally, and we think it's gonna be a grand slam. However, our days will be spent doing what we always do. We'll talk to people in the industry about the hiring and firing taking place (or rumored to), the all-star games coming and going, and the mergers and splits on the agent side in our
. We'll also have lists of the top 10 prospects (regardless of class) for five more schools (
La.-Monroe, Louisville, Marshall, Maryland
) on our
ITL Team Scouting Reports
. Make sure you're checking them out to find the sleepers in next year's class and more. We'll also dedicate our
Succeed in Football blog
to more names of GM candidates that don't normally make the big media lists. We'll extend that to next week's
, too, so if you liked today's edition, make sure to check us out next week. We're also working on the last brushstrokes on the next book by ITL's Neil Stratton,
, and we'll be trying to decide on the cover this week (maybe we'll let you help us decide, as we did with
Moving the Chains
). It's June, but there's still plenty of work to do, as always.
Please consider joining us
. Have a great weekend.