As the Bears' search for a new GM fully took off this week, two heavy candidates, Jimmy Raye III (Director of Player Personnel - San Diego Chargers) and Marc Ross (Director of College Scouting - New York Giants) are interviewing with the Bears in consecutive days starting today with Jimmy Raye. From the outside looking in, Raye and Ross appear to have the strongest draft record. Let's take a look at who they may have had a hand in drafting during their respective tenures.
Jimmy Raye III - LaDanian Tomlinson - '01, Drew Brees - '01, Phillip Rivers - '04, Shaun Phillips - '04, Michael Turner - '04, Vincent Jackson - '05, Darren Sproles - '05, Antonio Cromartie - '06, Eric Weddle - '07, Ryan Matthews - '10
Marc Ross - Jason Pierre Paul - '10, Victor Cruz - Undrafted, Hakeem Nicks - '09, Mathias Kiwanuka - '06, Outside of the New York Giants, with Philadelphia: Lito Sheppard, Derrick Burgess, and Brian Westbrook
From listening to Bears beat writers and other analysts for the past 72 hours, it is perceived that Raye is the stronger candidate compared to Ross. Much news has discussed about Ross's work ethic lately such as, "he's not the guy to show up at 4:30 AM" but by looking at the Giants' success this season particularly, Ross may contend that he is so good at his job, he doesn't need to be logging all those hours. Ross has been able to equip both sides of the ball with significant weapons especially on offense with Cruz and Nicks which is attractive as the entire city of Chicago has been clamoring for major improvements in the Wide Receiver position.
Jimmy Raye III, son of Jimmy Raye II who's been with the league for over 34 years, has a very impressive draft record. By looking at the very small summary above, it's proven that San Diego has done a phenomenal job evaluating talent over the past decade. Well respected amongst league executives, Raye has been known to be AJ Smith's (another well respected GM) right hand man which is an important trait. By learning closely to Smith, I hope Raye learned other important GM roles in order to run Halas Hall.
From last week's lack of discussion or rumblings about the GM position, Bears fans (including myself) were led to the thought the Bears are priming Tim Ruskell to assume the position. Since then, the Bears have released their GM candidates and I am very happy with their initial short list. There are more questions that are left unanswered such as if the Bears will be limiting themselves to the list of Jason Licht, Jimmy Raye, Marc Ross, Phil Emery, and Tim Ruskell. Will they consider other candidates such as Will Lewis (Seahawks) and John Dorsey (Packers)?
Regardless if the Bears expand their list or not, the most important question the Bears must answer during this interview process is, "how much did ::fill in the blank:: play a role in drafting for their respective team?" Unlike the MLB or NBA where a GM's resume is built with their ability in Free Agency, the Bears must keep up with the Joneses in the NFC North by hiring a GM who can breed homegrown talent.
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