None of us, except those living in the war rooms of the respective organizations, know how involved the non-GM is with particular personnel decisions. But if you're not going to hire a man with GM experience you target the high level executives at organizations run in a way you believe to be analogous with how you want your organization run. Here are three of those guys.
Marc Ross, Director of College Scouting
New York Giants
If Ted Phillips was not lying and this move will be about making the Bears a draft-based organization, hiring an experienced college scout would be a no-brainer move. And for a team that can pinpoint their needs at the WR, OL and pass rushing positions it would make sense to target the man heading a Giants team that continues to nail those positions with ease. (The Giants suffered some terrible injuries on their o-line this year and actually improved when they resorted to a second unit.) Ross is ready to make the leap to the big room and the Bears would be wise to provide him that opportunity.
Les Snead, Director of Player Personnel
Having watched the Falcons closely these last few years it is clear to me their issue is not talent-based. They have a head coach that seems to lose his mind situationally and a quarterback who shrinks in the big playoff spot. What I like about the Falcons front office is they go after it. They signed Tony Gonzalez when the Hall of Famer was essentially begging the New York Giants to bring him in and they balked. They gave up a boatload of picks to secure Julio Jones - a man they targeted as a verifiable game breaking wide receiver. They build their depth in the draft but they don't fear free agency. I think that's the key to building a championship group in modern NFL. (Many do not share that opinion.)
Rick Reiprish, Director of College Scouting
New Orleans Saints
I don't love the Saints talent on the defensive side of the ball. They rely far too heavily on weird Gregg Williams blitz packages to pressure the passer. But Marques Colston? Lance Moore? These guys were afterthoughts on draft day. He also is at least partly responsible for selecting the best guard tandem in football - Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks - in the fourth and fifth rounds respectively. We all know how good the coach and quarterback are in New Orleans but their draft evaluations have been the unsung hero in their alarming, historic offensive success.
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