This week, Outkick published a pretty good page tracking interviews with the relative teams. Here are a few thoughts based on each team’s interviewees.

  • The time is now for Saints Assistant GM Jeff Ireland, who’s interviewed or will interview (via Zoom only) with the Lions and Panthers. Of the two, the Lions job makes a lot more sense for Ireland. Whoever goes to Charlotte will (a) need a strong analytics presence (Browns VP of Football Operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah fits the bill, and the Panthers have asked permission to interview him) and (b) will have to answer to Panthers head coach Matt Rhule. Those are not the perfect conditions for Ireland. On the other hand, the Lions have a much bigger staff, more scouts (and more veteran scouts), and more responsibilities.
  • What’s more, given that former Lions great Chris Spielman has a major role in the team’s hire, he may be more likely to give Ireland the nod given that his brother, Rick, has been such a success after getting a second chance of his own.
  • Presumably, if the Lions had gotten blown away by Thomas Dimitroff, George Paton, Scott Pioli, Louis Riddick, Rick Smith or any of the three in-house candidates, they would have already made a hire. All of them are eligible for in-person interviews. On the other hand, Rams college director Brad Holmes, Saints Assistant GM Terry Fontenot, Seahawks GM John Schneider and Ireland are not. The question is, how long will Detroit be willing to wait?
  • It’s impossible to guess what kind of interest the Jaguars have in any of their five publicly known candidates. It all hinges on what Urban Meyer decides. Maybe that’s why the team has interviewed three former GMs; they have executive experience, but might be willing to defer to Meyer in order to get back in.
  • Similarly, until the Falcons decide if Raheem Morris returns, it’s hard to make a decision on a GM. If Atlanta waits for one of the hot coordinators, it might be one of the last teams to hire a GM. If so, the Falcons may have to take their second choice.
  • Washington has done little more than satisfy the Rooney Rule so far. Does that mean the team already has its pick made? Same is true of Denver. Bears assistant DPP Champ Kelly makes a lot of sense there.
  • Unless there are names missing – and that’s very possible – it’s surprising that Bills Assistant GM Joe Schoen and 49ers VP of Player Personnel Adam Peters (each with Panthers) haven’t gotten more interest. Based on our survey of scouts and executives last spring (here and here), they’re both highly regarded. Ditto for Seattle’s Alonzo Highsmith and Dallas’ Will McClay.
  • It’s mildly surprising that the Colts, one of the current “it” franchises under talented GM Chris Ballard, haven’t been targeted by teams with GM openings. So far, only scouting director Morocco Brown (Falcons) and Assistant GM Ed Dodds (Panthers) have gotten looks. 

We’ll be keeping an eye on the interviewees as they’re published and the teams as they make hires. Make sure to check out the mother ship as well as the Friday Wrap (register here) for more.