A couple weeks ago, three NFL teams hired new general managers, and we talked to scouts and executives across the league to get a sense of who each of the new GMs (Ryan Poles in Chicago, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Minnesota and Joe Schoen in New York) really are, behind the scenes.
Shortly before we departed for Mobile last week, the Raiders hired Patriots Director of Player Personnel Dave Ziegler. Now that the Senior Bowl is behind us, we reached out to several friends in the game to get their respective takes on him. Here’s what we were told.
- “Hardworking, diligent guy who earned the trust of Bill Belichick in New England.”
- “Genuinely good dude. Not a micromanager. Trusts you to get the job done and offers great constructive criticism (and) feedback. Great evaluator; mind of (Texans GM) Nick Caserio without the ego, and way more personable.”
- “Extremely intelligent. Excellent communicator/collaborator. Type of guy that brings people together. Very focused and has a plan. He’s very much his own guy and, in spite of his New England experience, he will shape things in Las Vegas from his own personal perspective.”
- “Ziegler is a good guy. Has a good reputation among scouts that know him. Very well-connected within the agent community. Has a really good feel for the pro scouting process and in-season player acquisition/trades. Doesn’t have much experience on the college side. Started to get more involved last year. He has a great working relationship with (new Raiders head coach Josh) McDaniels. They are extremely close.”
- “Smart. Very relatable guy. Easy to get to know. Gets to know people and acquaints himself with people. Will hit the ground running in Vegas. He’s been with multiple teams so it’s not straight Broncos or straight Patriots with him. He has done a lot of things and has seen a lot of ways to do things. Probably leans more pro than college, so he will have to get a strong college director in there. Overall, good evaluator. I think (Patriots head coach) Bill (Belichick) trusted him pretty quickly once he got to know him. He’s not afraid to go against the grain on a guy, which is always a good thing. He’s good dealing with agents. Confident, but not a cocky (jerk). Good, down-to-earth dude. I think he’ll do a good job there. He also has a very good relationship with (new head coach) Josh (McDaniels), and that’s the most valuable thing he brings. He knows what Josh wants and what Josh doesn’t want, and I think that was probably a big disconnect with the last regime.”
- “I’ve known Dave since he was with the Broncos, and I always found him, first of all, to be very agent-friendly, very knowledgable, very courteous at all times. One of his great strengths is, he really treats everybody the same, if it’s a 30-year agent or a rookie. I always thought that was a great quality. He always returns calls, and always listened whatever the issues we had, whether it was not enough playing time, a player needed this, whatever. He has tremendous people skills, tremendous scouting skills, and a high level of humility.”
Ziegler’s move to Las Vegas isn’t the only one we’re tracking. Not by a long shot, as the Bears, Raiders and Jaguars all made moves today that will change the respective faces of their front office. We’ll discuss all of that and more in tomorrow’s Friday Wrap. You can register for it here.