The Denver Broncos have quickly jumped into the process of finding their next general manager. Just a day removed from John Elway relinquishing the GM duties he held for a decade, the Broncos are hot on the trail of their top candidates to succeed him.
The Broncos have been granted an interview Chicago's assistant of player personnel Champ Kelly and next up will be the New England Patriots' assistant director of player personnel Dave Ziegler per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
"Broncos requested permission to interview Dave Ziegler, the Patriots’ assistant director of player personnel, for their GM job, per league source. Ziegler started his NFL career with the Broncos and was a college teammate of Nick Caserio and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels," Schefter tweeted Tuesday evening.
Indeed, Ziegler's Broncos roots go deep and while he does go way back with Josh McDaniels, he's mostly been groomed by the Patriots' front-office czars, including director of player personnel Nick Caserio, and, ostensibly, Bill Belichick, who has final say over all things personnel in New England.
Ziegler is an interesting choice and while his McDaniels' ties may rub some Broncos fans the wrong way, he's definitely an up-and-comer in the business. Is he ready to be a GM?
Matt Russell, the recently-retired director of player personnel in Denver, might think so. A long-time scout for the Patriots, Russell still has contacts in New England and it wouldn't be surprising if he's heard great things about Ziegler. Russell is helping the Broncos in their search for the next GM, though that doesn't necessarily mean he has decision-making power.
Ziegler received a promotion from the Patriots last summer and has worked hand-in-glove as Caserio's right-hand man. It'll be interesting to see how it shakes out.
On Monday, Mile High Huddle's Bob Morris laid out seven likely targets for the Broncos and already, the two candidates whom the team has sought interview requests were listed. The Broncos will cast a "wide net" to make sure the right guy is landed.
UPDATE: The Houston Texans just hired Caserio as their new GM, which could prompt the Patriots to block Ziegler, or, at the very least, make him an offer he can't refuse to stay on.