The Jacksonville Jaguars won't have a new general manager for some time, but that won't stop us from continuing to looking far and wide for potential candidates.
In the first part of two articles, we are casting our net over the NFC and picking out one executive from each team in the conference who is worth keeping an eye on for Jaguars purposes. After all, how many knew who Dave Caldwell was before the Jaguars hired him? He was obviously known in the football world, like those below, but he was also far from a household name.
So, which NFC executives do we think are worth monitoring over the next few weeks as the Jaguars look for their newest leader in the front office? We picked out 16 to give you an idea.
New York Giants
Tim McConnel, Assistant Director of Player Personnel
Tim McConnel has a really interesting background that has seen him scout pros, scout the college level, and even work at the collegiate level. Before he came to the Giants, he was the director of player personnel with Notre Dame, serving as a key figure to their recruiting efforts during several successful winning seasons.
Washington Football Team
Eric Stokes, Director of Pro Personnel
In his first year with Washington after five seasons with the Carolina Panthers in which he filled a variety of roles, including director of college scouting, regional director of college scouting, and southwest area scout, Eric Stokes is an intriguing name. The former Seahawks safety has over 20 years of experience in NFL front offices, including a two-year stint as the assistant general manager with the Miami Dolphins.
Howie Roseman, General Manager
This one is the most "out there" name you will see on this list. It seems more and more likely each week that Howie Roseman will be fired by the Eagles due to their disastrous 2020 season. It isn't often that Super Bowl-winning general managers are on the open market, and it is hard to think Shad Khan wouldn't be impressed by Roseman's experience and pedigree.
Lionel Vital, Director of College Scouting
Lionel Vital has been in his role with the Cowboys since 2016 and has helped oversee the Cowboys bring in some terrific talents via the draft. It is hard to move up in Dallas considering Jerry and Stephen Jones and their place at the top of the pecking order, but Vital is an experienced college scout who has worked with past successful teams such as the Ravens and Patriots.
Samir Suleiman, Director of Player Negotiations & Salary Cap Manager
If there is one area the Jaguars have struggled in recent years, it is the salary cap and player negotiations. They have failed to retain their own players while also giving some free agents contracts that are far above their market value. Samir Suleiman worked for the Jaguars for a two-year stint earlier in his NFL career, but his most recent stop before the Panthers was as the Steelers' football administration coordinator. He joined Pittsburgh in 2013 and was a key piece to their contract negotiations each year after. Not many people have as much extensive experience as Suleiman in terms of managing the salary cap.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
John Spytek, Director of Player Personnel
In his fifth year in his current role, Spytek has been credited with helping the Buccaneers land some of their top free agents in recent years. He helps lead both the college and pro scouting departments and, according to the Buccaneers, "works closely with Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht in all personnel decisions, most notably the construction of the team's draft board, the execution of draft day strategies & player selections as well as all free-agent acquisitions."
New Orleans Saints
Jeff Ireland, Assistant General Manager & College Scouting Director
Read here to learn why Sean Payton has credited Jeff Ireland with completely revamping how the Saints scout. Since Ireland has overhauled their scouting department, few teams have had better draft classes year in and year out than the Saints.
Steve Sabo, Director of Player Personnel
A member of one of four front offices who has seen its leader fired this year, it may be hard to make a strong case for Steve Sabo. With that said, Steve Sabo has a solid record as a scout. He has been in his current role for two years but spent the previous six seasons as the team's director of college scouting, while he also focused strongly on the pro scouting side of the ball during a 12-year tenure in Cleveland.
Green Bay Packers
Chad Brinker, Assistant Director of Pro Scouting/Salary Cap Analyst
This once again follows along the lines of trying to find candidates from established teams. Chad Brinker is in his 11th season in Green Bay's pro personnel department and his third season in his current role. The former pro scout and scouting assistant was also a star running back for Ohio University, and his area of focus with the salary cap certainly makes him an intriguing candidate for any team.
Jamaal Stephenson, Director of College Scouting
How many teams consistently draft and develop their players better than the Vikings do? Jamaal Stephenson has been key to one of the NFL's best front offices over recent years, serving as a key voice in the evaluation and picks of Teddy Bridgewater and Xavier Rhodes. Stephenson was recognized by the Fritz Pollard Alliance as the NFC Scout of the Year for 2012.
Champ Kelly, Assistant Director of Player Personnel
A Florida native, Champ Kelly is maybe one of the most overlooked front office candidates today. It may be hard for some to get excited about a lieutenant from Chicago's front office, but Kelly has proven experience in so many facets that it is hard to argue against him. A former cornerback, Kelly is in his second year as assistant director of player personnel after heading up the pro personnel scouting department in the previous years. Before that, he was an area scout, assistant coordinator of pro and college scouting, and an assistant director of pro personnel.
Kyle O'Brien, Vice President of Player Personnel
As we have already gone over, it may be hard to make a case for executives from a front office that has already seen its leader fired in 2020. With that said, Kyle O'Brien has 18 years of experience in the NFL, which even included three years in Jacksonville (2013-2015) as the director of college scouting. He isn't an ideal candidate likely due to his past Jacksonville ties, but the pickings in Detroit are slim.
Matt Berry, Director of College Scouting
There is absolutely some merit to the idea that there is value in poaching executives from successful front offices. Matt Berry comes from just that type of front office, with the Seahawks turning into one of the NFC's most consistently solid teams over the last decade. Berry has been in his current role since 2015 and has spent over 12 seasons with the Seahawks.
Los Angeles Rams
Brian Xanders, Senior Personnel executive
Brian Xanders has gotten a lot of experience in the personnel world over the years. Xanders served as Denver's general manager from 2009-2012, drafting players like Von Miller, Malik Jackson, Julius Thomas, Danny Trevathan, Eric Decker, and more. He then spent four seasons with the Lions before coming to the Rams in 2017 to help lead the front office during Sean McVay's coaching tenure.
San Francisco 49ers
Adam Peters, Vice President of Player Personnel
We went more in-depth here on why we think Adam Peters is a name to watch. His experience reads a lot like Caldwell's did before he was hired in 2013.
Quentin Harris, Director of Player Personnel
Quentin Harris was once a seven-year safety, spending his playing years with Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants, and the Denver Broncos. Since his playing days were over, Harris has spent time in the Cardinals' scouting department and front office. He was promoted to Assistant Pro Personnel Director in 2010 before being promoted to the team's Director of Pro Scouting for six seasons (2013-18). He was promoted to his current role during the 2019 offseason.