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Three Former Vikings GM Candidates Kwesi Adofo-Mensah Could Bring On in a No. 2 Role

Adofo-Mensah isn't expected to make major changes to the Vikings' front office staff, but keep these three in mind.

New Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah isn't expected to come in and tear down the team's entire existing front office. And why would he? Minnesota has a number of talented, experienced executives already in place, many of whom Adofo-Mensah will lean on during his first year as as NFL GM.

"The Vikings also plan to keep many of the same scouts and front office members in place even with Adofo-Mensah’s arrival," reports The Athletic's Chad Graff. "The top of the organization didn’t want massive changes in the scouting department, and since that’s not Adofo-Mensah’s background, he was, according to a source, more willing to accommodate those wishes than perhaps Ryan Poles, the other GM finalist who accepted the same job with the Chicago Bears, would have been."

What that exactly will look like is unclear, but I'd imagine salary cap guru Rob Brzezinski and co-directors of player personnel Jamaal Stephenson and Ryan Monnens will stick around in their current roles. Other key front office leaders who could be retained include scouting directors Reed Burckhardt and Mike Sholiton, player development manager Kaitlin Zarecki, and director of analytics Scott Kuhn.

But even if major changes to the personnel department are unlikely, it would be quite surprising if Adofo-Mensah didn't bring in at least a few new faces to his front office. This is purely speculative, but here are three names who the Vikings interviewed for their GM vacancy who could theoretically be brought on by Adofo-Mensah in an assistant GM role. It would have to be a promotion from their current role — otherwise, their current team could block it.

Brandon Brown, Eagles director of player personnel

Adofo-Mensah spent the past two seasons in Cleveland working under GM Andrew Berry, who hired him in part because of a conversation they had at the NFL combine in 2019. Berry and Brown overlapped in the Colts' scouting department in 2015 and again in the Eagles' front office in 2019, so there's a relationship there. That makes you wonder if Brown's name comes up in conversations between Adofo-Mensah and Berry.

A former Fordham defensive back, Brown has been with the Eagles since 2017 after getting his first NFL job as a scout with the Colts. He's a rising young star at just 33 years old. Brown has a law degree and previously worked in compliance and executive roles in college football, giving him a diverse background. He has experience in both college and pro scouting during his NFL career.

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Adofo-Mensah could consider hiring Brown as his assistant GM, which would be a promotion from his role in Philly, if he wants another strong football mind with an outside perspective.

Catherine Raîche, Eagles VP of football operations

I'm going back to the same connection here with Adofo-Mensah and Berry. Berry was only with the Eagles for a year, but that was the year Raîche was hired and began her rapid ascent within Philly's front office. When Berry left, she was the one who took his old position. Raîche is the most senior-ranking female team personnel executive in NFL history, and the buzz is that she impressed the Vikings in her GM interview last week.

A Montreal native, Raîche has a law degree and got her start in football in the CFL and XFL. She could be a strong addition to the Vikings' front office as Adofo-Mensah's assistant GM. For what it's worth, the Vikings have been progressive when it comes to promoting women in their front office. When they lost Kelly Kleine to the Broncos as George Paton's No. 2, they promoted Zarecki, player personnel assistant Caroline DeFelice, and Taylor Young (who was later poached as the director of football administration for the Browns).

Glenn Cook, Browns VP of player personnel

Cook, like Adofo-Mensah, interviewed for the Vikings' GM vacancy. Could Adofo-Mensah bring him along to Minnesota? This is a tough one because Berry probably doesn't want to lose both of his top assistants (unless both were becoming GMs somewhere). He could promote Cook or have basis to block a 'lateral' move if he already views Cook as his No. 2 with Adofo-Mensah gone. Still, it's worth mentioning as a possibility. 

Cook is a seen as a future GM in his own right. The former Colts and Packers scout has been with Cleveland since 2016, first as the assistant director of pro scouting and then in his current role. A former University of Miami linebacker, Cook has a strong scouting background and has broadened his responsibilities in recent years.

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