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2024 NFL General Manager Candidates: Rising stars in analytics, talent evaluation and more

2T4TD9E Las Vegas Raiders interim general manager Champ Kelly, left, and interim head coach Antonio Pierce speak with reporters during a news conference at the Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Performance Center Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023, in Henderson, Nev. (Steve Marcus/Las Vegas Sun via AP)

• The next wave of top talent-evaluating GMs: The Browns' Glenn Cook and the Raiders' Champ Kelly — who is already in an interim GM role — are among the top candidates.

• The next wave of top operations, football administration and analytics-focused GMs: The Eagles' Alec Halaby and the Browns' Catherine Raîche are among the top candidates.

• Draft and trade for yourself: Try PFF's Mock Draft Simulator — trade picks and players and mock for your favorite NFL team.

Estimated Reading Time: 18 minutes

Now halfway through the 2023 NFL season, we already have head coach and general manager openings with the Las Vegas Raiders. Interim head coach Antonio Pierce and general manager Champ Kelly have an opportunity to win the long-term gigs, with Kelly being an executive who has been in the mix for top jobs in the past.

Nevertheless, more jobs are sure to open this offseason, and we want to make sure fans are as prepared as possible when it comes to learning about the top candidates. This also provides a landscape of the future leaders of organizations across the league, as the following list is very comprehensive. 

We’ve broken down the list into categories but want to be clear that we can never be 100% sure what the exact responsibilities are for each person or all of the various skills they possess. We do not intend to place a label on anyone or put them in a defined bucket, but based on their job descriptions and what we’ve gathered from talking with people around the league, we have identified one key component that each excels at. Odds are, all of them are well-versed in every aspect of running a football team, they just happen to have particular backgrounds and strong suits. 

In years past, we’ve discussed some of the accolades and skill sets each candidate possesses, and we’ll still highlight that to the degree we can, but we also want to focus this time around on potential head coach pairings for each candidate. Last but not least, we will list only the final/top job each candidate had with each former team, despite their likely several promotions during the years they spent with each team. 

Talent Evaluators

Adam Peters, San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager

*Has interviewed for general manager position in the past

Peters is a very interesting name for a specific job that might not come open, and that is with the Houston Texans. Peters worked with Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans for a long time in San Francisco and has been a top name for a while, which has allowed him to be more selective, hence our connecting him with the remarkably attractive situation in Houston.

We’re not saying we expect this to happen, but it could make some sense if Ryans is truly the man running the show these days. 

Glenn Cook, Cleveland Browns assistant general manager

*Has interviewed for general manager position in the past

Cook has impressed in general manager interviews over the past few cycles in Chicago, Minnesota and Indianapolis, and he figures to land a top job sooner rather than later. With a pro scouting background, an offseason that saw the Browns sign edge defenders Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Za’Darius Smith and interior defenders Dalvin Tomlinson and Shelby Harris should help, as Cleveland’s defense has completely transformed this season from a struggling unit to one of the league’s best. 

Another component in turning this defense around was the hiring of Jim Schwartz as defensive coordinator, a former head coach of the Detroit Lions and a Super Bowl winner as defensive coordinator of the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles. Perhaps these two could be an attractive duo for a club this upcoming offseason. 


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