JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After firing Dave Caldwell, Shad Khan is searching for the next general manager of the Jaguars. Candidates could fall in one of three categories: up and comers, proven commodities and picks from the media. Here are three candidates in each category the Jaguars may consider.
Up and comers
This group is made up of personnel men who have not been a general manager in the past.
Mike Borgonzi, Director of football operations, Kansas City Chiefs
Borgonzi has been in Kansas City, where three former front office men have gone on to become general managers. Borgonzi has been in the Chiefs organization for 10 years. He has been a part of drafts that have brought Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones and Tyreek Hill to Kansas City.
Borgonzi has an Ivy League background. He’s clearly bright. If you look beyond Mahomes, you see that KC has built a Super Bowl-winning roster with a ton of draft picks. That’s not all on one guy, but he’s had a hand in it. If the Jaguars are going to be in the market for a new coach after this year, Borgonzi would have a great read on Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, who is expected to be a top candidate for head coaching jobs this offseason.
Jon-Eric Sullivan, Director of player personnel, Green Bay Packers
The Packers do things the right way. And Sullivan has a coaching background as well. His father is former Jaguars wide receivers’ coach Jerry Sullivan. You would expect that the GM would be given the task of hiring the head coach, and he has good connections in the coaching world. The step-up from Director of player personnel to general manager is substantial. Sullivan is the co-number three man in the Packers’ scouting hierarchy.
Ed Dodds, Assistant general manager, Indianapolis Colts
Highly respected as a scout, Dodds worked with the Seattle Seahawks from 2007-2016, where he was part of five division titles, 10 playoff wins and two Super Bowl appearances, one of which brought him a Super Bowl ring.
He is Colts’ general manager Chris Ballard’s right-hand man. That would make hiring him addition by subtraction to one of the Jaguars’ division rivals. Among the drafts that he has been a part of, his teams have picked Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, Richard Sherman, Bobby Wagner, Russell Wilson, Frank Clark and Tyler Lockett in Seattle. Since joining the Colts, he has been a part of the decision-making process that resulted in the selection of Pro Bowl players Quenton Nelson and Darius Leonard.
These potential candidates have held the position of general manager in the past but are currently not working in the same capacity. In some cases, they aren’t working in the NFL at all currently.
Thomas Dimitroff, former Atlanta Falcons general manager
It would be quite a coincidence if the hired Caldwell’s mentor and former boss. Dimitroff was let go by the Falcons in October after an 0-5 start. The Falcons hired Dimitroff as general manager in 2008 from the New England Patriots.
In his first draft, he selected quarterback Matt Ryan, who became the franchise quarterback in Atlanta. The 2010 NFL executive of the year presided over a team that reached the NFC championship game in 2012 and the Super Bowl in 2016. Among Dimtroff’s best draft picks, Ryan, wide receiver Julio Jones, running back Devonta Freeman and tight end Austin Hooper all became Pro Bowl players. But since 2017, no player drafted by Dimitroff has made a Pro Bowl.
John Dorsey, former Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns general manager
Dorsey played for the Packers from 1984-1989 and two years later joined the Packers as a scout. He worked his way up to director of football operations with Green Bay, with a one-year detour as the Seattle Seahawks director of player personnel.
He served as the Chiefs’ general manager from 2013-2016. In his first draft, he chose Eric Fisher, who has not lived up to the billing as the top overall pick, although he has been a solid consistent starter. Other first-round picks for Dorsey in Kansas City include defensive end Dee Ford and cornerback Marcus Peters. In his final draft as the Chiefs’ general manager, he selected Patrick Mahomes in the first round in 2017. He also drafted Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce.
Dorsey joined the Browns as general manager after being let go in Kansas City. He joined the Browns in December of 2017, as the Browns were heading to an 0-16 season. In his first draft, he selected Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 pick in 2018 draft and selected Nick Chubb in the second round. Both have become mainstays in the Browns offense. In Cleveland, Dorsey’s teams went, 7-8-1 and 6-10. He left the Browns after his second season when he and Cleveland’s owners disagreed on a new structure for the front office.
Trent Baalke, interim general manager, Jacksonville Jaguars
I suspect the Jaguars will not promote from within, although Khan has done that before when he elevated Doug Marrone to the head coaching position after firing Gus Bradley.
Baalke served as the 49ers GM from 2011-2016. In that time, the Niners drafted two future Pro Bowl players, defensive end Aldon Smith, who totaled 42 sacks in his first three years with the 49ers, but was later suspended from the league for multiple DUI arrests, and also Eric Reid in the first round in 2013. He made the Pro Bowl as a rookie.
Reid was signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers in 2018 and is also known as a supporter of Colin Kaepernick, whom Baalke drafted in the second round in his first draft in 2011. In his time as the general manager in San Francisco, Baalke led the team to a Super Bowl appearance and two conference championship games.
Picks from the media
In recent years, teams have identified general managers from the ranks of those working in media. Oakland chose NFL network draft analyst Mike Mayock as their general manager and the 49ers tabbed John Lynch, who had been working as a game analyst on Fox. Here are three more potential candidates who are currently working in the media to keep an eye on.
Louis Riddick, Monday Night Football analyst, ESPN
Riddick had a well-traveled NFL career as a player, bouncing between seven teams, including a World League of Professional Football and an XFL team. Thereafter, he began his career in scouting with Washington where be began as a pro scout in 2001 before being promoted to director of pro personnel.
He spent six seasons in the Philadelphia Eagles organization as a pro scout, assistant director of pro personnel and, from 2010-2013, as the director of pro personnel. He joined ESPN’s draft coverage the following year and worked his way up into the Monday Night Football booth this season.
Daniel Jeremiah, analyst, NFL Network
Daniel Jeremiah scouted for the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Philadelphia Eagles from 2007-2012. A former college quarterback at Appalachian State, Jeremiah now serves as a draft and personnel analyst for NFL Network and NFL.com. He has no managerial experience in scouting.
Tony Boselli, broadcaster, Jaguars Radio and Westwood One
The first player ever drafted by the Jaguars is part of the Jaguars radio game-day broadcast and also serves as a broadcaster on Westwood One’s radio coverage of the NFL. Boselli has worked as a sideline reporter and an analyst in the booth for game broadcasts. He has no scouting background.