Being a general manager in the NFL is a dream for most personnel men. There are only 32 in the entire world. Almost all start off as lowly interns or scouting assistants. Most of the time in the infancy of their NFL careers, these individuals simply wanted to just get a foot in the door and be around a NFL team.
In their first years, getting coffee, making copies and going out to get the staff lunch was the entire job description. Most young personnel men do odd jobs all day, just to have the opportunity to watch tape and write reports at night.
If one of these guys actually got a “real” scouting position, there was nothing better in life. Heading out on the road to break down college players or scouting players already in the NFL is a man living out his dream. Every young scout, at one time or another, puts together a plan on how they will structure and run a front office.
When the call finally comes to be the lead dog and guide a team’s future, many years of watching, listening and learning have already taken place. The key is to hire the right people and surround yourself with qualified individuals who will help your vision become a reality. Sometimes the best plans and intentions do not come to fruition.
Here is a list from No. 32 to No. 1 of general managers at every level of their plan. Some are on their way up, while others are on their way out.
(For full disclosure, I have worked with or know everyone on this list. I have done my best to take emotion out of these rankings.I solely based my list on history, personnel moves and the state of the current condition of each franchise.)