2011 NFL Draft: Power Ranking the 32 GMs Based On Previous Draft Selections

Eric FelkeyAnalyst IDecember 7, 2010

2011 NFL Draft: Power Ranking the 32 GMs Based On Previous Draft Selections

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    GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 03: General manager Ted Thompson of the Green Bay Packers watches practice at summer training camp on August 3, 2009 at the Ray Nitschke Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The 2011 NFL Draft can't be far off the minds of executives and general managers around the league...even with this season still two months away from completion.

    We all know the importance of the draft for NFL teams: it's an opportunity to add youth, depth, franchise players, playmakers on either side of the ball, or perhaps projects that will hopefully develop a few years down the line.

    The organizations that typically remain at the top of the league year after year are ones that hit home runs in the draft. The ones that struggle, well...they typically miss with their pick or sometimes pass up a sure thing.

    So how confident should you be in your GM heading into next year's draft? Are they going to make picks that will help them in much-needed areas or will they miss out on a prospect and set the franchise back a few years?

    Let's take a look at how some of the GMs have fared in previous drafts and rank them from busts to gurus. Keep in mind that these rankings have nothing to do with free agency—just how successful they've been in the last couple of drafts (dating back to 2007 at the latest).

    As always, starting at the bottom and working our way towards the top...

    (Note: not all NFL teams have GMs. Those that don't will be evaluated by the team's overall draft.)

Before We Begin...

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 25:  General Manager Scott Pioli of the Kansas City Chiefs walks on the field before the game against the San Diego Chargers on October 25, 2009 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    ...there are a few teams that have hired or promoted new GMs in the past year or two and thus they can't really be fairly evaluated because we don't really know how the prospects will turn out by 2012 or 2013.

    These are the guys that I felt it was too soon to properly determine how successful they've been in the draft:

    Buddy Nix (Buffalo)

    Hired in '09, Nix hasn't really made a splash in either of the last two drafts.

    Tom Heckert (Cleveland)

    Showed promise this year with the selections of Joe Haden, T.J. Ward, and Colt McCoy.

    Gene Smith (Jacksonville)

    Promoted in June of '09, he didn't wow anyone with the Tyson Alualu pick, but it hasn't turned out as a bust at all.

    Brian Xanders (Denver)

    Hasn't had much luck in the draft the past two seasons but he gets a pass until we see what Tim Tebow can really do at this level.

    Scott Pioli (Kansas City)

    Starting to do nice things with selection of Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki, and Eric Berry.

    Bruce Allen (Washington)

    Last season was his only draft as GM of Washington—the highlight was first-round pick Trent Williams.

    Martin Mayhew (Detroit)

    Has made some great moves since being promoted, such as dealing Roy Williams for three draft picks and selecting Matthew Stafford, Brandon Pettigrew, Ndamukong Suh and Jahvid Best.

    John Schneider (Seattle)

    Hired when Pete Carroll was selected as Seattle's new head coach.

24. Rick Smith (Houston)

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    HOUSTON - OCTOBER 17:  Linebacker Brian Cushing #56 of the Houston Texans during warm ups before a football game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Reliant Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Other than Brian Cushing, the Texans really haven't made much noise in the draft in the past few years.

    Amobi Okoye and Kareem Jackson haven't been busts but they are part of one of the worst defenses in the league so it's hard to say they've been successful.

23. Oakland Raiders

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Some nice finds in Lamarr Houston, Jacoby Ford, and Darren McFadden (this year at least), but selecting JaMarcus Russell at No. 1 costs them big time.

22. A.J. Smith (San Diego)

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    SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 31:  Ryan Matthews #24 of the San Diego Chargers leaves the field after the game against the Tennessee Titans at Qualcomm Stadium on October 31, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Chargers defeated the Titans 33-25.  (Photo by Jeff Gro
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    The Chargers have a great team and an effective front office but they haven't found (or needed) many starters in the last few drafts outside of bargains Eric Weddle and Legedu Naanee.

    Ryan Matthews has battled injuries this year so he can still very much pan out into a high caliber running back.

21. Cincinnati Bengals

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    CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 10: Rey Maualuga #58 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs after the ballcarrier against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Paul Brown Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    The Bengals have some potential nice finds in Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham—we just won't know until they find a reliable quarterback.

    Rey Maualuga, Keith Rivers and Leon Hall had helped strengthen a stingy defense in '09 until the unit started to fall apart this season.

20. Mike Reinfeldt (Tennessee)

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    NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 05:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs against Courtney Greene #36 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at LP Field on December 5, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    The Titans have found a few solid pieces here and there in the last couple of years, but the selection of Chris Johnson makes them winners in the long-run.

19. Jerry Jones (Dallas)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 05: Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Dallas has gotten some help on offense with Dez Bryant, Felix Jones, and Martellus Bennett, but defensive backs Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick haven't panned out the way they hoped.

18. Marty Hurney (Carolina)

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    SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 05:  Running back Mike Goodson #33 of the Carolina Panthers rushes for a touchdown against Chris Clemons #91 of the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on December 5, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    There's great potential for Carolina to move up this list in a few years. Jon Beason, Captain Munnerlyn, and David Gettis have all emerged as starters, while Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson make a nice 1-2 combination in the backfield.

    And if Jimmy Clausen can become a legitimate starter, things may not be so desolate for the Panthers.

17. Jeff Ireland (Miami Dolphins)

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    MIAMI - DECEMBER 06:  Cornerback Vontae Davis #21 of the Miami Dolphins intercepts a pass in the end-zone in front of wide receiver Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots at Land Shark Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Dolphins defeat
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Ireland's in his third season as Miami GM and has some nice pieces in place, starting with Jake Long and finding some lower round bargains like Brian Hartline.

16. Rod Graves (Arizona)

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    GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 29:  Runningback Beanie Wells #26 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the football during the NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 29, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The 49ers defeat
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Arizona has made some great selections recently under Graves' watch, scooping up quality contributors like Beanie Wells, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Calais Campbell, Early Doucet, Tim Hightower, Alan Branch, and Steve Breaston.

    He might face a tough task of finding a quarterback this year—Max Hall and John Skelton may not be the answer.

15. Billy Devaney (St. Louis)

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    GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams throws a pass during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Rams defeated the Cardinals
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Devaney is just in his second full year as GM but he's been involved with the Rams' draft selections for the past three years.

    He's done a great job turning around the culture in St. Louis with picks such as Chris Long, Jason Smith, James Laurinaitis, and potential franchise QB Sam Bradford.

    If the Rams make the playoffs this year, even in a week NFC West, it's a testament to his ability to quickly build a team.

14. San Francisco 49ers

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    SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 14:  Patrick Willis #52 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the St. Louis Rams during an NFL game at Candlestick Park on November 14, 2010 in San Francisco, California.(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    The Niners don't have an official general manager but have done a nice job adding youth on both sides of the ball, most notably on the offensive line this year with Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati and with star linebacker Patrick Willis a few years ago.

    Unfortunately the team as a whole took a step backwards this year.

13. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans)

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    CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 05:  Tracy Porter #22 of the New Orleans Saints runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Saints won 34-30.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Get
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Working to add even more weapons to the offense and steadily improve the defense, Loomis' picks in the past few years have all had significant impact.

    Robert Meachem has become a big play threat on offense, Malcolm Jenkins routinely makes key plays on defense (like on Thanksgiving vs. Dallas), and we all know how much Tracy Porter has contributed.

12. Chris Polian (Indianapolis)

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 10: Austin Collie #17 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the football against the Kansas City Chiefs at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Chiefs 19-9. (Photo by Scott Boehm/G
    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    The Colts have found some tremendous talent in the lower rounds of the draft, especially on offense, with guys like Austin Collie, Jacob Tamme, Mike Hart and Pierre Garcon.

11. Jerry Angelo (Chicago)

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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 28: Earl Bennett #80 of the Chicago Bears hands off to teammate Matt Forte #22 from the 'wildcat' formation against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on November 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Eagles 31-26.
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Chicago already had a veteran, proven defense and last season they traded for gunslinger Jay Cutler to lead the offense.

    Thanks to some good draft picks recently, they've bolstered the offense with weapons such as Matt Forte, Earl Bennett, Greg Olsen and Johnny Knox.

10. Minnesota Vikings

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    MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 05:  Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings rushes against  the Buffalo Bills at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Imag
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    The Vikings offense looks nothing like it did five years ago.

    It promises to be potent for a while as well, headlined by Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, and Percy Harvin.

9. Mark Dominik (Tampa Bay)

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    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers throws a pass against the Atlanta Falcons during the game at Raymond James Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Dominik is in just his second season as Tampa Bay GM and normally I would reserve judgment on him but based on the play of Josh Freeman, Arrelious Benn, Mike Williams, and Cody Grimm he's already solidified himself as a great draft evaluator.

8. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta)

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    TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 05:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 and receiver Harry Douglas #83 of the Atlanta Falcons talk just before the start of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J.
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    The Falcons look to be in prime position to make a run at the Super Bowl this season and that's in large part thanks to Dimitroff.

    He selected Matt Ryan and also added Harry Douglas, Justin Blalock, Sean Weatherspoon, and Kroy Biermann.

7. Ozzie Newsome (Baltimore)

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 21:  Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Baltimore has had a great defense as far back as I can remember and Newsome has been the guy behind it.

    In the past few years he's added Michael Oher, Joe Flacco, and Ray Rice to help further enhance an offense that, combined with the defense, could make Baltimore a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

6. Jerry Reese (New York Giants)

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14:  Kevin Boss #89 and Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants look on against the Dallas Cowboys on November 14, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Cowboys defeated the Giants 33-20.  (
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Reese has taken a receiving corp that lost Plaxico Burress and still made them one of the best in the league with Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith, and Kevin Boss.

    The defense has also been enhanced by Jason Pierre-Paul and Aaron Ross.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    ORCHARD PARK, NY - NOVEMBER 28:  Rashard Mendenhall #34  of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs against the Buffalo Bills  at Ralph Wilson Stadium  on November 28, 2010 in Orchard Park, New York. Pittsburgh won 19-16 in overtime.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Im
    Rick Stewart/Getty Images

    The Steelers are always competitive for a reason: they have a great front office who routinely finds players that can contribute through the draft.

    They did it with Maurkice Pouncey, Rashard Mendenhall, Mike Wallace, and LaMarr Woodley, to name a few, and they'll most likely continue doing so in the future.

4. Mike Tannenbaum (New York Jets)

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Mark Sanchez #6 of the New York Jets walks off the field dejected after the Jets loast 45-3 against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    The Jets traded several draft picks to move up and select Mark Sanchez at No. 5 in '09. He hasn't been excellent by any means but he's done enough to suggest that he could mature into a legitimate QB.

    They've also added Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller as complements offensively and bolstered their secondary with Kyle Wilson and some guy out of Pittsburgh named Darelle Revis.

3. Philadelphia Eagles

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    CHICAGO - NOVEMBER 28: DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles returns a kick against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on November 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Eagles 31-26. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Eagles may not have as long of a successful draft list as a few other teams but they've hit home runs with DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, and Jeremy Maclin—those three are enough to headline and lead a team for a long time.

2. Ted Thompson (Green Bay)

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 31:  Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers tackles LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets on October 31, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Packers defeated  the Jets 9 - 0.  (P
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Whatever they need in the draft, the Packers seem to find a sleeper pick that turns out to be everything they needed and more.

    See Matthews, Clay.

1. New England Patriots

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    FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 06:  Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on in the first half against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on December 6, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Belichick has done a phenomenal job of finding guys that will fit into his system and exceed expectations. Take a look at some of the guys the Pats have selected in the last few years:

    Devin McCourty.

    Rob Gronkowski.

    Brandon Spikes.

    Aaron Hernandez.

    Patrick Chung.

    Brandon Tate.

    Julian Edelman.

    Jerod Mayo.

    Brandon Meriweather.

    Add talent like that in a short period of time and it's no wonder the Patriots seemingly are contenders year after year.