Tom Gamble/San Francisco 49ers/Director of Player Personnel: In my 14 years of covering the NFL, I don’t recall getting as many strong comments about a potential GM candidate from high-ranking personnel executives and NFL player agents as I’ve received about Gamble in doing research for this piece. In fact, one NFL GM said my list should start with Gamble for the very fact that he’s about as well-rounded of a candidate as you’ll find.
Eric DeCosta/Baltimore Ravens/Assistant General Manager: The veteran personnel evaluator received his latest promotion in May of this year. DeCosta turned down several interviews with other teams earlier this year because it’s a well-known fact that he’ll eventually take over the entire football operations once (GM and Executive VP) Ozzie Newsome retires. What makes DeCosta one of the strongest personnel executives is due to his extensive pro and college scouting background, which spans over 16 years. And he has worked alongside of Newsome for many seasons. It also doesn’t hurt that DeCosta has been part of one of the NFL’s most successful scouting departments in regard to the NFL Draft for many years.
Marc Ross/New York Giants/Director of College Scouting: Ross joined the Giants in his current role in 2007. He got started as a college scout back in 1997 with the Philadelphia Eagles and was promoted to team’s college scouting director in 2000, at the age of just 27. And after working as a college scout for the Buffalo Bills after leaving the Eagles, he moved up the ladder again with the Giants. As one former NFL executive who worked with him for many years told me, Ross is one of the most organized and forthright people he’s come across in his years in the league. Ross, over the past few years, has interviewed GM jobs with the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, and Seattle Seahawks. And it’s widely believed that he’ll get an interview for the vacant Carolina Panthers GM opening since former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi is advising the team in their GM search as a consultant.