4 ideal New York Giants general manager candidates

Matt Johnson

The New York Giants general manager search can begin after Dave Gettleman retired on Monday. With Joe Judge also fired, there renewed hope for the franchise with a new leader overseeing football operations.

When examining the Giants’ roster, it’s safer to say this team is closer to needing a rebuild than contending in the NFC. But with CEO John Mara seemingly committed to quarterback Daniel Jones for the 2022 season, New York’s next general manager will need to do a lot of work to repair the damage left by Gettleman.

  • New York Giants record (Dave Gettleman era): 19-46

There’s a real possibility that Mara targets an in-house candidate like assistant general manager Kevin Abrams. But our focus will be centered on potential options that could help turn this franchise around.

With that in mind, let’s examine some potential New York Giants general manager candidates.

Joe Schoen, Buffalo Bills assistant general manage

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars
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The Giants are already pursuing Joe Schoen and for good reason. He began his NFL career as an intern for the Carolina Panthers in 2000, helping sell tickets. A year later, his work ethic and desire to work in the front office resulted in him becoming a regional scouting assistant.

He later spent time with the Miami Dolphins as a national scout, learning from the likes of Bill Parcels and Mike Tannenbaum. During that time, Miami drafted impact starters like Laremy Tunsil, Xavien Howard and DeVante Parker. He also worked with Bills’ general manager Brandon Beane in Carolina (2001-’08) and he now serves as the top executive on Beane’s staff.

Beane deserves much of the credit he receives for building one of the best rosters in the NFL. But he also credits Schoen, who he called a future general manager in an in-depth feature by The Athletic in 2019. Schoen’s background in scouting could make him even more interest in the Giants’ job since they have two top-10 picks.

Ed Dodds, Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Las Vegas Raiders
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Ed Dodds is one of the most popular GM candidates every offseason, but he’s looking for the right landing spot. He stuck around with the Colts after interviewing with the Panthers and Detroit Lions this past season. He’s so coveted because his background includes a fantastic draft history with both the Colts and Seattle Seahawks.

During his time as the Seahawks’ senior personnel executive, the team drafted Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Max Unger, Earl Thomas, K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner. Keep in mind, Thomas was the only first-round pick in that group. It’s why Chris Ballard hired him in 2017. Since joining Indianapolis, the team’s draft history includes Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard, Braden Smith, Nyheim Hines, Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor. Pro Bowl selections DeForest Buckner and Kenny Moore were also acquired with Dodds serving as second in command.

There is a level of mystique around the New York Giants that could prove appealing to Dodds. While fans are rightfully concerned about Mara’s involvement in football operations, he gives his general managers time. If Dodds is open to the job, he should be the top priority.

Rick Smith, former Houston Texans general manager

NFL: Combine
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While Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith isn’t receiving a ton of buzz, his resume warrants serious consideration. He began his football career as a coach at Purdue (1992), working his way up to become the Denver Broncos’ assistant defensive backs coach and winning two Super Bowls. He transitioned to the front office in 2000, becoming the Texans’ general manager six years later.

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Look at Houston’s hits in the draft during Smith’s tenure from 2012-’17. Whitney Mercilus, Brandon Brooks, DeAndre Hopkins, Jadeveon Clowney, Benardrick McKinney, Will Fuller and DJ Reader all became impact starters. But he deserves the most credit for landing Deshaun Watson. As Texans’ reporter John McClain wrote, Smith scouted Watson extensively and made multiple attempts to move up for him before finally jumping from No. 25 to No. 12 to land him.

Sadly, he took a leave of absence in December 2017 after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. He took care of her and his family, but she sadly passed away in 2019. With his kids now older, Smith wants to return to the front office and he could be a good fit for the Giants.

Joe Hortiz, Baltimore Ravens director of player personel

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
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As multiple teams search for their next general manager, it would be wise to look towards the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Hortiz joined the franchise two decades ago, learning from legendary general manager Ozzie Newsome and current Ravens’ GM Eric DeCosta.

It should come as no surprise that the Ravens are one of the winningest NFL teams since 2000 and Hortiz has played an integral role in that success, especially in recent years. With decades spent scouting players across the country, Hortiz brings the background and a vision for the path to success that the New York Giants would be wise to follow.