ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- When Sheila Ford Hamp fired general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia on Nov. 28, the first-year Detroit Lions owner made one promise among a bunch of questions she couldn’t yet answer.
“We are going to do an extremely thorough and comprehensive search for both positions,” Hamp said. “And yes, we have some ideas on what we’re looking for, but again, not clearly defined.”
Detroit has made some movement since Hamp’s initial statement -- hiring Chris Spielman as a special assistant to Hamp and team president Rod Wood. Spielman will be involved in every interview for both positions.
The Lions also put together an advisory committee of Fritz Pollard Alliance Executive Director Rod Graves, former Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis and Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders to assist as well -- but more in the vetting process.
Still, the decision will come down to Hamp, and her thorough and comprehensive search -- at least as much as it can be while still subject to NFL interviewing restrictions until the end of the season -- has begun.
Here’s a snapshot look at the candidates who have interviewed along with some pros and cons for their potential in Detroit.
Jan. 13: Holmes became the first person to have a second interview with the Lions for the general manager gig on Wednesday, the same day George Paton became Denver’s general manager to take him out of play with Detroit.
The nephew of former Lions first-round pick Luther Bradley, Holmes also had two interviews with Atlanta and has emerged as one of the more popular general manager candidates during this cycle.
Brad Holmes, Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting
When interviewed: Jan. 13
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
College: North Carolina A&T – Bachelor’s in journalism and mass communication.
Experience: St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams (2003 – public relations intern; 2004 – scouting assistant; 2005-2011 – area scout; 2012 – national scout; 2013-Present – director of college scouting)
Pros: Holmes has been through a full construction of a roster through the draft and been a large part of why the Rams have the talent and success they do. That includes taking a defensive tackle many teams, including the Lions, passed on in Aaron Donald who has become two-time NFL defensive player of the year. He’s been critical in keeping the Rams competitive through the draft even though they haven’t had a first-round pick in four years. Among those Day 2 and Day 3 picks that have been big successes are receiver Cooper Kupp, safety John Johnson III, linebacker Samson Ebukam and tight ends Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett.
Holmes has also been part of the Wharton School of Business Career Development Symposium.
According to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, Rams general manager Les Snead praised Holmes’ “dynamic intelligence” and called him “an astute evaluator of football talent.”
There’s also another area where he could be attractive to the Lions -- how he handles things off the field.
“He’s become a valued voice in our organization as part of our leadership team on social justice and diversity issues, helping us lead a diverse group of people,” Rams COO Kevin Demoff told Thiry. “Brad is one of the more valued voices we have in our building.”
Wood and Hamp have put a premium on leadership, vision and being able to work together on this search and that would seem to check all those boxes.
Cons: Like some other candidates, that Holmes has been in only one organization would be a concern, however perhaps less so for him because in his time with the Rams, he’s worked under five head coaches and four general managers (Charley Armey, Jay Zygmunt, Billy Devaney and Snead).
He’s also been able to stick around on the staff for that long, which means multiple people saw value in what he brings. He’s also been in systems where the general manager has final personnel say and where the head coach has final say.
Ed Dodds, Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager
When interviewed: Jan. 12
Hometown: Kingsville, Texas
College: Texas A&M Kingsville ’03 – Business Administration
Experience: Texas A&M Kingsville (2000-03 – student assistant coach, quality control offense & quality control defense); Oakland Raiders (2003-06 – player personnel); Seattle Seahawks (2007 – pro personnel department; 2008-13 – college scouting; 2014 – national scout; 2015-16 – senior personnel executive evaluating college and pro talent); Indianapolis Colts (2017—Vice President of Player Personnel; 2018-Present – assistant general manager).
Pros: There’s a lot to like here. He’s worked in some of the best personnel departments in the league and under some of the brightest general managers in Seattle’s John Schneider and Indianapolis’ Chris Ballard.
With the Colts, he helped put together Indianapolis’ 2018 draft class (Quenton Nelson, Darius Leonard) and in his three years as assistant general manager has seen seven of the team’s draft picks become full-time starters. They did this, too, without first-round picks in 2019 or 2020. While some of this might be Ballard as well, there is a love of the second round, where the Colts had four picks in 2018, three in 2019 and two in 2020.
His college scouting background is also helpful -- he was a college scout while Seattle was putting together much of its core over the past decade -- and he also became someone who Al Davis trusted by the time he finished in Oakland, as The Athletic’s Zak Keefer wrote in this profile.
Keefer’s profile gives a good portrait of Dodds, who has been very selective in both the jobs he interviews for and the processes he sees through. His competition mantra -- something ripped directly from the Seattle approach -- would seem like it could play well with Chris Spielman and with the vision the Lions are trying to create.
Cons: He’s been in the No. 2 chair for a little bit and, like George Paton, is a guy who seemingly has been in line to run his own operation for a while, but hasn’t quite found the job or match he likes yet.
Not being in the chair himself always will be a concern until they’ve done it, but Dodds’ experience on the college and pro sides does bode well for him.
One thing I would want to ask about is his quarterback evaluation, because the Colts have taken only one quarterback in the draft in his time -- but have traded for Jacoby Brissett and signed Philip Rivers -- and the Seahawks drafted two quarterbacks in his tenure, Russell Wilson and Mike Teel.
So I’d be curious to know how he grades and approaches quarterbacks and what he looks for in drafting them because the strategies when he’s been at places seem to avoid the position in the draft unless there’s a need.
Jeff Ireland, New Orleans Saints vice president/assistant general manager, college personnel
When interviewed: Jan. 8
Hometown: Abilene, Texas
Experience: North Texas (1992-93 – special teams coach); National Football Scouting Combine (1994-96 – area scout); Kansas City Chiefs (1997-2000 – area scout); Dallas Cowboys (2001-04 – national scout; 2005-07 – Vice President of college and pro scouting); Miami Dolphins (2008-13 – general manager); Seattle Seahawks (2014 – draft consultant); New Orleans Saints (2015-Present – Assistant GM, college personnel).
Pros: Ireland is a skilled drafter, there’s little question about that. In Miami his first round picks included Mike Pouncey, Ryan Tannehill, Vontae Davis and Jake Long. Even his other first rounders with the Dolphins -- Dion Jordan and Jared Odrick -- found roles at some point.
On Days 2 and 3 of the draft in Miami, he found Olivier Vernon (third round, 2012), Lamar Miller (fourth round 2012), Charles Clay (sixth round, 2011), Reshad Jones (fifth round, 2010) and John Jerry (third round, 2010).
He also helped secure Cameron Wake out of the CFL, traded for Reggie Bush and signed Chad Pennington and Brent Grimes -- all moves that helped the Dolphins.
Some of his bigger successes came in New Orleans, where they Saints built much of their current core through the draft, including first-rounders Andrus Peat and Stephone Anthony (2015), Sheldon Rankins (2016), Marshon Lattimore and Ryan Ramczyk (2017), Marcus Davenport (2018) and Erik McCoy (2019).
The Saints have done equally well on Day 2 -- sometimes a problem spot for the Lions -- as they’ve taken running back Alvin Kamara (third round, 2017), wide receivers Michael Thomas (second round, 2016) and Tre’Quan Smith (third round, 2018) and safeties Vonn Bell (second round, 2016) and Marcus Williams (second round, 2017). Trey Hendrickson, Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata are among his Day 3 finds.
He’s also been in the chair before, something which the Lions might value in this process, and he’s been with multiple organizations -- including a decent amount under Bill Parcells.
Cons: The most well-known negative about Ireland was his questioning of Dez Bryant during an interview in the pre-draft process in 2010 -- and if I’m the Lions I want to learn the full story here and understand as much as I could about what happened.
Also important for the Lions to ask about what his knowledge and his role in the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito scandal with the Dolphins and what his initial evaluation of Incognito was when he decided to sign him in 2010.
He has misses in his drafts -- like every person who has been a general manager -- but the track record has largely been OK there.
The Dolphins under Ireland were also a mediocre club. His teams made the playoffs once in six seasons -- his first year in 2008 when Parcells also was on board. And 2008 was the only season in which Miami had a record over-.500.
The first-year turnaround Miami had with him and Parcells, going from 1-15 to 11-5, was impressive. At 46-50, his teams never cratered, but they never got much past average, either.
George Paton, Minnesota Vikings assistant general manager/vice president of player personnel
When interviewed: Jan. 6
College: UCLA – Bachelor’s in history
Experience: Chicago Bears (worked in pro and college scouting departments; 2000 – Assistant director of pro personnel); Miami Dolphins (2001-06 – Director of Pro Personnel); Minnesota Vikings (2007-Present – Assistant General Manager).
Pros: Paton knows the division and, theoretically, would have a better handle on the Lions’ current roster than some other candidates out there because of this. He’s helped to build a very successful Vikings defense under Mike Zimmer and has been part of the reconstruction of the team’s offenses and defenses during his tenure.
The Lions also should have a deeper understanding of what Paton brings to a franchise because his boss is Rick Spielman, the brother of Chris Spielman, the Lions special assistant to Rod Wood and Sheila Ford Hamp. Chris Spielman is also sitting in on the Lions' interview process. It would seem likely Detroit wouldn’t request to talk to Paton if the decision-makers didn’t already know he exhibits some of the qualities that they are looking for.
While Paton hasn’t been in the general manager chair before, he’s worked on both the pro and college scouting side with the Vikings -- the draft on the college side and helping coordinate scouting on the pro side.
Cons: Like some other candidates, the lack of previous general manager experience might be a deterrent here -- but he also has worked a multitude of places and has been Rick Spielman’s trusted lieutenant for a long time.
He’s also appeared to be very, very selective with whether or not to leave Minnesota. He’s been a sought-after candidate in the past and either turned down interviews or pulled out of searches. If I were speaking with him, I would want to know what made other jobs unattractive to him. His ability to assess quarterbacks would also be something to inquire about. The Vikings did a good job with the Teddy Bridgewater selection in 2014, but they also whiffed on Christian Ponder in the first round in 2011 and drafted John David Booty in the fifth round in 2008. Tyler Thigpen as a seventh rounder in 2007 was a quality pickup, though, for his draft spot.
Considering that the next general manager will likely have to draft a potential Matthew Stafford replacement at some point, I’d want to know what he looks for there. Otherwise, Minnesota has largely done well in both free agent and college scouting over the years.
Terry Fontenot, New Orleans Saints vice president/assistant general manager pro personnel
When interviewed: Jan. 5
Hometown: Lake Charles, Louisiana
College: Tulane -- Bachelor’s in business and organizational information technology
Experience: New Orleans Saints (2003-present – player personnel assistant; pro scout; director of pro scouting; assistant general manager – pro personnel).
Pros: Fontenot has helped the Saints in every aspect of building the organization and has been there through the entire build, so he has seen what has worked and what hasn’t as New Orleans has transformed itself into one of the better operations in the NFL and a consistent Super Bowl contender. He has largely been involved on the pro side of things -- less so on the college side -- while with the Saints, and the reality is that both general manager Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton have a lot of input there, as well. When Fontenot was moved into his current role, he said he wouldn’t just be looking at pro players but would also have input on college scouting, so he has some familiarity there, according to the Times-Picayune. He worked a lot with Ryan Pace -- before Pace was hired as the Bears' general manager -- and then he replaced Pace within the Saints' structure. Fontenot is a sharp evaluator, just not likely someone you’ve heard about much. His experience as a college player and team captain at Tulane speaks to leadership, which would be a positive in the eyes of Lions brass.
Cons: There should be some concern about Fontenot having worked for only one organization for his entire career. Yes, the Saints have been successful throughout, but considering the Lions just fired an executive with a similar background -- Bob Quinn’s only experience had been with New England -- that should be of concern. The Lions might want to pair Fontenot with an experienced head coach or at least someone who has been in the general manager’s chair as one of his top advisors. They also might want to make sure at least some of Fontenot's scouting staff come from different organizations to be certain there is more than just one way of thinking in terms of player acquisition and development.
Thomas Dimitroff, former Atlanta Falcons general manager
When interviewed: Week of Dec. 25
Hometown: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
College: University of Guelph ‘90 - Economics and history
Experience: Saskatchewan Roughriders (1990-91 - Canadian Scouting Coordinator); World League of American Football (1992 – scout of NFL, CFL and World League rosters); Kansas City Chiefs (1993 – part-time scout); Detroit Lions (1994-97 – area scout); Cleveland Browns (1998-2001 – college scout); New England Patriots (2002 – national scout; 2003-07, director of college scouting); Atlanta Falcons (2008-20 – general manager).
Pros: Dimitroff has a ton of talent, of that there’s no question. He was twice named the NFL’s Executive of the Year and his teams made the playoffs in six of his 12-plus years as general manager. The Falcons also made it to the Super Bowl under his watch and Atlanta has six seasons of 10 wins or more. In Mike Smith and Dan Quinn, he made two successful hires as head coaches, even if both of their tenures ended up in firings. His first draft pick, Matt Ryan, became a franchise quarterback and his drafts in 2016 (Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, Austin Hooper, De’Vondre Campbell, Wes Schweitzer) and 2018 (Calvin Ridley, Ito Smith, Russell Gage, Foyesade Oluokun) were good. His Day 3 drafting also has yielded good players (Grady Jarrett, Jacquizz Rodgers, Matt Bosher, Levine Toilolo, Devonta Freeman, Ricardo Allen, Kroy Biermann, Gage and Campbell). Dimitroff also might have an understanding of the culture Chris Spielman is trying to build since he was with the Lions organization during their most successful run -- albeit as an area scout. From a scouting perspective, since Dimitroff has the Patriots' background, he’s likely to bring a similar system of grading and evaluation, which could be an immediate benefit.
Cons: It’s tough to blame Dimitroff for the Falcons’ continued collapses because he wasn’t coaching, but everyone in the organization has some responsibility for that level of failure. Dimitroff’s salary-cap management is also in question. The Falcons, for instance, are almost $25 million over the cap for next season, according to OverTheCap.com. While Dimitroff’s record as a drafter is largely clean from a character concern perspective, if I’m the Lions, I’m asking him about the decision to draft Prince Shembo in 2014. And while Dimitroff has shown the ability to be successful outside New England with his own plan and program, his Patriots ties might bring back bad memories of the last regime.
Rick Smith, former Houston Texans general manager
When interviewed: Week of Dec. 25
Hometown: Petersburg, Virginia
College: Purdue 1992 -- Sociology
Experience: Purdue (1992 – graduate assistant/assistant strength & conditioning coach; 1993 – tight ends coach; 1994-95 – secondary coach); TCU (March 1996 – assistant coach); Denver Broncos (1996-99 – assistant defensive backs coach; 2000-05 – director of pro personnel); Houston Texans (2006-17 – general manager; 2012-17 – executive vice president of football Operations).
Pros: Smith has experience without question -- having run an NFL front office for more than a decade and six of his 12 seasons were completed with an over-.500 record, including four playoff appearances. As a GM, his record was 92-100 -- not bad considering he took over a team that had never had an over-.500 season in their history to that point. Smith hired two coaches, Gary Kubiak and Bill O’Brien, both of whom won divisional titles. His first-round draft ability has been impressive, including J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Duane Brown and Deshaun Watson. A lot of his draft work was good, even if it didn’t always come with the Texans. Twenty-two of his draft picks from 2006-2013 played in more than 100 NFL games and many others, including Watson, D.J. Reader, Jadeveon Clowney and Zach Cunningham could join them. He also had at least one fantastic undrafted free agent find, running back Arian Foster, who ended up rushing for 6,472 yards and 54 touchdowns with Houston. He also showed how to rebuild a position group quick, turning the Texans' secondary from a bottom-barrel unit in 2010 to one of the better ones in the NFL in 2011 by signing cornerback Johnathan Joseph and safety Danieal Manning.
Cons: It all starts with Brock Osweiler. Smith bet on the quarterback to be the future of the franchise, giving him a four-year, $72 million deal in 2016. While Houston made the playoffs, Osweiler threw more interceptions than touchdowns and was traded less than a year later to Cleveland, although Smith should get some credit for quickly revising the mistake and being able to salary dump some of Osweiler’s bad contract on the Browns. He also sent Cleveland a second-round pick that became Nick Chubb. There are also questions about how he got along with O’Brien -- a report in the Houston Chronicle suggested issues between the two -- so the Lions should be asking heavily about that, especially since they are pushing for unity all across the organization.
Scott Pioli, former Kanas City general manager/former Atlanta Falcons assistant GM/TV analyst
When interviewed: Week of Dec. 25
Hometown: Washingtonville, New York
College: Central Connecticut State – Bachelor’s degree in communications; Syracuse – Master’s Degree in television radio and film.
Experience: Syracuse (1988-89 – graduate assistant); Murray State (1990 – offensive line coach; 1991 – defensive line coach); Cleveland Browns (1992-95 – pro personnel assistant); Baltimore Ravens (1996 – pro personnel coordinator); New York Jets (1997-2000 – director of pro personnel); New England Patriots (2000 – assistant director of player personnel; 2001 – director of player personnel; 2002-08 – vice president of player personnel); Kansas City Chiefs (2009-12 – general manager); Atlanta Falcons (2014-19 – assistant general manager).
Pros: Pioli has, without a doubt, experience around winners. The NFL’s Executive of the Decade from 2000-10, he helped construct the New England Patriots' dynasty alongside Bill Belichick. His responsibilities in New England then included helping with evaluations, scouting and the draft. Pioli was well-respected for his time with the Patriots and even after he lost his job in Kansas City, he was along for most of the ride in Atlanta, helping another general manager candidate, Thomas Dimitroff, put together the Falcons. Plus, having worked in the past with both Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, he could quickly dissect what went wrong and figure how to fix it. He’s also had time away from the direct New England tree, which could help. Pioli was good drafting in the first round for the Chiefs, taking Tyson Jackson (2009), Eric Berry (2010) and Dontari Poe (2012). The rest of his drafting as a general manager was a bit suspect, however, so there should be questions about his draft strategy. He was also the GM in Kansas City when Jovan Belcher killed himself, a moment that helped shape him and his future.
Cons: Start with the drafting. Six players from his four drafts played at least 100 NFL games -- Jackson, Poe, center Rodney Hudson (second round -- 2011), linebacker Justin Houston (third round – 2011), defensive end Allen Bailey (third round – 2011), defensive back Kendrick Lewis (fifth round – 2010) and punter Ryan Succop (seventh round – 2009). His tenure with the Chiefs did not go well – a 23-41 record that had only one winning season and two seasons of 12 losses or more. His head coaching choices were uninspired -- first Todd Haley and then Romeo Crennel, first as an interim and then in the full-time gig where he went 2-14. If I’m the Lions, the biggest question I have, though, is about the culture within the Chiefs' organization while Pioli was in charge. The Kansas City Star wrote about an anxiety-fueled situation with a high level of paranoia. Considering the climate the Lions are just coming out of and Spielman’s focus on unity and everyone being comfortable and hearing the same message, the Lions likely should have had many questions about Pioli's Chiefs tenure.
Louis Riddick, former Washington and Philadelphia Eagles director of pro personnel/ESPN analyst
When interviewed: Dec. 18
Hometown: Quakertown, Pennsylvania
College: Pittsburgh -- bachelor’s in economics
Experience: Playing: Ninth-round pick of San Francisco in 1991 as a safety; Atlanta Falcons (1992, 1996); Cleveland Browns (1993-95); Raiders (1998). Front office: Washington Football Team (2001-04 – pro scout; 2005-07 – director of pro personnel); Philadelphia Eagles (2008 – scout; 2009 - assistant director of pro personnel; 2010-13 – director of pro personnel). Other: Analyst, ESPN (2013-present)
Pros: Riddick knows the league incredibly well from his time playing, working and analyzing it. Unlike other candidates who might be in a silo of one team or one organization, Riddick has been able to learn and pick up ideas from every team in the league -- similar to what Spielman described as his experience after he was hired by the Lions in his role. As a former player, he also has a different insight than someone who came up through scouting. His strength would likely lean toward pro personnel evaluation early as that’s where his scouting history lies, but he has been a prominent member of ESPN’s draft coverage since 2014, so he has delved into that area from a different perspective as well.
Cons: Experience. He hasn’t worked inside an NFL building in almost eight years and hasn’t had to do some of the day-to-day work required of a general manager for a while. The broadcaster-to-GM path has been successful lately in Mike Mayock (Las Vegas) and John Lynch (San Francisco), but in Detroit it could bring back memories -- fair or not -- of the last time the Lions tried this with Matt Millen. That culminated in the NFL’s first 0-16 season. Unlike Millen, Riddick has worked in a front office, but in this particular job that’s a stigma he’ll have to shake, although that should be easy for him to do. If he comes in with a plan that’s similar to what Lynch has set up in San Francisco, with experienced personnel men around him, that would be a benefit.
Kyle O’Brien, Detroit Lions vice president of player personnel
When interviewed: Week of Dec. 7
Hometown: Garden City, New York
College: Harvard '02 (played lacrosse)
Experience: New York Jets (1999 – intern, player personnel department); New England Patriots (2000-01 – player personnel intern; 2002-03 - area scout; 2004-05 – pro personnel scout; 2006-09 – area scout; 2010-11 – national scout); Kansas City Chiefs (2012 – national scout); Jacksonville Jaguars (2013-15 – director of college scouting); Detroit Lions (2016 – director of player personnel; 2017-present – vice president of player personnel)
Pros: O’Brien is incredibly smart and a good and thorough evaluator. While he came in with his good friend, former Lions GM Bob Quinn, they had different pathways. Unlike Quinn, he has worked under multiple general managers (Bill Belichick, Scott Pioli, very briefly John Dorsey, Dave Caldwell and Quinn). His background in scouting should help with evaluation, and if hired, there wouldn’t be a large changeover in scouting language, which could be potentially even more important this offseason. His name has been linked to potential general manager gigs in prior seasons.
Cons: He was Quinn’s No. 2 in command, which if you’re trying to reboot the organization won’t bode well and will look like passing the buck. Many of the Lions’ decisions under Quinn and Patricia have not panned out, both in the draft and free agency, and some of that will fall to O’Brien, too. The better route for him might be to potentially stick around in his No. 2 role if the Lions hired someone like Pioli, Dorsey, Thomas Dimitroff or another general manager who believes O’Brien provides value, which there is no doubt he does.
Rob Lohman, Detroit Lions director of pro scouting
When interviewed: Week of Dec. 7
Hometown: Long Island, New York
Education: South Carolina ’98 – bachelor’s in sports management; Syracuse ‘01 – master’s in higher education
Experience: Hofstra (1998 – special teams/recruiting assistant); Syracuse (1999-2001 – graduate assistant); Houston Texans (2001 – scouting intern; 2002-03 – pro administrator; 2003 – advance scout; 2004-06 – northeast regional scout); Detroit Lions (2007 – advance scout; 2008-14 – regional scout/college scouting coordinator; 2016-19 – assistant director of pro scouting; 2019-present – director of pro scouting)
Pros: Lohman has been around for multiple regimes in Detroit -- Matt Millen, Martin Mayhew and Bob Quinn -- so he has seen various ways of doing things. He also worked under Charley Casserly in Houston, so he knows what’s worked well and what hasn’t. When someone can stay with one place through varying changes, that’s usually a good sign. He handles pro player evaluation and oversaw advance scouts, pro player evaluation and free agency. For instance, he would have been part of the group that made the decision to pick up Romeo Okwara off waivers, which was a win. Experience on the college and pro sides of scouting and personnel is also valuable.
Cons: He has a lot of ties to the past, which might not be appealing when the team's trying to create a new vision, although he predates Patricia and Quinn. His long tenure with the organization might be the biggest mark against him for this particular job. Detroit hasn’t done a great job in free agency the past two seasons -- Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Desmond Trufant have largely been injured and Nick Williams has been unproductive. It’s not entirely clear how many of Detroit’s free-agency decisions the past two seasons -- especially the Patriots players -- had much to do with his recommendations and those of Quinn and Patricia. As with O’Brien, the better possibility for Lohman, who is very talented, is for an outside hire to stick with him in his current role.
Lance Newmark, Detroit Lions director of player personnel
When interviewed: Week of Dec. 7
Hometown: La Mesa, California
Education: University of San Diego – social sciences
Experience: San Diego Chargers (1996-97 – staff assistant); Detroit Lions (1998 – player personnel department; 1999 – scout; 2000-2015 – area scout (six years); national scout (three years); assistant director of college scouting (seven years); 2016-17 – director of college scouting; 2017-present – director of player personnel)
Pros: Newmark is very well-versed in the world of college scouting and has seen it all over the years as he has worked his way up through the Lions organization and is one of the few remaining employees from the pre-Matt Millen era. He knows every piece of Detroit’s system, including where things went well and not-so-well. He’s someone trusted in college scouting evaluations and worked managing Detroit’s roster. He was one of Quinn’s in-the-room people -- he, Lohman, O’Brien and Mike Disner were Quinn's core group of evaluators -- so he wouldn’t have to change much.
Cons: Like Lohman and O’Brien, he was around for the past three seasons and Newmark has seen a lot of failure in Detroit. Could that experience help change the team's fortunes? Sure. But the reality is simple: The Lions are not casting this massive net to hire someone who's already in the building.