Potential GM candidate #2: R.J Gillen
Speaking of people who have been involved in drafting some potential NFL superstars, R.J. Gillen has worked in the 49ers’ scouting department since 2015. So, he’s been a part of the group that has drafted the likes of Trent Brown with a 7th-round pick. George Kittle with a 5th-round pick and Fred Warner with a 3rd-round pick are big wins, too!
Gillen is a Juris Doctor of Sports Law, Contracts, and Negotiations, too; if that doesn’t just scream “future GM,” what does? He began his career at Shapiro, Robinson, and Associates where he worked on players’ contract arbitration talks with the MLB.
He has also worked for the San Antonio Spurs Basketball Operations department. Gillen will definitely be a GM somewhere, whether in the NBA or the NFL.
Potential GM candidate #3: Chad Alexander
Following that line of thinking, former Wake Forest fullback Alexander should be a general manager somewhere, too. But, unlike Gillen Alexander has a bit of an “unconscious bias” issue to deal with. Alexander spent 20 years as an executive with the Ravens before he began working with Gang Green.
Alexander has been the Jets’ Director of Player Personnel for the last five years, so he definitely knows his way around the AFC East. As part of the Jets' scouting department, he was involved in drafting both the offensive and defensive rookie of the year in 2022. Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson were both first-round picks, though, so they should have been good.
More impressively, Alexander also drafted Breece Hall with the 36th pick in 2022 and Israel Abanikanda with the 143rd pick this year. And he found Michael Carter in the 4th round back in 2021. Why the Jets love drafting running backs is another question.