Falcons Eyeing ESPN NFL Analyst for GM Position: Report


Getty Jacob Tuioti-Mariner #91 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with teammates.

The Atlanta Falcons are on a hunt for their next general manager and they are reportedly rolling the dice on a very diverse group of potential hires.

The latest candidate added to their list is ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick, according to The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz. But, don’t cross him off him your own list just yet. Riddick is a former Falcons player and ex-personnel director for the Philadephia Eagles and Washington Football Team.

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A Look at Riddick’s Past

Riddick, 51, played college football at the University of Pittsburgh and was selected by the San Francisco 49ers in the ninth round (No. 248 overall) of the 1991 NFL Draft. He also spent time with the Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, the XFL’s Orlando Rage and WLAF’s Sacramento Surge.

Out of seven seasons in the NFL, Riddick spent two with the Falcons. He made his pro debut with Atlanta in 1992 before rejoining the club in 1996. He appeared in 32 games (5 starts) and recorded 99 total tackles and 2.0 sacks during his two separate campaigns.

After his playing career, Riddick became a pro scout for Washington in 2001 and four years later was promoted to director of pro personnel. He was then hired by the Philadelphia Eagles as a pro scout in 2008 and was again promoted to director of pro personnel in 2010.

Riddick later joined ESPN in 2013 before being named an analyst for ESPN’s coverage of Monday Night Football in August.

Falcons’ GM Candidate List Growing

Aside from Riddick, the Falcons have also reportedly been looking into four others, including former Houston Texans GM Rick Smith, Los Angeles Rams director of college scouting Brad Holmes, Las Vegas Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and current Chicago Bears personnel man Champ Kelly.

Reggie McKenzie, like Riddick, is a former NFL player himself, who spent seven years serving as general manager of the Raiders. During his tenure, McKenzie made some quality draft picks, including DE Khalil Mack, WR Amari Cooper and QB Derek Carr. This season he is working with the Miami Dolphins as a senior personnel executive.

Rick Smith played college football at Purdue and later became the general manager of the Texans in 2006. While there, he was responsible for all aspects of football operations, salary cap management and budgeting. Smith was eventually promoted to executive vice president of football operations and general manager, where he oversaw all football-related operations and the organization’s player acquisition process.

Champ Kelly played professional ball for the Lexington Horseman from 2003 to 2006. He stayed on as a coach and general manager of the Horseman in 2007 before making his way to the NFL to scout for the Broncos. Kelly currently serves as assistant director of player personnel for the Bears. 

Brad Holmes comes from a football family and has a different story than everyone else on the list due to his late start. He spent 15 years climbing the ladder to establish himself as a respected college scout. Now, he oversees the Rams’ area scouts and is considered to be general manager Les Snead’s most trusted confidant.

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