Top 5 Candidates for Lions General Manager Job

John Dorsey

Getty John Dorsey and Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslem in Cleveland.

The Detroit Lions have made the move to fire Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn, and now the focus will turn to who takes over at both positions moving forward.

Decisions aren’t likely to be made on that front for at least the next few months, so in the meantime, speculation will be all fans have to go on. Fortunately for the Lions, there are plenty of good candidates for both roles. It’s likely the Lions will not have a new coach until they name a new general manager, making this position the one to watch first in Detroit.

What names make the most sense? Here’s a look at some ideas.


John Dorsey, Former Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns General Manager

If it’s experience the Lions crave in the role, Dorsey has plenty of it to offer. Dorsey has had a hand in building a trio of Super Bowl champions and has his fingerprints all over two of the most exciting teams 2020 has to offer. He started his career with the Packers where he worked in scouting developing the Super Bowl XXXI champions and was director of football operations for the team that won Super Bowl XLV. From there he was hired to become the Kansas City general manager where he delivered the draft which secured Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill, who eventually delivered Super Bowl LIV after Dorsey was gone. Following his exit there, he joined the Browns as general manager where he presided over the move to add Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, Nick Chubb and others in the draft and traded for key players like Jarvis Landry. Dorsey has a beefy resume.


Ed Dodds, Indianapolis Colts VP Player Personnel

Dodds has long been craved for potential general manager roles in the past but has elected to stay put. Would the Detroit situation entice him to make the jump? It’s possible it could be an interesting one and not a far move for Dodds just a few hours north from Indianapolis. Dodds has worked with Seattle before the Colts, and has developed a reputation as a great drafter and a key right hand man for a couple of elite general managers in John Schneider and now Chris Ballard. To that end, he seems ready and primed to take over his own team.


Mike Borgonzi, Kansas City Chiefs’ Director of Football Operations

Borgonzi might not be a well known name, but he’s a big name to those who understand he is a big reason for all of the Kansas City success in recent years. Borgonzi has worked his way up the ladder in Kansas City to being the team’s Director of Football Operations. In that aspect, he’s a lot like Bob Quinn, but the difference is, Borgonzi has more experience and is more well known than Quinn was before he became a boss. If the Lions are looking to tap into what the Chiefs have done, Borgonzi would be an intriguing name to hire. Could he bring Eric Bieniemy in as coach? It would be an interesting duo.


Louis Riddick, ESPN Analyst

The work of Mike Mayock and John Lynch transitioning from the broadcast booth to the general manager chair is something which makes Riddick an interesting name to remember. Riddick has had few chances to interview for roles in the past, but if the Lions are looking to cast a wide net, he’d be a very savvy option. Before working in television, Riddick was a scout and the Director of Pro Personnel in both Washington and Philadelphia. Riddick has been out of the NFL executive side since 2013, but has remained close in the game working in television and understands plenty to be a great hire in Detroit. To that end, he’s much different than Matt Millen, who had no experience running a team when the Lions hired him away from Fox in 2000.


Rick Smith, Former Houston Texans’ General Manager

Like Dorsey, Smith has plenty of experience working with the Texans and constructing a team that won multiple division titles. Smith has drafted plenty of elite players in his time in addition to being a player that won a pair of Super Bowls, and he could be ready to get back in the game after exiting an EVP role in Houston following his wife being diagnosed with Cancer. Smith put together drafts which yielded players such as Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, Zach Cunningham, Will Fuller and Benardrick McKinney.


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