In this article, I will be going over my top five NFL executives. These could be general managers, presidents, vice presidents, etc.
Number 5: Mickey Loomis, Executive VP/General Manager, New Orleans Saints
We just take a look at a couple of things here: Drew Brees and Sean Payton. He is responsible for bringing those two into the organization. Payton is arguably the NFL’s best offensive mind, and Drew Brees, at the age of 39, is the best quarterback in the league in my opinion. His team has won a Super Bowl and been very good most years. Right now, the Saints are my favorite to win the Super Bowl.
Number 4: Rick Spielman, General Manager, Minnesota Vikings
During his tenure with the Vikings, they’ve won multiple NFC North crowns and went to the NFC Championship games once. He’s also built one of the NFL’s best defenses. He overpaid to get Kirk Cousins, but sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do in order to get your quarterback. I expect things to go a little more smoothly for Minnesota next year, with more familiarity in the new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s scheme.
Number 3: Les Snead, General Manager, Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were awful in 2016. They were making a transition between veteran QB Case Keenum and rookie Jared Goff. Head coach Jeff Fisher certainly wasn’t making the situation any better, either. Of course, that team and the Rams teams of 2012 to 2016 were just as much Snead’s teams as they were everyone else’s, but Snead has done some amazing things over the years. For one, he hit home runs on first round picks Aaron Donald (defensive tackle) and Todd Gurley (running back), who are each arguably the best at their position in the entire league. He also selected Goff first overall in 2016, who has come into his own since 2017. Why has he been good since then? The hiring of Sean McVay, boy genius and offensive mastermind. Snead has turned this franchise back into what they were in 1999, maybe even better.
Number 2: Ryan Pace, General Manager, Chicago Bears
What a job he has done. The first thing he did as general manager was hire John Fox has head coach after the firing of Marc Trestman. Yes, Fox’s record was awful, but he did clean up the locker room and built a winning culture in Chicago. And, yes, his first ever draft pick was wide receiver Kevin White (2015 draft, 7th overall, West Virginia) and he has not panned out at all, but he couldn’t have known that White would have all these injuries. What impresses me most about Pace is his ability to find talent in the mid rounds. He’s brought in standout linebackers Leonard Floyd and Roquan Smith as well as quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in the first round. In rounds 2-7, he’s brought in high-impact players like Jordan Howard, Tarik Cohen, Eddie Jackson, Anthony Miller, James Daniels, Bilal Nichols, as well as many others. He’s also brought in standout players like Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Trey Burton, and Prince Amukamara through free agency, and some guy named Khalil Mack through trades. Last year, the Bears won 5 games. They’ve won 8 through 12 games this year. He’s my pick for Exec of the Year.
Number 1: Bill Belichick, General Manager/Head Coach, New England Patriots
This should come as a surprise to no one. I guess it may not be widely known that Belichick serves as head coach and GM, but if you didn’t know, you know now. The Patriots are among the best teams in the NFL every single year, despite constantly losing key players and assistant coaches to other teams who have a more glamorous offer. But, seriously, there are a ton of these guys who left the Patriots and just went Bermuda Triangle. Romeo Crennel? Have we heard anything of him since he got fired by the Browns? Wes Welker? Malcolm Butler? Logan Ryan? I rest my case.