ATM: In Case It Doesn’t Work Out at GM: Part II

| June 3rd, 2021

Yesterday I profiled five candidates to replace Ryan Pace, should this season not work out. Today, five more.

Joe Hortiz, Ravens Director of College Scouting

The latest in a long line of highly thought of Ravens executives. Hortiz has helped build a roster that has been among the best in the league annually.

The Ravens have had a completely different philosophy than the Bears, in that they’re usually trading back, but they’ve still been able to add quality talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

Like many before him, Hortiz just may want to stick in Baltimore where executive life seems to be pretty nice.

Champ Kelly, Bears Assistant Director of Player Personnel

Kelly is going to be a GM in the near future, so why not the Bears?

While Pace may lose his job, there seems to be a general consensus that the Bears have a lot of talent in their front office and Kelly is a big part of everything they do. To top it off, he has GM experience, though in a different league.

Kelly was a huge part of building the Denver Broncos Super Bowl teams with Peyton Manning. We never truly know what each person does in a front office, but Kelly is well-respected in league circles for his work with the Bears and Broncos.

Milt Hendrickson, Packers Director of Football Operations

While working with the Baltimore Ravens from 2005-18, Hendrickson developed a reputation in league circles as an offensive line guru, but that isn’t the only way he worked his way up to Brian Gutekunst’s right hand man in Green Bay.

Hendrickson and Gutekunst go back to coaching together at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, but had been separated since 2004 when both were with the Packers. Hendrickson learned from Ozzie Newsome and certainly could assemble a staff to help build the defense and the rest of the team.

While Aaron Rodgers has issues with communication, the Packers have built a really talented squad. Though much of that is due to Ted Thompson’s ability to find star players — Rodgers, Adams, Jones and Bakhtiari were all Thompson picks — Hendrickson’s hands were all over perhaps the best Gutekunst-era pick, Elgton Jenkins.

Mike Borgonzi, Chiefs Director of Football Operations

The Chiefs have had quite a few misses since Jon Dorsey left, but there’s little question that they know how to build around their quarterback.

Borgonzi could be a good choice if the Bears decide to keep Nagy and move on from Pace. There was some scuttlebutt about that being the plan in the 2021 offseason, but Pace kept his job; surely happened with Nagy’s endorsement.

Borgonzi was a hot name last year, but didn’t ultimately get much interest league-wide. We’ll see if that changes this year as Kansas City figures to make yet another run.

Thomas Dimitroff, Former Falcons GM

General managers don’t typically get second chances, but Dimitroff could be an exception.

There’s little question that he did a good job of putting talent around Matt Ryan, though he seemed incapable of making the right call at head coach. There’s a scenario in which the Bears could hire a coach who would then approve the hiring of the GM, as it’s exactly what has happened with several contending teams.

Dimitroff also struggled finding defensive players, which he would need to answer for.

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