The St. Louis Rams took the first step toward finding a new occupant for the GM's office at Rams Park. Known to be interested in eight men, Ryan Grigson, the Eagles' Director of Player Personnel, is the first to get an interview, visiting the building that the universe forgot on Monday. Grigson, 39, passes muster as one of the league's up and comers, a rising star ready to attach a more prominent set of nouns to his business card.
He's also on the list in Indianapolis and Chicago.
So what sort of bona fides does Grigson have to make him a viable GM candidate? Let's take a look.
Grigson made his entrance to the NFL as an offensive tackle out of Purdue, but the sixth-round pick's career never really took off. He ended up in the Canadian leagues before a career-ending back injury. He returned to the NFL as a scout. According to the Eagles' media guide, he started with the St. Louis Rams in 1999 as a national combine scout before being promoted to an area scout responsible for the Northeast, Midwest and Southeast.
Grigson spent the last two seasons in his current position with the Eagles. Prior to that, he spent four years as their Director of College Scouting. Even in his current position, he oversees college scouting and draft preparation. Yes, that absolves him of the Eagles' Steinbrenner-esque offseason.
Philadelphia has been conducting very good drafts since 2006, finding starters and key players outside of the first round. Rams fans famously remember the Eagles taking wide receiver DeSean Jackson in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft after the Rams picked Donnie Avery, the first receiver picked that year.
Some of the Eagles other notable late round picks include WR Jason Avant (4th, 2006) and TE Brent Celek (5th, 2007). The others include a long list of special teams contributors and depth chart guys, many of which are still knocking around the NFL ... which is no small feat for players drafted in the last three round of the draft.
You can see the Eagles' draft record here, via Pro Football Reference.
Grigson doesn't pull the trigger on draft choices, but his role in scouting those players speaks pretty well of his eye for talent.
He got a big endorsement recently from Dave Razzano, who he worked with in the Rams scouting department. Razzano called him one of the top GM candidates this year.
The former Purdue offensive tackle and 6th round pick of the Bengals in 1995, Grigson (pictured) is an astute evaluator who gets as much satisfaction scouting the Yankee Conference as he does the rugged SEC. He is a firm believer in "eye" confidence and is not swayed by other opinions. His NFL, CFL and Arena league background give him a more varied resume than most. A tireless worker, Grigson should be on every team's short list of GM candidates. His "passion" is key to his success.
He does fit with the idea of pairing a less experienced GM with a more experienced head coach. Now, if only that more experienced head coach would make up his mind.