Two KC Chiefs executives have been identified as top GM candidates.
Every year, the most successful NFL franchises find themselves picked apart—not by naysayers but by their competitor—as other franchises hope to mirror the achievements of the previous year’s top teams. These days, that makes the Kansas City Chiefs a common place to go for other teams to find players, coaches, and executives to hire away in hopes of finding similar fortunes.
In recent offseasons, the Chiefs have watched multiple coordinators move on to take over teams of their own. Doug Pederson left the Chiefs and went on to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a Super Bowl in his first season. Matt Nagy left to take over the Chicago Bears one year later. This season, it seems obvious that Eric Bieniemy is going to find himself a head coaching gig after two years of interest and interviews.
The same thing is starting to happen to the Chiefs when it comes to general manager options. The Indianapolis Colts came calling a few years ago for Chris Ballard and have been smiling ever since. Former Chiefs GM John Dorsey turned around the Browns roster (before he was fired, of course), and he’s rumored to be a potential partner with Bieniemy in any new location. Now a couple new names have surfaced for teams to consider from the Chiefs current staff.
A list of the top 30 general manager candidates was posted earlier this week at CBS Sports by Jonathan Jones and it’s a great read on names to know from around the league. Some names are familiar, but many likely aren’t—even to diehard NFL fans—and it’s a good survey on which teams have such well-respected front offices. Of course, the Chiefs make the list. Two names from the Chiefs’ current front office team were included on the list: Mike Borgonzi and Ryan Poles.
Borgonzi has been a rising name for a bit given that he took over for Ballard after his exit. That brought him to a position of prominence in an organization that has been winning at an unprecedented clip. As the team’s director of football operations, Borgonzi would bring experience from a Super Bowl winner and perspective from a macro level to lead a front office staff.
Poles seems a bit young, but many progressive clubs aren’t afraid of injecting some youth into the front office. It’s all about getting the job done. Poles is the assistant director of player personnel, a role he’s held since 2018. Before that is a near decade of experience in scouting, from being an assistant to running the whole college scouting department. Jones notes:
"One of the hottest names under 40 years of age circulating, Poles linked with Pioli in Kansas City and has since learned under John Dorsey, Brett Veach and Andy Reid. Working in those different, disparate systems and finding successes in them are ideas he can marry when he gets his shot."
Interestingly enough, two other names on the list can also be linked to the Chiefs. Jones reminds us that former Chiefs GM Scott Pioli is available for a team, if desired, although K.C. fans will remember well just how toxic those years became. Also former Chiefs player Lake Dawson has been a hot GM-in-the-making in the past and it appears he’s back on that list.