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The top names emerging as candidates to be the Broncos next GM

Jan 5, 2021, 6:52 AM
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

With the latest news of John Elway stepping away from the general manager position in the front office, it’s time to name some legitimate candidates that could replace Elway.

Adam Peters: Peters is the currently the vice president of player personnel for the San Francisco 49ers. Peters spent time with the Broncos from 2009-16. Peters started off as a regional scout for Denver and moved his way up to director of college scouting. Peters is highly valued in the NFL and has been requested to interview with other teams as well.

Rick Smith: This is an interesting option as well since he spent time in Denver as director of player personnel for the Broncos from 2000-05. Smith was then hired by the Houston Texans as their general manager from 2006-17. When Smith was hired in Houston, he also brought along Gary Kubiak and hired him as the head coach. Smith is known for drafting guys like Deshaun Watson, J.J. Watt, and even DeAndre Hopkins. Smith stepped away from the Texans in 2017 after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Smith will be on a number of teams’ radar, but would be a great hire back with the Broncos.

Mike Borgonzi: This is a name that doesn’t have much connection to the Broncos from the past, but is becoming a hot name. Some believe he’s the secret weapon for the Chiefs’ success. He’s been with Kansas City for 10 seasons now in the scouting and personnel department. He’s been the right hand man to Chiefs general manager Brett Veach. If Denver wants to chat with him, they would have to wait some time, while his Chiefs remain in the playoffs.

Champ Kelly: Kelly is a very popular name to watch out for after he was with the Broncos from 2007-14. Kelly started off as a scout and worked his way up to assistant director of pro personnel. Kelly then joined the Chicago Bears in 2015 as the director of pro scouting and is now currently the assistant director of pro personnel for Chicago. Kelly has a connection with Fangio after spending time with him in Chicago. If the Broncos are focused on rebuilding the defense, Kelly and Fangio’s connection would lineup perfectly. According to Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network, Kelly interviewed for the Jets last year.

John Spytek: Spytek is currently the director of player personnel for the Buccaneers. Spytek worked as a scout for the Broncos from 2013 through the Super Bowl 50 victory in 2016. Spytek has a great history of working with some of the best in the NFL like John Elway, Gary Kubiak, Tom Heckert, Andy Reid, and even Mike Holmgren. This would be a sneaky hire for the Broncos.

Thomas Dimitroff: After being gored from the Atlanta Falcons earlier this year, Dimitroff could be a name that sneaks into the hat late. Dimitroff was with Atlanta from 2008-20 as the general manager. Dimitroff took over an organization that was in need of a quarterback in 2008 and selected Matt Ryan, who would then lead them to the playoffs. Dimitroff has been named the NFL Executive of the Year twice and a Super Bowl appearance. Is there a Denver connection? Matt Russell and Dimitroff we’re together with the New England Patriots from 2003-05. Russell was an area scout, while Dimitroff was the director of college scouting. Don’t forget that Russell will be helping Elway in the general manager search.

Dave Ziegler: After starting with the Broncos scouting department in 2010, Ziegler joined the Patriots in 2013. Ziegler served as the director of pro personnel for the last four seasons with New England, but was promoted to assistant director of player personnel this past season.

Other names to think of are Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds, Saints assistant general manager Jeff Ireland, Titans vice president of player personnel Ryan Cowden; and former Eagles and Washington executive Louis Riddick.

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The top names emerging as candidates to be the Broncos next GM