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Ranking Potential Tennessee Titans General Manager Candidates

Attempting to find someone to lead the Titans' front office.

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Right now Ruston Webster is still the general manager of your Tennessee Titans.

If the Titans really want to turn the franchise around, that has to change quickly after the season ends. There are a lot of potential candidates out there, and certainly more than I'm able to sort through. Evaluating the success of front office management is extremely difficult. Trying to divide the credit between the general manager and the rest of his staff is an impossible task.

This my best guess at those who will be in demand this offseason.

1) Nick Caserio, Director of Player Personnel, New England Patriots
Caserio has worked for New England for 13 seasons, 11 in the personnel department. He was moved to his current position in 2008. Bill Belichick's clearly heavily involved in the personnel side but Caserio is right behind him in the team's power structure. New England routinely draws praise for their roster management and ability to find players in late rounds and as UDFAs. Much like a few other candidates on this list, teams will hope for a package deal. Those wanting Josh McDaniels would certainly want to pair him with New England's top guy.

2) Duke Tobin, Director of Player Personnel, Cincinnati Bengals
Mike Brown remains the general manager of the team but Tobin has jumped to the top of personnel department. Tobin may very well be waiting for his chance at the top job in Cincy, so whether he will leave is uncertain. In 2011 Cincinnati was picking 4th in the draft and in worse shape than the Titans. Since then the team has drafted extremely well. Cincy Jungle has a great profile on Tobin from last season arguing for his promotion to general manager. Hiring Tobin and having him bring over Hue Jackson as head coach would seem ideal.

3) Eric DeCosta, Assistant General Manager, Baltimore Ravens
He's been in demand each offseason and has opted to remain in Baltimore, perhaps to take over from GM Ozzie Newsome eventually. He may end up staying in Baltimore his entire career, having already spent 18 years with the franchise. He's considered Newsome's right hand man for college scouting.

4) George Paton, Assistant General Manager, Minnesota Vikings
Paton has drawn interest now for a few offseasons and is yet another candidate to decline some opportunities. He's turned down interviews with the Dolphins and Jets (both in 2014) and in 2012 was linked to the Rams' GM job before being promoted to AGM in Minnesota. The Vikings have had some strong drafts recently, particularly hitting on their high round picks. The Titans would be wise to interview Paton.

5) Scott Pioli, Assistant General Manager, Atlanta Falcons
When discussing Josh McDaniels as a head coach possibility, the opinions were linked to how much emphasis was placed on his prior time in Denver. The same will likely hold true for Pioli's Kansas City tenure. A cursory glance at his Kansas City drafts show some positive work, but the results are still mixed. He whiffed on Tyson Jackson and Jonathan Baldwin in the first round, but snagged Eric Berry and Dontari Poe in the other first round years. His middle rounds found contributors, many of which are still on the team.

6) Tom Gamble, Senior Personnel Executive, San Francisco
It was only a few seasons ago when Gamble was one of the hottest names on the market. This is Gamble's second stint in San Fran, originally spending many seasons there as director of player personnel, up to and including the Niners' 2012 Super Bowl appearance. From there he joined the Philadelphia Eagles with Chip Kelly in 2013, signing on as VP of player personnel. He was fired from that position on New Year's Eve last year. Gamble could be an underrated candidate. San Francisco is having an awful year but success has followed Gamble for several seasons.

7) Trent Kirchner, Co-Director of Player Personnel, Seattle Seahawks
Going to two straight Super Bowls is going to attract attention to your management staff. Kirchner is one of several strong personnel guys in the Seahawks' front office. He was hired the same season as GM John Schneider and is considered an extremely good scout.

8) Eliot Wolf, Director of Pro Personnel, Green Bay Packers
Wolf is well respected in NFL circles and has been very involved in the Packer drafts. He's been with the franchise for twelve seasons and is already drawing interest for GM openings in recent years. He's the son of former Green Bay GM Ron Wolf. Would he consider leaving the team?

9) Marc Ross, Vice President of Player Evaluation, New York Giants
Ross was promoted to this title three years ago, after spending six years working as the Giants' Director of College Scouting. Ross has interviewed with several teams the past few offseasons, notably with the Bears (2012), Jets ('12) and Buccaneers (2014). The Giants had a stretch of poor drafting from 2010-2012, but have selected plenty of contributors after that. How much credit Ross deserves for that is hard to determine.

10) Omar Khan, Director of Football Administration, Pittsburgh Steelers
The trend of general manager hires is now to go after someone with a strong scouting background, which is why Khan is so low on this list. Khan fits into another group - one with a background working on contracts and cap management.

Other names you may hear: Brian Gaine (Director of Player Personnel, Houston), Brandon Beane (AGM, Carolina), Chris Ballard (hat tip LombardiParti - Director of Football Operations, Kansas City)