Drafting Patrick Mahomes may seem like a gimme, but back in 2017, he was seen as an extremely risky prospect at quarterback.
It paid off for the Kansas City Chiefs, who have on the verge of making their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance this season and won the NFL title in 2019.
One of the biggest figures behind that franchise-altering decision recently interviewed for the Minnesota Vikings‘ general manager opening on Tuesday.
He made a good impression.
NFL insider Aaron Wilson reported that executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles “had an impressive interview with Minnesota Vikings, per league source.”
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Working in the Chiefs front office for over a decade, Poles was the director of college scouting from 2016-18, overlooking much of the research that led to Kansas City drafting Mahomes 10th overall in the 2017 draft.
Background on Poles
A former offensive lineman at Boston College, Poles has climbed the NFL executive ranks mainly on the college scouting side.
His department of college scouting gambled on Mahomes, who was deemed anywhere from a second-round talent to a late third-day pick by executives around the league. Poles not only survived the firings of Scott Pioli and John Dorsey; he thrived, receiving promotions following the firings of both former Chiefs general managers.
Poles was a finalist for the Carolina Panthers general manager job last offseason and is considered in the same realm of the Giants opening this season. Poles presents a similar scouting background the Vikings lost last offseason when vice president of player personnel George Paton departed for the Denver Broncos general manager opening.
“Poles oversees all aspects of the scouting of college football players across the country, assists in the pro process and prepares for free agency, in addition to assisting general manager Brett Veach with the coordination of the NFL Draft and overseeing the team’s out-of-town area scouts,” per Giants.com.
Poles’ background would prove helpful in rebuilding a Vikings defense through the draft while the team is still limited by its cap space.
“I know him. I know his character. I’ve sat and broken bread with him. I know how hard he is willing to work,” Former Giants defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka said of Poles, his college teammate, to Newsday. “I think he can do it. He’s well-equipped for the job. He is more than up to the challenge. He gets it, and I believe he would bring that to New York” Former Giants Mathias Kiwanuka on Poles, his college teammate.”
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Poles Could Hire on Former Vikings Offensive Mastermind
Most of the Vikings general manager candidates have been tied to a head coach interview as well.
Minnesota has yet to request an interview with former Vikings running backs and assistant coach Eric Bienemy, one of the most highly touted head candidates over the past several seasons, KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reported.
That decision may be to respect Bienemy’s time while the Chiefs chase their third Super Bowl appearance in as many seasons.
However, Poles could be the thread needed to reel Bienemy back to Minnesota as the Vikings’ new head coach.