Detroit Lions Top GM Candidates

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Chris Ballard

Current job: Director of Football Operations, Kansas City Chiefs

Why he fits: Ballard brings experiences across multiple organizations, which (theoretically) means he’s got a wider view of different paths to success. In recent years he has interviewed with several teams, including the Bears and Buccaneers, a job he reportedly turned down.

He’s noted for his opinionated nature, a domineering leadership presence that the Lions have sorely lacked. His background is in scouting, both as a college area scout for the Bears and focusing more on the pro personnel side with the Chiefs. Having a balance of college and pro sides of scouting is important in a job that oversees both facets.

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Hangups: This is his first year in this current role with the Chiefs. He was promoted in May after serving as the Director of Player Operations, a role roughly equivalent to what Tom Lewand served for the Lions. Ballard cut his teeth serving under Greg Gabriel in the Chicago Bears organization, which had some success but made several awful draft choices and free agent decisions which set the stage for the years of non-contention Chicago fans are suffering through today.

Next: Nick Caserio