After narrowly missing out on the GM job in New York, Kansas City Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles, is reportedly a finalist for two other roles with the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. With Poles set to take second interviews, let’s take a look at Poles’ background and how he performed in his role for the Chiefs in 2021.
Update 01/25/22: According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Chiefs executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles is expected to be the next Chicago Bears GM. For more information and news on other available HC and GM positions, make sure to check out our 2022 NFL Head Coach Tracker.
Get to know NFL general manager candidate Ryan Poles
Poles, 36, is a hot commodity in this cycle. A year after being up for the Panthers GM job — which went to Scott Fitterer — three teams have reached out to him about their current openings.
He has already had a second interview with the Giants (who hired Joe Schoen) and now seemingly will do so for the Vikings and Bears in the coming days.
Poles’ football background
It’s a testament to Poles’ value to the Chiefs that when his bosses have gotten fired, he’s not only remained but gotten promoted. He survived the departure of Scott Pioli and John Dorsey.
After spending the 2009 season — his first in Kansas City — as a player personnel assistant, Poles began an eight-year run in the Chiefs’ college scouting department, working up from administrator to director of college scouting in 2017.
During that time, the Chiefs selected the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Justin Houston, Eric Fisher, Chris Jones, Tyreek Hill, Dontari Poe, and Eric Berry.
Since 2018, he’s served in Kansas City’s player personnel department, promoted to run the department last year. Prior to joining the Chiefs, Poles was a recruiting assistant at Boston College, where he played his college ball.
How Poles performed in 2021
Poles, according to the Giants’ news release announcing his interview, “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.”
The Chiefs found value in the 2021 NFL Draft despite not having a first-round pick. They selected center Creed Humphrey in Round 2, and all he’s done since is start every game for Kansas City. Linebacker Nick Bolton (a second-round pick) has also been a key contributor as a rookie, logging 112 tackles, including 11 for loss.
What they’re saying about Poles
“I know him. I know his character. I’ve sat and broken bread with him. I know how hard he is willing to work . . . 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, to Newsday