John Dorsey stepped into the Browns organization just one month ago when he was named general manager but in that span has completely re-shaped the football operations department.
On Wednesday, the team announced a series of moves to re-configure the front office with new faces and similar ones as well in their same or new role.
Eliot Wolf. who I wrote about yesterday after he interviewed with the team was named the assistant general manager underneath Dorsey after signing a four year contract with the organization.
Wolf had offers to stay in Green Bay as well as join the Oakland Raiders front office but has chosen to be Dorsey’s right hand man and becomes the #2 man for the Browns in their football operations.
The team also announced the hiring of Alonzo Highsmith as Vice President of Player Personnel. Highsmith joined the organization last week after also leaving Green Bay much like Wolf. He’s a well respected football executive around the league and has had found some late round/undrafted gems like Donald Driver and Sam Shields during his scouting career.
Some national media members have labeled the Browns as the “Packers East” due to their top three football executives now all having ties to the organization after studying and implementing the “Packer Way” during their careers after being under the guidance of Hall of Famer Ron Wolf.
Let’s hope that the Browns find that same success the Packers have had since the mid 1990s when Wolf got Green Bay back to playoff and Super Bowl contention.
Dorsey also hired three scouts from the Kansas City Chiefs where he was previously the general mananger from 2013 till his parting from the organization last June. Jimmy Noel has been named the Assistant Director of Pro Scouting, Dan Zegers is the team’s Personnel Coordinator and Matt Donahoe will be a scout for the team.
As for the current members of the front office from the past regime. Paul DePodesta will remain as the team’s Chief Strategy Office and Andrew Berry will remain as the Vice President of Player Personnel alongside Highsmith.
Ken Kovash, who was formerly the Vice President of Player Personnel alongside Berry and the man who has been reported as the one who suggested the draft selection of Cody Kessler in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft will be transitioning into a role of the team’s strategy department.
As I reported on Twitter on Tuesday night, Senior Personnel Executive Ryan Grigson was no longer listed in the team’s website in the front office section.
The team announced that they along with Grigson had parted ways after just one season.
It appears that the front office is now set as we head into draft season which is very important for the Browns with the first and fourth overall picks along with five of the top 65 selections and thirteen picks overall to go with over $100 million dollars in cap space.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that more changes will likely happen after the draft as the team transitions from an analytics-oriented front office to a more traditional football model.
That isn’t to say analytics will be wiped out completely as Dorsey said in a radio interview a few weeks ago that he is “85% football, 15% analytics”.