The Giants' search for a new general manager officially got underway on Monday, and Marc Ross, the team's vice president of player evaluation, got the first shot at the job.
Ross, who spent the last five seasons essentially as former GM Jerry Reese's right-hand man, is probably a longshot to get the job, but he's a smart executive who is well-respected around the league. He's been a hot candidate in previous GM-search cycles, having interviews with the Jets, Titans, Panthers, Chargers, Seahawks and Bears in recent years.
On Monday, Ross met with Giants co-owner John Mara and former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi, who is consulting on the search. Accorsi also was a consultant on previous GM searches with the Bears and Panthers when they brought Ross in for a look. He will continue the interview process by meeeting with co-owner Steve Tisch later this week.
There are several factors working against Ross, though. For one, Mara has spoken about the need for "wholesale changes," and it would be hard to fit Ross into that description since he's been with the Giants since Reese first came on board in 2007. Though it's always hard to decipher who made what decisions, if Mara sees failures by his previous front office, Ross will clearly have had his hand in some of those.
And a particular issue could be that he served for six years as the Giants' director of college scouting, and was an integral part of the draft-day process in the five years after that. There have been numerous hits under his watch, of course, from Odell Beckham, Jr. to Landon Collins, Sterling Shepard, Evan Engram, and Justin Pugh.
But in that time they also have had a slew of bad misses, especially in middle rounds -- players like linebacker Clint Sintim (second, 2009), receiver Ramses Barden and tight end Travis Beckum (third, 2009), defensive tackle Marvin Austin (second, 2011), receiver Jerrel Jernigan (third, 2011), cornerback Jayron Hosley (third, 2012), defensive end Damontre Moore (third, 2013), and running back Andre Williams (fourth, 2014).
Surely in his interview he had to answer for those.
Ross is expected to be the first of three interviews this week for the Giants. They will be interviewing their interim GM Kevin Abrams, who previously served as their assistant GM. They are also expected to interview former Giants executive Dave Gettleman, who was fired from his job as GM of the Carolina Panthers last spring.
There are expected to be several other candidates on the Giants' docket, perhaps including Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf, Bills assistant director of college scouting Lake Dawson, Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, and Falcons assistant GM Scott Pioli.
The Giants can't interview any of those candidates until after their respective seasons are over, which means their search is likely to last into January.