On Monday, we profiled a relatively young front office candidate who had spent all of his professional career with a team that his father helped build, Duke Tobin. Today, we look at another successor who is following in his father's footsteps, but is even younger: current director of player personnel for the Green Bay Packers, Eliot Wolf.
Wolf was introduced to player scouting at an extremely early age. He was just nine years old when his father, Ron Wolf, became the general manager for the Green Bay Packers. Ron would talk with his son every night about player personnel, asking him to evaluate certain players.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Wolf has been on the Packers' payroll for at least a decade. According to the Packers' website, Eliot has served as part of the draft preparation team for the Packers in an "official and unofficial capacity" since 1993 (when he was 11).
Wolf's official capacity began in 2004, when he was named pro personnel assistant in 2004. He spent four years at that position before being promoted to assistant director of pro personnel. In 2011, he was then promoted to assistant director of player personnel. The difference between the jobs, presumably, is a shift in focus from players already in the NFL to more of a draft-focused position. Finally, at the beginning of 2015, he was named director of player personnel.
Wolf has also served time as scouting intern for the Packers, Seahawks and Falcons.
- Spent 12 years (officially) with the Green Bay Packers, receiving four promotions along the way
- Filed his first scouting report at the age of 14
- Second youngest person to hold the title of director of player personnel (age: 33)
All Wolf has known since he was a child is scouting. He learned from one of the greatest scouts to ever grace the NFL, and he got started at a young age. Though his direct accomplishments are hard to track, given he is only now starting to really have real sway in draft decisions, his four promotions in 12 years speak for themselves. The Green Bay Packers clearly trust his judgment.
Eliot is only now starting to leave the shadow of his father. He doesn't even have a full year of experience as director of player personnel, so promoting him again to general manager seems like a risky choice.
Additionally, it may be hard for the Lions to get their hands on Eliot. The Packers are notoriously stingy in allowing teams to interview their coaches and management. The common belief is that because the Lions would be offering him a promotion, the Packers would have no choice but to allow an interview, but the rules are less clear than that. There are plenty of documented cases in which directors of player personnel were denied interviews for general manager positions, and Pro Football Talk calls the permission rules confusing and "murky."
The Eagles asked for permission to interview Eliot back in January, and it is unclear whether they were ever granted that interview, but it seems unlikely they ever were.
Eliot is a very high-reward candidate. His youth combined with his immersion in football personnel decision-making creates a very intriguing candidate. However, his direct accomplishments are hard to track and he is still very new in the management game. The biggest hurdle in getting Wolf to join the Lions is his availability, and I have to believe the Packers' unwillingness to let go of current front office employees makes Wolf a long-shot for the Lions' new general manager.