Now that the Detroit Lions' 2015 playoff chances are gone, it's time to unbookmark your Playoff Simulators and turn your attention back to the Lions' big front office changes coming in the offseason. One of the biggest names out there for the Lions general manager position is Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta.
DeCosta has spent nearly his entire football management career with the Ravens organization. After a training camp internship with the Washington Redskins personnel department, DeCosta joined the Ravens in an entry-level role in 1996.
Since then, he has risen up the ranks as a scout for almost a decade, to the director of player personnel for three years, to the assistant general manager role he currently has held since 2012. According to ESPN, DeCosta has essentially been running the Ravens' draft since 2005 (although general manager Ozzie Newsome continues to have the final say).
- 19 years as a member of the Baltimore Ravens' staff
- 10 years of experience running an NFL draft room
- Served on an eight-man committee to find a head coach for the Ravens in 2008 (selected Jim Harbaugh)
- Mainly responsible for drafting several Pro Bowl players, including Haloti Ngata, Ben Grubbs, Marshal Yanda and Ray Rice.
Though DeCosta has technically never held the general manager title, he has been responsible for nearly every duty that comes with the job. He has been essential to the Ravens' draft process for the last ten years, and his three years as director of player personnel gives him experience as an evaluator of talent within the league.
Additionally, his experience as part of a committee that selected John Harbaugh as head coach is extremely relevant, as the Detroit Lions will likely be looking for a new coaching staff in 2016.
There aren't really any cons in DeCosta's resume, but the biggest hurdle in hiring DeCosta is pulling him away from Baltimore. Almost every year, DeCosta's name pops up as a general manager candidate. DeCosta has already turned away the likes of the Seahawks, Jets, Bears and Raiders in the past and has made no indications that he's willing or interested in leaving Baltimore. He has a wife from Baltimore, he's raising a family there, and by all indications he is happy with his current position. "I enjoy work. I enjoy coming in here. We have a great owner, awesome stadium and best fan base in the country, so what more do you want?" DeCosta said back in April after turning down interview requests from the Jets and Bears.
DeCosta is an absolutely ideal candidate for the Lions general manager position. Not only does he have a ton of experience, but he'd be coming from an organization that has seen a lot of success in the past decade, and DeCosta's management has a lot to do with that success. Unfortunately, there's no reason to believe DeCosta will leave Baltimore for any reason. He loves the job, the people he works with and he's well compensated. Decosta is essentially the best case scenario for the Lions, but he's longer than a long shot.