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Why George Paton’s Lions GM candidacy is not just nepotism

Paton is a legitimate candidate.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The biggest concern I’ve seen about Detroit Lions general manager candidate George Paton is that he could be a nepotistic hire. The Vikings assistant general manager has basically followed around current Vikings general manager Rick Spielman for the past 20-25 years, dating back to the late 90s when he was part of the Chicago Bears’ scouting department. Rick Spielman’s brother, Chris, has a big influence on who the Lions hire and likely knows Paton well. So there is some legitimacy to those concerns, and team owner Sheila Ford Hamp hasn’t yet earned the benefit of the doubt yet.

But don’t let that fact cloud your judgement of Paton. He’s been a top general manager candidate for years, has been finalists for jobs on more than one occasion, and has been very selective about both who he interviews and what places he would leave the Vikings for. The fact that the Lions have a foot in the door because of Spielman may actually be considered a positive considering how tough it is to get Paton.

So why is Paton is such demand and why hasn’t he landed a general manager job before? There’s very little information out there on Paton, as he’s been a notoriously private person during his time with the Vikings.

To help us get to know Paton, we grabbed our good friend Arif Hasan from The Athletic Minnesota to tell us everything we need to know about Paton, the Vikings’ drafting and player acquisition process, and why he thinks Paton is a legitimate candidate that will not only help the Lions, but hurt the Vikings if he lands the Detroit job.

You can listen to the podcast below, or watch it via our YouTube and Twitch pages.

If you’ve missed any of our previous GM/head coach profile podcasts, you can catch up with the links below.

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