In 24 years as a general manager in the NFL, Bill Polian knows something about evaluating talent. Consequently, he also can evaluate the evaluators, and he believes Jerry Reese is one of the best in the business.
Polian, a former Bills, Panthers, and Colts executive and current analyst for ESPN Insider, broke down the top six evaluators in his eyes, which included the Giants general manager.
“He goes out and finds players who fit what head coach Tom Coughlin wants, which points to one of his greatest strengths as a GM,” the six-time NFL Executive of the Year wrote about Reese. “Not only is Jerry a terrific judge of talent, he’s also an excellent manager in the way he includes his staff and the coaches in the process. Throughout the organization, every scout is working from the same script and knows that their voice will be heard in the player-evaluation process.
“Another defining characteristic for Jerry is that he’s not afraid to take a chance on a player who he believes will fit their system. Mark Herzlich is a good example. Many teams were scared of his battle with cancer, but he’s helped the Giants. And identifying Victor Cruz as a player to develop can’t be overlooked — remember, they kept him through an entire season where Cruz sat on IR. Reese and Coughlin will now unearth last year’s first-rounder, RB David Wilson. While the former Virginia Tech back had a rough start following a Week 1 fumble, he should be a strong asset for the Giants going forward after the team had to make financial decisions at the position this offseason.”
Also making Polian’s list were: Ozzie Newsome (Ravens), Thomas Dimitroff (Falcons), Ted Thompson (Packers), Trent Baalke (49ers), and Kevin Colbert (Steelers).
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