Wednesday, August 10, 2022

JoJo Wooden Joins Bears GM Chase And May Be The Biggest Sleeper


The list of Chicago Bears GM candidates continues to grow this week. After already setting up interviews with 11 names around the NFL including one of their own in Champ Kelly, the organization has now added a 12th. This one is in the form of JoJo Wooden according to Ian Rapoport. He is the director of player personnel for the Los Angeles Chargers and the right-hand man to longtime GM Tom Telesco. A former understudy of Bill Polian, who just so happens to be leading the search for Chicago.

Wooden is said to run both the college and pro scouting departments for the Chargers and has since 2013. He has extensive experience and a track record that is more impressive than a lot of people think.

  • Keenan Allen
  • Jason Verrett
  • Melvin Gordon
  • Joey Bosa
  • Hunter Henry
  • Mike Williams
  • Desmond King
  • Derwin James
  • Justin Herbert
  • Rashawn Slater
  • Asante Samuel Jr.

All were drafted during the time he’s been in their front office. This doesn’t include productive veterans they added like Mike Pouncey and Casey Heyward.

Then there was his strong work with the New York Jets prior to his arrival with the Chargers. He had a direct hand in building the roster that ended up getting to two straight AFC championships in 2009 and 2010. Players like Jonathan Vilma, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, Darrelle Revis, and Alan Faneca were all huge pieces acquired during that period.

Wooden understands how to supply his roster with a steady stream of talent.

This is a big reason the Chargers have posted a winning record five times during including two playoff trips and a 2-2 record in the postseason. This was despite sharing a division with Peyton Manning and then Patrick Mahomes after that. One thing that stands out the most is how good the organization has been at cultivating quarterbacks.

They provided Philip Rivers with plenty of weapons at the end of his run with the team and have since done the same for rising star Justin Herbert. This is something the Bears desperately need. A GM that can build around Justin Fields. Few have a better education at doing this than JoJo Wooden. He might not be the early favorite for the job, but he has a strong enough track record to deserve a chance to interview for it.

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