There are any number of executives around the NFL doing really good work who the public, even the fan bases of the teams they work for, know little to nothing about. That is the personnel business — it’s not a glamorous job.
Trey Brown is one of those people. Who is Brown? He has the title “player personnel executive college/pro” with the Philadelphia Eagles. He has been a scout with the New England Patriots, and has been with the Eagles since 2013, doing most of his work in college scouting. Brown is also a former NFL player, having briefly been a cornerback with the Chicago Bears.
A couple of things make you sit up and take notice. Brown is only 32 years old and is already on the GM candidate circuit, having interviewed last year for the vacant GM job with the Buffalo Bills, and apparently been very impressive. Secondly, there are some who believe it was Brown who was the impetus behind the Eagles selecting Carson Wentz with the second pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Let’s learn more.
Why it would work
Brown appears to be a fast riser in the front office ranks. Really fast. He comes from the New England front office tree, and might be able to deliver an exciting young head coach like Matt Patricia. He would also have relationships with Eagles assistants Jim Schwartz, John DeFilippo and Frank Reich — all of whom could be head-coaching candidates this offseason. The Giants are facing the need to identify a future franchise quarterback, and Brown has apparently already done that once. He would undoubtedly be a fresh start for an organization that appears to need one.
Why it wouldn’t work
Brown is really young, and inexperienced. He has never been a GM or assistant GM. His first leadership experience (director of college scouting) came in 2016. Almost all of Brown’s experience has come in scouting college players. He would need a capable salary cap guy at his side, and probably an experienced pro personnel director. He has made recommendations, but never actually been responsible for a personnel decision. There’s no way to know for sure if he’s ready to run a team, especially one with so many key decisions to make.
Hiring Brown feels like it would be a real roll of the dice, probably an uncharacteristic one for Giants’ ownership. It could be spectacular — finding a brilliant, young executive who could represent the wholesale change John Mara said was needed and could lead the Giants into a prosperous future. Or it could be an utter calamity — taking a chance on a young guy only to find out he is in way over his head, thus setting your franchise back once again.