Out of every general manager candidate the New York Giants are interviewing, Baltimore Ravens Director of Player Personnel Joe Hortiz is the only one that isn’t in the postseason. However, don’t let that dampen your expectations of his qualities, having learned from Ozzie Newsome and some of the best talent evaluators the NFL has ever seen.
Hortiz is considered a future NFL general manager by most, and he’s a legitimate candidate for the Giants. They are in desperate need of a cultural overhaul and talent evaluation process.
Hortiz’s tenure in Baltimore includes consistent winning, notably two Super Bowls and 13 postseason appearances in 22 years. This past season, Baltimore was plagued by injury on defense and offense. Losing Lamar Jackson late in the year and running back J.K. Dobbins undoubtedly put them in a difficult position. However, they narrowly missed the postseason despite working with a number of backups and dwindling down to their third-string quarterback for a moment.
When a team is capable of winning despite injuries to star players, you know the roster has been constructed properly. Baltimore nearly achieved the impossible, further proving that Joe has helped build one of the most sustainable organizations in football.
“Joe almost never makes an evaluation mistake,” a Ravens official told The Post’s Ian O’Connor.
O’Connor goes on to detail how Hortiz has garnered varying reviews on his readiness to become a GM for a big market like New York:
One league executive described Hortiz as a true “scout.” Another scouting source described Hortiz as a “good personality with potential,” but expressed concerns that GM of the Giants is a “big spotlight job” for someone without decision-making experience — which applies to all nine candidates receiving interviews.
Clearly, there is some concern that Hortiz can’t manage the New York market, but as we saw Dave Gettleman, if you stay behind the scenes and let your coaching staff take the brunt of the blame, you can get away with anything.
Thankfully, the Giants are looking outside for the first time in decades at a general manager candidate without any ties to the organization. Hortiz finished his interview with Big Blue this past Saturday but could be back for a 2nd chance to speak with ownership. With 20 years of experience under his belt with one of the most consistent franchises in football, there’s no question that he’s a legitimate option.
Over the past 13 years, Hortiz has helped the Ravens select 16 Pro Bowlers and six first-team All-Pro players. Comparably, the Giants have landed six Pro Bowlers and two first-team All-Pro players, a vast difference, nearly tripling their evaluation success.
Culture can’t be overlooked, though, as players can extract the most of their abilities in the right situation. For years, the Giants have been a laughing stock with coaches who can’t develop players and maximize their strengths. Failure to develop a competent scheme and disciplinary style of play has put the Giants in the dark ages, in which they are hoping a candidate like Hortiz can drag them out.