- The Washington Times - Monday, January 13, 2020

The Washington Redskins don’t have a general manager, but their front office is starting to come together. 

Washington promoted executive Kyle Smith from director of college scouting to vice president of player personnel on Monday, the latest rise for the 35-year-old and another shuffle of team executives since Ron Rivera came aboard as head coach.

Smith, who has been with the Redskins for the last 10 seasons, was last promoted in 2017. He will now oversee the team’s college and pro personnel departments.

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“I am excited for the opportunity to oversee both the college and professional sides of the scouting department,” Smith said in a statement. “Our staff is looking forward to working together with Coach Rivera to build the best team possible.”

Since the end of the regular season, Washington has fired team president Bruce Allen, mutually parted ways with cap-expert Eric Schaffer and reassigned Doug Williams from the personnel department to player development. Last week, the team also hired Rob Rogers, the Carolina Panthers’ director of finance, to oversee their salary cap.

Owner Dan Snyder promised a “coach-centered” approach when he hired former Panthers coach Rivera, and the 58-year-old clearly is putting his stamp on both football and front office operations.

Smith has seen his role expand dramatically since joining the Redskins in 2010 as an intern. Over the past two seasons, the executive has been in charge of scouting — assembling the Redskins’ draft board and having a major say in the draft. 

The son of former San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, Smith is highly regarded in league circles and seen as a future general manager.

In the last two seasons, the Redskins have earned positive grades on draft night for their selections of players like Daron Payne and Dwayne Haskins. 

Twitter user Rene Bugner, for instance, found Washington earned the highest “GPA” — a 3.74 — when he compiled draft grades from various outlets like ESPN and the NFL Network. In 2018, the Redskins earned a “B” under the same scale. 

On the field, the production from the Redskins’ rookie classes recently has been hit or miss. Washington got a strong rookie season out of Payne in 2018, but others like running back Derrius Guice and Geron Christian failed to make an impact because of injuries. This season, the Redskins have seen production from standouts Terry McLaurin, Cole Holcomb and Montez Sweat.

That production was part of the reasoning behind keeping Smith around. Rivera and Smith haven’t worked together previously, but the coach knows Smith’s father from their time in San Diego when Rivera served as the team’s defensive coordinator while the elder Smith was the general manager. 

“I have been impressed with Kyle’s track record and player evaluation process,” Rivera said in a statement, “and I’m confident in the vision we share for the future of the Washington Redskins.” 

Under the Redskins’ old structure, Williams served as Washington’s senior vice president of player personnel. The team did not have a general manager by title after they fired Scot McCloughan in 2017, but Allen held those duties until his dismissal earlier this month. 

With Rivera, the Redskins are expected to hire a general manager, but likely won’t fill the position until after the draft in April. 



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