According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, Indianapolis Colts assistant general manager Ed Dodds is widely considered one of the top general manager candidates in the entire league—should he so choose to actively pursue such an opportunity (and promotion):
Ed Dodds, Indianapolis Colts
If you ask 10 front-office people around the league who the best scout in the NFL is, chances are you’re going to hear Ed Dodds’ name the most. The current assistant general manager with the Indianapolis Colts, no one in the league is more widely acknowledged as the top scout, which is why Ballard poached Dodds from Seattle and gave him a right-hand seat to his throne in Indianapolis.
Why isn’t Dodds a household name? As I’ve been told, he doesn’t particularly like the attention that comes with being a decision-maker and might not even have the desire to be a general manager. That would be great news for the Colts, but Dodds should start getting calls soon to interview for top jobs.
Of course, many Colts fans already knew at least part of this.
Ed Dodds is really good at his current job.
Dodds has always been highly regarded for his scouting acumen from his days with the Seattle Seahawks, where he previously served as a senior personnel executive.
It’s not hard to see Dodds’ thumbprint already on the Colts much-improved roster either, as he played an instrumental role in the franchise signing Pro Bowl alternate Denico Autry last offseason:
“It was Ballard’s No. 2 in Indianapolis, assistant general manager Ed Dodds, who made the initial push back in March,” via the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer. “He wanted Autry to become a Colt, envisioning his rare skillset sliding seamlessly into Indy’s new speed-heavy scheme.”
Not to mention the claiming of undrafted rookie free agent cornerback Kenny Moore off waivers. Although he didn’t meet the Colts initial measurement criteria for the position, Moore has emerged into a really good defensive back for the Colts, and was acquired in part due to Dodd’s persuasion skills:
“And I think it was Ed (Dodds) who said, ‘Look Chris, he’s got 32 1/2-inch arms; it equals out to be taller than what he is,’” said Colts general manager Chris Ballard via Colts.com’s Andrew Walker on the team previously claiming Moore.
Dodds' influence on the Colts can also be seen in how they’ve placed a heavy influence on athletic traits, namely SPARQ ratings, in their draft selection process. That's always been something that the Seattle Seahawks have emphasized, and the Colts have now readily followed suit with Dodds’ addition.
It’s not the first time that Miller has expressed his affinity for Dodds, either, and how he’s viewed as a top general manager candidate league-wide. He previously said as much in October of 2018:
Ed Dodds, Colts Assistant GM
One of the chief architects of the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl runs, Ed Dodds went to Indianapolis with Chris Ballard. His name remains on the short list when you talk to NFL sources about the best scouts in the league. Dodds isn’t the type of guy to seek out media attention or push his name for jobs, but smart owners should be aware of his instincts and eye as an evaluator.
He’s not alone, either, as The MMQB’s Albert Breer previously wrote this blurb in December of 2018, naming Dodds one of his top GM candidates:
Ed Dodds, assistant GM, Colts: Dodds was quietly considered Seahawks GM John Schneider’s secret weapon for years. And it took someone with Ballard’s institutional knowledge to come in and poach him. Word’s out now. Dodds is not only a top evaluator for the Colts but also helps Ballard run trades.
Colts fans have gotten more exposure to Chris Ballard’s “right-hand man” through the team’s “With the Next Pick” video series. So far, the results have been impressive, getting to see more of him and his ability to articulate some of the team’s decision-making process.
Dodds definitely has the talent to become a franchise’s top decision-maker some day soon, should he decide to pursue such an opportunity.
For the Colts, it’s difficult because when or if that day comes, it’ll be a tough pill for the organization to swallow, because they’d be losing such a talented evaluator near the very top of their organization.
That being said, he’s earned that opportunity, and success ultimately breeds success. Unfortunately, other teams eventually want part of the action—at the expense of a then former team. However, in such a situation, it’s hard not to be happy for Dodds.
Similarly to how the Colts could ultimately lose defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus to a head coaching gig in the foreseeable future, it wouldn’t be surprising (actually it’s probably much anticipated) to see Dodds get a promotion as a team’s top GM relatively soon.
Nevertheless, that won’t stop many fans from keeping their fingers crossed.
For the time being, Colts fans can sit back, relax, and marvel at Ballard and Dodds’ effective “1-2 punch”, knowing full well that the franchise very well could have two of the league’s best talent evaluators under one roof—which seems rare.
While “the secret may be out” on Dodds league-wide, Colts fans would be wise to enjoy these fun days while they still have them, as the franchise continues to stockpile its cupboard with more young and talented players with his overall help and influence.