JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars got the right guy at the right time.
When it comes to new Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell, that’s the view of two of the NFL’s top personnel officials: Bill Polian and Thomas Dimitroff.
Caldwell, named the Jaguars’ general manager Tuesday evening, spent much of the last two decades working with the pair, and in the wake of the hiring, each spoke of Caldwell as not only ready for the job, but ready to build a winning organization.
“Dave is a very bright, adept and organized talent evaluator,” said Dimitroff, the Atlanta Falcons’ General Manager. “He has a very sound understanding of team-building and player acquisition.”
Caldwell, 38, spent the past five seasons working for Dimitroff in Atlanta, first as the director of college scouting from 2008-2012, then this past season as the Falcons’ director of player personnel.
As player personnel director, he was responsible for college and pro scouting efforts. As college scouting director, he had overseen college area and regional scouts, with his primary role being evaluating the hundreds of draft-eligible college players on an annual basis.
In Caldwell’s five seasons, the Falcons advanced to the postseason four times and were the only NFC team to have a winning record in all five seasons.
The Falcons had a 56-24 regular-season record in Caldwell’s tenure.
Among the players drafted during his time there: quarterback Matt Ryan (first round, 2008), wide receiver Harry Douglas (third round, 2008), defensive Kroy Biermann (fifth round, 2008), linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (first round, 2010), wide receiver Julio Jones (first round, 2011) and running back Jacquizz Rogers (fifth round, 2011).
Eight players from those draft classes started on opening day in 2012 and 20 of 38 selections have started at least one game.
“Dave has been an integral member of our scouting department and has demonstrated excellent leadership as the director of college scouting and as the director of player personnel,” Dimitroff said. “I have complete confidence in Dave, and I know that he will excel in his new role as the General Manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars.”
Caldwell spent 10 seasons (1998-2007) with the Indianapolis Colts under Polian, then the Colts’ President. There, he helped build the roster that won Super Bowl XLI with multiple Pro Bowl selections drafted by the team.
“I'm thrilled that the Jaguars have hired David Caldwell as their general manager,” Polian said. “I had the pleasure of working with him for over 15 years and I know he's well-prepared for the task at hand. The Jaguars have made a great selection and I know Jacksonville fans will be pleased with the team David assembles for them.”
Caldwell was the western regional scout in his final two seasons with the Colts, where he covered major college football conferences, including the Pac 10, Big 10 and Big 12. He joined the Colts in 1998 as an area scout and remained in that role for seven seasons covering the Midwest and West Coast regions.
During Caldwell’s time there, the team drafted quarterback Peyton Manning (first round, 1998), running back Edgerrin James (first round, 1999), wide receiver Reggie Wayne (first round, 2001), defensive end Dwight Freeney (first round, 2002), linebacker Cato June (sixth round, 2002), tight end Dallas Clark (first round, 2003), defensive end Robert Mathis (fifth round, 2003), safety Bob Sanders (second round, 2004), running back Joseph Addai (first round, 2006) and safety Antoine Bethea (sixth round, 2006). All 10 players made the Pro Bowl.