Who calls the shots in all 32 NFL draft rooms?

NFL Nation reporters break down which person -- coach, front-office executive or owner -- has ultimate authority in the draft room of every team.

AFC East | AFC North | AFC South | AFC West
NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West


Buffalo Bills: The Bills like to describe their draft selections as "Buffalo Bills picks," which implies there was a group consensus on each selection. General manager Doug Whaley technically has say over the 90-man roster, but video from the team's 2015 draft room also showed owners Terry and Kim Pegula, president Russ Brandon, coach Rex Ryan, pro personnel director Jim Monos and college scouting director Kelvin Fisher at the main draft room table. Although the Pegulas seemingly have deferred football decisions to their coach and GM, it's hard to see Whaley going against his owners' wishes -- if there are any stated -- in that situation. -- Mike Rodak

Miami Dolphins: Describing who has final say in Miami isn't so black and white, because it is a collaborative effort among vice president Mike Tannenbaum, general manager Chris Grier and coach Adam Gase. Contractually, however, Gase has final say on personnel, which gives him the biggest voice in the room. -- James Walker

New England Patriots: The Patriots have a smaller-than-the-norm draft room compared to their NFL peers, with coach Bill Belichick relying on director of player personnel Nick Caserio, director of football research Ernie Adams, assistant to the coaching staff Michael Lombardi and director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort, among others. But when it comes time to make the final call, it's Belichick whose opinion trumps all. -- Mike Reiss

New York Jets: General manager Mike Maccagnan has the final say in the Jets' draft room. As a former scout, Maccagnan respects the scouting process and seeks input from those around him, especially his top lieutenants, Rex Hogan and Brian Heimerdinger. But in the end, it's his call. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens: General manager Ozzie Newsome calls the shots and it's why the organization's mantra is "In Ozzie we trust." But the Ravens' draft room is far from a one-man operation. One of Newsome's strengths is assessing the collective opinion of the room and then making the final call. He takes input from the scouts, coaching staff and his right-hand man in assistant GM Eric DeCosta. Owner Steve Bisciotti has made it known he defers to Newsome (like the time Bisciotti wanted to take cornerback Lito Sheppard over safety Ed Reed in 2002). This marks the 21st draft in which Newsome is the top decision-maker. -- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals: As is the case with most decisions made inside Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals' final say rests with draft junkie and team president Mike Brown. Yes, "draft junkie." From the sounds of it, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr.'s mocks have nothing on the pre-draft suggestions Brown will float around to coach Marvin Lewis and others. Brown is as invested in the draft process as anyone in the organization. That said, his understanding of prospects comes from the work of team scouts and assistant coaches. It's a seamless operation conducted by Lewis, director of player personnel Duke Tobin and the rest of the scouting department. The January loss of longtime scout Greg Seamon to the Browns' coaching staff made this draft cycle a little more challenging than others. -- Coley Harvey

Cleveland Browns: The Browns talk about working together, taking input from coaches, front office and scouts. But the ultimate decision will fall on vice president of football operations Sashi Brown, who is responsible for the 53-man roster and the draft picks. This will be the first time Brown has that authority in his career. -- Pat McManamon

Pittsburgh Steelers: General manager Kevin Colbert gets the call. He has helped direct traffic in the Steelers' war room during the Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin regimes. But Tomlin and Colbert really do make these calls together. Colbert's not going to undercut Tomlin on a pick. Tomlin describes the working relationship as an "old married couple." Since Colbert runs the draft operation, he gets the spotlight. For example, Tomlin handles media duties during the season, and Colbert assumes that role from January to April. Either way, there will be no surprises between these two on April 28. -- Jeremy Fowler


Houston Texans: The Texans' draft belongs to general manager Rick Smith, but owner Bob McNair is in the room and coach Bill O'Brien has significant input. For most of their operations, the Texans want Smith and O'Brien to reach a consensus and make the decision together. -- Tania Ganguli

Indianapolis Colts: General manager Ryan Grigson has significant say, but when it comes down to it, owner Jim Irsay has the final say. That's not surprising because Irsay is heavily involved on the football side of things with the franchise. Irsay has significant experience in the front office. He was general manager of the Colts from 1984 to '97. -- Mike Wells

Jacksonville Jaguars: General manager Dave Caldwell has the final say, though he has said that he and coach Gus Bradley are usually in agreement. Owner Shad Khan is part of the process, too, but has never tried to usurp Caldwell's authority. He doesn't interfere in football decisions. -- Mike DiRocco

Tennessee Titans: The Titans hired Jon Robinson this year as their new GM because of his ability as a talent evaluator. He has already pulled off a gigantic trade with the No. 1 pick, and now Tennessee controls this draft with six of the first 76 picks. He is their draft day and personnel decision-maker. Robinson had an extensive role at the end of a long term in the New England Patriots' front office and was a key figure in the 2015 draft of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. -- Paul Kuharsky


Denver Broncos: When it comes to personnel decisions, executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway likes discussion, he likes strong opinions and he wants to hear all of the issues involved with any decision. But in the end, Elway is THE team's decision-maker. Mike Sullivan (who handles the team's salary cap and contracts), Matt Russell and Tom Heckert all have strong voices in the process -- and Elway trusts them all -- but Elway breaks the ties and gives the final nod. -- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs: General manager John Dorsey makes the call in the Chiefs' draft room. The Chiefs have picked at so-called premium positions (left tackle, pass-rushing outside linebacker and cornerback) in their three drafts since Dorsey took charge in 2013, so he believes in fortifying at the most important spots. -- Adam Teicher

Oakland Raiders: In a different era, the late Al Davis was the unquestionable final decision-maker in the Raiders' draft room. That torch has been passed to general manager Reggie McKenzie, who was hired by Mark Davis in 2012. Of course, coach Jack Del Rio has input, but the Silver and Black buck stops with McKenzie. -- Paul Gutierrez

San Diego Chargers: John Spanos, son of Chargers chairman Dean Spanos, holds the title of president of football operations for his first draft after steadily working his way through the personnel department. Spanos started out as an area scout. So like always, a Spanos family member will have final say over draft decisions. However, general manager Tom Telesco still drives the bus here -- and Telesco has to get it right after a disappointing 4-12 finish. -- Eric D. Williams


Dallas Cowboys: This question frosts Cowboys fans more than any other. Jerry Jones is the ultimate decision-maker. However, he does not go against the wishes of his football people. Just think back to 2014, when the Cowboys took Zack Martin in the first round when Jones' favorite, Johnny Manziel, was still available. The Cowboys like to say they build consensus before the draft and come to decisions as a group. Despite what many want to believe, Jones will not go off on his own and do as he pleases. Has he done that in the past? Quincy Carter in the second round in 2001 might be an example, but Jones has shown a willingness to listen. -- Todd Archer

New York Giants: Giants GM Jerry Reese leans hard on his scouts, and his coach and owner have lots of input in the draft. But in the end, it's Reese who makes the pick. The Giants have long adhered to a strict separation of powers between the coaching staff and the front office, and as GM, the draft is Reese's purview. If the room is split between two picks, it's Reese who makes the final call, and it has been since he became GM in 2007. -- Dan Graziano

Philadelphia Eagles: This is a question that has vexed Eagles fans for many years, which suggests it is a deliberate tactic by a team happy to operate in as much secrecy as possible. This year, there is clarity. Howie Roseman, the executive vice president of football operations, calls the shots. With a title that long, he'd better. -- Phil Sheridan

Washington Redskins: There's no doubt who's calling the shots in Washington: general manager Scot McCloughan. Since he arrived in January 2015, it has been his show. McCloughan will listen to his scouts and the coaches have input, but he has final say over who is selected. -- John Keim


Chicago Bears: Coach John Fox has unprecedented influence throughout the entire Bears operation, but the draft ultimately belongs to general manager Ryan Pace. Pace relies heavily on the input of his top lieutenants -- director of pro scouting Champ Kelly, director of player personnel Josh Lucas and director of college scouting Joe Douglas -- but the second-year GM has the final call on all draft-related matters. -- Jeff Dickerson

Detroit Lions: It's a new regime in Detroit with team president Rod Wood and general manager Bob Quinn, but it's clear who is making the final decisions in the Lions' draft room. That'll be Quinn, who comes from a New England system where discussion was encouraged but the final decisions were essentially Bill Belichick's. Expect the same in Detroit -- collaboration, but it'll be Quinn's draft call in the end. -- Michael Rothstein

Green Bay Packers: General manager Ted Thompson makes the call. Former Packers president Bob Harlan gave then-GM Ron Wolf full authority over all football decisions when he hired him in 1991 and promised no interference, and current president Mark Murphy has continued that with Thompson. However, as coach Mike McCarthy tells it, Thompson "told me in the beginning he would never force a player on me." So there's input from McCarthy and the scouts, but it's ultimately Thompson's decision. -- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have a number of people involved in the selection process -- scouts, coaches, VP of football operations Rob Brzezinski and assistant GM George Paton -- but the final call belongs to general manager Rick Spielman. He was given the GM title in 2012 and has had full control of the roster since then. Spielman has been running the Vikings' drafts since 2007, but the days of the Vikings' "triangle of authority" power structure are long gone, and Spielman is the one presiding over a draft strategy that has helped rebuild the Vikings' roster in recent years. -- Ben Goessling


Atlanta Falcons: Falcons coach Dan Quinn has final say over the 53-man roster. And although Quinn continues to express his admiration for general manager Thomas Dimitroff and values the partnership they have, Dimitroff doesn't have the power he once had, as owner Arthur Blank demanded changes. When Dimitroff was asked about making the call on drafting players, he said, "In the end, if the head coach is totally against a player, the success rate of that player working out obviously is quite low." In other words, Quinn has the final say. -- Vaughn McClure

Carolina Panthers: General manager Dave Gettleman will tell you draft day decisions are a collective effort between himself, coach Ron Rivera, position coaches and the scouts. But the final call is made by Gettleman, who acknowledges if a draft pick doesn't work out, the GM is the first to be blamed. Fortunately for Gettleman, there has been little to no blame during his first three drafts, because the "team" approach to building a draft board has helped make the Panthers a better team on the field. -- David Newton

New Orleans Saints: GM Mickey Loomis ultimately has the final say. But coach Sean Payton has plenty of input as well, and the Saints insist they prefer a collaborative approach among Loomis, Payton and the scouting department. That collaboration used to include Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace. And now it includes former Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland, who was hired last year to run the college scouting department. Loomis described Ireland as a "voice of reason" during last year's draft, compared to himself and Payton, both of whom have more aggressive tendencies when it comes to trading up. -- Mike Triplett

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: GM Jason Licht said he trusts his scouting staff and those involved in the pre-draft process so much that he lets them have complete access to the draft board daily. It's a collective effort when it comes to finalizing the draft board, but when it comes to the final decision, Licht has the final word. -- Mike DiRocco


Arizona Cardinals: GM Steve Keim will listen to what coaches and scouts have to say in the Cardinals' war room, but he makes the ultimate decision on whom to draft. And that's how coach Bruce Arians likes it. There will be -- and have been -- disagreements and arguments about certain players, but Keim takes everyone's opinions into consideration before making the final choice. -- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams: Like many teams, the Rams prefer to say that all of their picks are a group consensus, but if it really comes down to it, coach Jeff Fisher has the final say. The Rams gave Fisher a five-year deal worth around $7 million a season in 2012, and with it, they gave him a lot of say in personnel matters. He was already in place when the team hired general manager Les Snead, and the two generally work together on building the roster. -- Nick Wagoner

San Francisco 49ers: General manager Trent Baalke likes to say that there is no iron fist when it comes to the Niners' personnel decisions, but there is no doubt he makes the final call ... after discussing things with his coach and owner. And even if new coach Chip Kelly says he will have no power in personnel, this meeting of the minds will be more than intriguing. -- Paul Gutierrez

Seattle Seahawks: Having final say was important for Pete Carroll when he decided to give head coaching in the NFL a third try. And he was involved in the hiring of GM John Schneider. Though Carroll is the ultimate authority, the Seahawks appear to be a truly collaborative operation. Schneider and his staff work on the draft year-round, and he has significant influence. Carroll recently called Schneider the best GM in football and says he is the driving force behind acquiring talent. Their partnership has led to 46 regular-season wins over the past four years, the most in the NFC. -- Sheil Kapadia