Getting to Know Bears General Manager Candidates: Ran Carthon

A complete house cleaning is underway at Halas Hall.

Three football seasons have passed since Matt Nagy, and Ryan Pace won top honors for their efforts in leading the 2018 Chicago Bears to a 12-4 record and NFC North title, and the time has come for the franchise to find their replacements.

Despite this team’s issues, the head coach and general manager vacancies are highly sought-after. And with Super Bowl-winning Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian lending a helping hand, the Bears are in a position to make some impact hirings. Over the following days, weeks, or however long it takes, we’ll be diving into the top available candidates, including their history, what they offer schematically, how they fit culturally, where they can take this team, and more. Let’s do it. 

Previous Head Coach Candidates: Doug Pederson, Nathaniel Hackett

Previous General Manager Candidates: Glenn Cook, Jeff Ireland, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah

Name, Current Team, and Position

Arandric Kornell Carthon, San Francisco 49ers Director of Pro Personnel (2017-present)

Relevant Experience

•   St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, Director of Player Personnel (2012-16)

•   Atlanta Falcons, Pro Scout (2008-11)

•   NFL running back with the Indianapolis Colts (2004-06 and Detroit Lions (2006)

After playing three seasons in the NFL, Carthon has spent the past 14 years working in the scouting apartments in Atlanta, St. Louis/Los Angeles, and San Francisco NFL scouting d. Carthon has long been interested in the scouting and player evaluation aspect of football, dating back to his childhood when he would pick his father’s brain, Maurice Carthon, a former NFL player and coach. To no surprise to those that know him, Carthon has flourished in that role at multiple stops and capacities.

Existing Rumors and Bears Ties

The former NFL running back is one of 10 potential general manager candidates that the Chicago Bears have requested to interview as they’ve cast a wide net this week in their search for Ryan Pace’s replacement. Carthon is also expected to interview for the New York Giants’ opening on Monday.

Potential Fit

When you talk about Ryan Pace’s drafting, there are mixed reviews. There were excellent finds in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft. There were also some significant duds under Pace’s watch, especially in the early rounds. When looking for his replacement, I’d imagine that improving consistency in the draft will be a crucial focus. Carthon has always considered himself a draft buff and has made a long career out of his knack for evaluating talent.

“I’ve always just been a fan of the draft, especially when I was younger,” Carthon said in a recent FOX Sports story. “I used to record every draft and buy all the draft magazines and follow along. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time. I was just more so trying to predict which team was going to take which player.”

But even with his love for amateur scouting, Carthon has spent the bulk of his career on the pro scouting side of things. During his time in San Francisco, Carthon helped John Lynch and the 49ers build a roster that won an NFC Championship just two years ago and has them back in the postseason this year. While Carthon was with the Rams, he helped oversee a rebuild that led to a playoff berth in 2017 (one season after he departed for San Francisco) and four playoff berths in five years.

While Carthon wasn’t in Los Angeles to see the fruits of his labor bear fruit, please make no mistake that his work there led to his hiring in San Francisco. Here’s what 49ers GM John Lynch had to say about Carthon when he hired him:

“We want to welcome Ran Carthon and his family to the 49ers,” Lynch said in a statement. “Ran has a clear vision for how he plans to run our pro personnel department and was excited about the opportunity to blend his approach with ours. Having previously directed his pro department, we expect Ran to hit the ground running and help us build the strongest roster possible.”

ESPN analyst Harry Douglas and former 10-year NFL vet Harry Douglas had some high praise for Carthon when it was announced that he would be interviewing for the Bears and Giants jobs:

Carthon has a strong resumé that makes him an in-demand candidate for a GM job in Chicago or elsewhere.

In The End …

As far as Chicago is concerned, Carthon will be going up against a stacked field of competitors for the Bears’ GM job, but I’m highly intrigued by his proven track record of building teams at the pro scouting level through means outside of the draft. Given the failures of the Bears in that department, for, what seems like my entire 30 years of existence, having a GM with 14 years of experience in that particular area of concentration seems like a great idea.

That’s not to say that the draft shouldn’t be a focus, and I think that Carthon could check that box as well, as the prospect of amateur scouting and his passion for it is what drove him into this field after his playing days came to an end.

Time will tell, but Carthon is certainly one of the most intriguing front office candidates on the Bears dockett of impending interviews for their vacant GM position.

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

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