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49ers could be looking strong at Packers GM option

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More and more reports suggest one particular Packers candidate could be the top option.

There has been a lot of chatter the past couple weeks about the San Francisco 49ers wanting to become the New England Patriots West. In the past week though, it has become more likely that it might actually be Green Bay West, or at least somewhat GB west.

Packers writer Bob McGinn put together a column on Thursday that was focused on potential successors to GM Ted Thompson. Midway through, he offered up some 49ers nuggets. Most notably, he reported that sources told him Packers director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst emerged as the more attractive candidate that Eliot Wolf. One source told him Gutekunst did a great job in his interview, and they came away “really impressed.”

McGinn also reported, “there seems little doubt” Wolf would accept the job if it was offered. He talked about Wolf being comfortable in Green Bay, but that there is some thought Wolf wants to broaden his experience by working for another franchise.

A lot of what happens with Gutekunst and Wolf could also depend on if the Packers are willing to make either of them an official “GM-in-waiting” before Thompson retires. McGinn and others are reporting John Dorsey makes the most sense, and have mentioned folks other than Wolf or Gutekunst.

McGinn described Gutekunst’s background as scouting college players, while Wolf has been more of a blend of pro and college work. I spoke with another Packers writer who said Gutekunst is a great college evaluator with a keen eye for projecting college guys into the pros.

This folllows multiple additional reports in support of the Packers candidates. Mike Silver reported on Monday that both candidates were leading candidates. He followed that up with a report the 49ers gave Sean McVay the phone numbers of both Packers GM candidates for a little get-to-know-you. And then Thursday late afternoon, Matt Maiocco reported the 49ers were high on Gutekunst.

If the 49ers do decide to hire Gutekunst, I imagine there will be plenty of people wondering why it was not Wolf. There are always some higher profile GM candidates, but often there are numerous candidates that we just don’t know much about. We hear about guys like Gutekunst and George Paton in the interview process, but as non-GMs for teams other than our own, it is an under-developed area of information.