The Patriots lost one of their most important members of the front office that no one really knew about on Monday, as director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort departed to Tennessee to be its director of player personnel.
Ossenfort's contract was up and it's clear he wanted to advance up the ladder of a front office, but wasn't able to do so in New England with who is ahead of him.
Now, the Patriots will be tasked with replacing him as the preparation for the 2021 NFL Draft has already begun.
Here are a few options.
Brian Smith- This seems very likely, as Smith has been with the Patriots since 2000 and has worked his way up beginning as an intern. He's been the college scouting coordinator for the last eight seasons and has worked hand-in-hand with Ossenfort through the years. Smith's rise through the organization is something that Bill Belichick likes and he typically rewards these people. In his early years, Smith had a number of different roles, but he's been in scouting since 2006. Before being the college scouting coordinator, he spent two years as the assistant director of college scouting. It would be a surprise if Smith didn't take over for Ossenfort.
Eliot Wolf- The Patriots reportedly hired Wolf this offseason, but his role is unclear. The 38-year-old has worked in the Packers and Browns' front offices, serving a number of different roles. He was an assistant GM in Cleveland the last two years and had a number of different titles with the Packers, including director of player personnel and director of football operations. The title of director of college scouting doesn't seem like something Wolf would like to have at this stage of his career. Sure, he can help out, but it's likely he wouldn't want that as his sole job, nor would the Patriots.
Matt Groh/Brandon Yeargan/Tim Heffelfinger- These are some national/area scouts who have been with the Patriots for extended periods of time. While these people are not necessarily ones to replace Ossenfort, they are scouts that could potentially be promoted to new roles as things could change in the department, especially if Smith gets Ossenfort's title.