Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has a different background than many people who get hired for that position in the NFL.
Adofo-Mensah worked in the finance world after graduating from Princeton and eventually moved into football with the 49ers in football research and development. That area is often tied to analytics and Adofo-Mensah took on a fuller role involving scouting when he moved to the Browns as their vice president of football operations two years ago.
Analytics still came up often during Thursday’s introductory press conference and Adofo-Mensah said he knows his background is a unique one for a G.M. while adding that he sees analytics as a tool to make the best decisions. He said it is about “being thoughtful and intentional” and “asking why” things are the way that they are in order to make those decisions.
Adofo-Mensah said that process involves both “quantitative research” and “talking to people” in order to make sure that there are no “blind spots” in the decision-making process. He credited time spent studying Bill Walsh’s approach with the 49ers in helping shape his approach to putting together a football team and said he kept a picture of Walsh in his office to remind him that he hadn’t “figured out the world.”
Walsh’s approach worked wonders for the 49ers. The Vikings will be hoping for something similar with Adofo-Mensah at the helm.