Washington general manager Scot McCloughan's world turned upside down this offseason when a power struggle within the organization resulted in his termination. Since then, the highly respected talent evaluator has developed a unique presence on Twitter, answering fan questions about the team-building process and revealing his thoughts on players past and present.
But before McCloughan joined Twitter, he worked in a variety of roles with the San Francisco 49ers from 2005 to 2009. When he arrived, the team had just secured the rights to the No. 1 overall pick in a draft that featured two coveted signal-callers -- Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith. McCloughan helped steer the 49ers towards Smith, a decision that has dramatically altered the fortunes of the 49ers and the franchise that ultimately ended up with the quarterback they passed on, Green Bay Packers.
Even the best talent evaluators have black marks on their résumé, and McCloughan's decision to pass on one of the all-time great quarterbacks certainly qualifies as one. However, few admit to such gaffes publicly no matter how obvious the misfire. To his credit, McCloughan chose a different route:
McCloughan has an impressive track record as a team-builder and doesn't need to acknowledge his missteps to fans. It says a lot about his character that he does so anyway, along with all the other gems he has shared since joining the social media platform. While other former general managers make dubious claims about their pre-draft grades on future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, McCloughan seems content to own his mistake and move forward.
Plenty of teams misevaluated Rodgers, but only one talent evaluator went out of his way to admit as much on Twitter.