- Name: Mike Maccagnan
- Pronunciation: "Mah-CAG-none"
- Previous Job: Director of College Scouting, Houston Texans
Mike Maccagnan grew up in Hightstown, New Jersey, which is less than an hour from the New York Jets facility in Florham Park. After he graduated from Trinity College with a degree in economics, Maccagnan served as an intern in the scouting department for the Washington Redskins. He soon caught the eye of Charley Casserly, then the team's general manager, and now a consultant for the Jets. Following his internship, Maccagnan worked in 1990 at the World League office as a scout. In 1991, he became the director of player personnel for the London Monarchs, when they won the league championship. He then moved to the Canadian Football League, working as the director of college scouting and director of player personnel for the Ottawa Rough Riders. In 1994, he took the same role for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (yes, they used to have the same name, just different spelling).
In 1994, following the Roughriders' season, Maccagnan joined the National Football League as a college scout for the Redskins, the team he interned for and the team his mentor, Casserly, presided over. The following year, he became a pro scout, although he retained some college scouting duties. He kept that role until January, 2000, when the Texans were formed. He was one of their first hires as a pro scout. Just a few months later, in April, he was promoted to coordinator of college scouting.
Ten years later, in 2010, he was elevated to assistant director of college scouting. In 2011, just a few months after the team drafted J.J. Watt, he was again promoted to director of college scouting. Despite this title, according to the team, he retains some role in evaluating NFL teams and prospects in advance of free agency.
As you can tell, Maccagnan has a long history as scout, both for college and the pros. For a team that has been devoid of much scouting ability since Eric Mangini left, this is incalculably crucial. One of the team's biggest weaknesses is its ability to scout and self-scout. Maccagnan's history suggests he, or people he brings in, will be able to negate this massive weakness. Obviously, Maccagnan does not have any experience with the salary cap or with player negotiations. Presumably, the team will hire someone to take on that role.
Maccagnan has played a large role in the drafting of a number of good players, such as Watt, Brooks Reed, Whitney Mercilus, DeAndre Hopkins, D.J. Swearinger, Jadeveon Clowney, Alfred Blue, etc. Although he was a scout for the team, it's unclear what role he played in players such as Mario Williams, Andre Johnson, and Arian Foster. In his short tenure, the Texans haven't been very successful in the later rounds, but then again, most teams generally aren't. You can watch Maccagnan talk about his drafting philosophy here. What I think you'll find particularly interesting is that he doesn't look at "need" as much for a particular draft pick, but is more focused on finding the best possible player for the team.
So what have others said about Maccagnan? You can take a look here. In short, he has a quiet, cerebral personality but is very well-respected as a scout. Both Casserly and Ron Wolf, along with Woody Johnson, have been extremely impressed with his vision for the team and how to build an organization.