The name opens doors, but it also casts shadows.
“I’m realistic enough to know nepotism is the reason I got my foot in the door, but if I wasn’t any good, I wouldn’t still be here. I’ve gotten a lot better as an evaluator,” Eliot Wolf said of being the son of legendary former Packers GM Ron Wolf, a young scout on the rise and having to live with the name that precedes him.
Eliot Wolf was promoted recently from his duties as the Packers’ assistant director of pro personnel to the team’s assistant director of player personnel. He will shift his focus to college scouting, where Wolf will assist General Manager Ted Thompson as a cross-checker, which is to say a scout that takes a second look at prospects that have been targeted by the team.
“He’s pretty proud of me,” Eliot said of his father’s reaction to his son’s promotion. Eliot, of course, has spent all of his life being proud of his father.
The elder Wolf built the Packers into one of the NFL’s dominant teams of the 1990s, winning Super Bowl XXXI. Wolf’s legacy is a personnel department that still bears his stamp and never misses a chance to pay respect to the man that created it.
His son refers to the “atmosphere” his father created within the Packers. “All of the scouts are best friends. We’re always out there together. Most teams are not like that. It creates a fun atmosphere. If you mess up, you’re going to get cracked on,” Eliot said.
Very early in life he knew he wanted to do what his dad did for a living. Eliot called it learning by “osmosis. Seeing how a team is run; seeing the work he and the scouts put in,” he said.
When did he know for sure he wanted to be a scout?
“The first documented thing was a fifth grade graduation. They asked what you want to do in life and I put down NFL scout. I’ve been fortunate enough to get the opportunity,” Eliot said.
At 29, his future is bright. A pedigree always helps, as long as it doesn’t hurt. Eliot knows both sides of the coin from growing up in Green Bay. When the Packers won, it was easy being the GM’s son. When the Packers lost, however, his classmates might ask him “why did your dad do this, why did your dad do that?"
“My goal is to be a GM some day,” Eliot said.