The University of Nebraska announced today that Atlanta Falcons pro scout Billy Devaney will be joining the school as Executive Director of Player Personnel and also assist head coach Mike Riley. In that capacity, he will essentially function like a general manager for the collegiate program, overseeing player personnel, recruiting staffs and assisting with roster management according to the school’s website.
The Falcons promised to revamp their front office this offseason with extensive changes coming already to the pro personnel side. Devaney’s departure is a continuance of that. Pro scouts DeJuan Polk and Bob Kronenberg were shifted to college scouting, while the team also brought in Joel Collier to head their pro personnel staff.
Devaney recently rejoined the Falcons as a pro scout in 2014 after working as an assistant general manager to Rich McKay in 2006 and 2007. Devaney then joined the St. Louis Rams as their general manager in 2008 before being dismissed after 2011. Devaney worked as an analyst for ESPN following his departure in St. Louis in 2013 before returning to Atlanta.
The Falcons have a glut of former NFL GMs like Devaney in the front office after the recent additions of Phil Emery (Chicago Bears) and Ruston Webster (Tennessee Titans). McKay remains in Atlanta as the team’s president and former Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots GM Scott Pioli serves as the Falcons current assistant GM to Thomas Dimitroff.
Devaney began his scouting career in the pros in 1979 with the Washington Redskins, staying there for over a decade. Since then, he has also worked with the San Diego Chargers (1990-2000) and San Francisco 49ers (2001-03).