As the Broncos prepare to start their search for a new head coach, NFL reporters Mike Klis of 9NEWS, Parker Gabriel of The Denver Post and Nick Kosmider of the Athletic have each assembled an early collection of potential candidates for the opening.
While the team's search committee has not declared any official candidates just yet — outside of General Manager George Paton saying the team hopes to interview Defensive Coordinator Ejiro Evero — these names can provide an early look at some possible options:
Former NFL head coaches
While Paton said the team would not exclude would-be first-time head coaches from the search, he did say prior head-coaching experience "certainly helps." For Klis, Gabriel and Kosmider, there are plenty of former head coaches who could return to the position in Denver.
- Jim Harbaugh, current Michigan head coach and former 49ers head coach (Mentioned by Klis, Gabriel, Kosmider)
- Dan Quinn, current Cowboys defensive coordinator and former Falcons head coach (Klis, Gabriel, Kosmider)
- Frank Reich, former Colts head coach (Klis, Gabriel, Kosmider)
- Sean Payton, current FOX NFL analyst (Klis, Gabriel, Kosmider)
- Leslie Frazier, current Bills assistant head coach and defensive coordinator, and former Vikings head coach (Klis, Gabriel, Kosmider)
- Steve Wilks, current Panthers interim head coach and former Cardinals head coach (Klis)
- Raheem Morris, current Rams defensive coordinator and former Buccaneers head coach (Gabriel)
However, there is also a talented pool of candidates who could make the leap to be successful leaders of NFL teams.
- Ejiro Evero, current Broncos defensive coordinator (Klis, Gabriel, Kosmider)
- Brian Callahan, current Bengals offensive coordinator (Klis, Gabriel, Kosmider)
- DeMeco Ryans, current 49ers defensive coordinator (Klis, Gabriel)
- Shane Steichen, current Eagles offensive coordinator (Gabriel, Kosmider)
- Jonathan Gannon, current Eagles defensive coordinator (Kosmider)
- Frank Smith, current Dolphins offensive coordinator (Kosmider)
- Jerod Mayo, current Patriots inside linebackers coach (Kosmider)
- David Shaw, former Stanford head coach (Kosmider)
- Eric Bieniemy, current Chiefs offensive coordinator (Kosmider)
- Darrell Bevell, current Dolphins quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator (Gabriel)
- Ben Johnson, current Lions offensive coordinator (Gabriel)