Groh’s rise to director of player personnel could give him an even larger role in the Patriots’ draft process this spring.

New Patriots director of player personnel Matt Groh was a key player in New England’s 2021 draft process, which helped land defensive tackle Christian Barmore in the second round. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

Lost in offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’s departure to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason was the Patriots’ simultaneous loss of Dave Ziegler, who left his job as New England’s director of player personnel to serve as the Raiders’ general manager.

Ziegler, who was essentially Bill Belichick’s right hand last season, helped turn around a struggling draft process with a high-impact 2021 NFL Draft class, which included Mac Jones, Christian Barmore, and Rhamondre Stevenson. Replacing the executive before the 2022 draft, therefore, was of utmost importance for the Patriots.

New England did just that on Tuesday, naming Matt Groh as Ziegler’s replacement as director of player personnel.


Groh, who has been with the Patriots for 11 seasons, most recently served as the team’s college scouting director last season. Before that, he started off as a scouting assistant before working as an area scout and national scout for several years.

His father Al coached in the college and professional ranks for 45 years, and his brother Mike is the wide receivers coach for the New York Giants.

Along with Ziegler and scouting consultant Eliot Wolf, Groh was one of the key players in the Patriots’ reportedly “more collaborative” draft process in 2021 after Ziegler’s predecessor, Nick Caserio, left to take the Houston Texans’ general manager post. Belichick visibly requested input from Groh and the rest of the scouting team while selecting Jones and praised their work after landing a 2021 draft class voted the best in football by Pro Football Focus.

Retaining Groh in this new role ensures a level of continuity with that improved process and keeps his experienced scouting eye in the room. In fact, Groh and Wolf both traveled to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama in early February before the new role became official, and Groh will be a figure to watch should he attend the 2022 NFL Combine during the first week of March.


In theory, he would also have significant input on players the Patriots might sign during the free agency period that will begin in a few weeks, though Matt Patricia notably took on heavy responsibilities with free-agent signings after returning to the Patriots last year.

Though Belichick remains New England’s de facto general manager, Groh will have a chance to prove he can build on last year’s rebound as Belichick’s effective second-in-command.