5 things to know about new Commanders GM Adam Peters

The Washington Commanders kicked off a new era Friday, hiring San Francisco 49ers assistant GM Adam Peters as the franchise’s general manager.

The move has been well received around the NFL due to Peters’ experience and reputation. The 44-year-old has spent the past seven seasons with San Francisco, including the final three as its assistant GM. During that time, the 49ers have built and maintained one of the NFL’s best rosters.

Next up for Peters and Washington is finding a new head coach. Reports have linked the Commanders to Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson. Regardless, expect Peters to have a significant say in Washington’s next head coach.

Peters becomes the first significant front-office hire of new owner Josh Harris.

Here are five things to know about Peters.

Peters has 3 Super Bowl rings

Adam Peters began his NFL scouting career in 2003 with the New England Patriots. He was a scout for six seasons in New England and was a part of two Super Bowl championship teams. He worked under some talented executives, most notably the legendary Bill Belichick.

In 2009, he took a job with the Denver Broncos as a scout. After five seasons in that role, then-GM John Elway promoted Peters to assistant director of college scouting. In 2016, he was promoted to director of college scouting. Peters played an integral role in Denver’s Super Bowl 50 victory with a roster mixed with homegrown draft picks and notable veterans, such as Peyton Manning.

In 2017, John Lynch had just been hired from the television booth to be the San Francisco 49ers GM. He needed someone with strong personnel chops. He hired Peters without even meeting him on Elway’s advice.

Here’s what Elway said about Peters in 2017 after the Broncos hired him:

That will be a huge plus for John because Adam’s been in the league for a long time and knows a lot of different things. How to organize personnel, whether it’s on the college side or the pro side. So to have guys that know how to organize that, he’ll see how the process is run and after that it’s relatively easy. Just to have those people — to have good people around him who can teach him all those things.”

The 49ers have been one of the NFL’s top teams since 2018 and hold the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

In 21 NFL seasons, Peters has three Super Bowl rings and has been a part of some terrific organizations.

Adam Peters is great at finding gems

The core of any NFL team is players you find on the third day of the NFL draft or undrafted free agents. Peters has enjoyed tremendous success in landing high-level players after the first two rounds of the draft.

Here are some of the players Peters has helped land in recent years:

  • Broncos safety Justin Simmons (third round, 2016)

  • 49ers tight end George Kittle (fifth round, 2017)

  • 49ers linebacker Fred Warner (third round, 2018)

  • 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (fifth round, 2019)

  • 49ers wide receiver Jauan Jennings (seventh round, 2020)

  • 49ers cornerback Deommodore Lenoir (fifth round, 2021)

  • 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (fifth round, 2021)

  • 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (seventh round, 2022)

Peters played football at UCLA

Adam Peters began his college career as a tight end at West Valley College. He earned all-conference honors before transferring to UCLA — as an undersized defensive end. He spent three years with the Bruins as a backup defensive end and immediately jumped into coaching once his playing career ended. Peters spent the 2002 season as a graduate assistant before moving to the NFL as a scout with the Patriots in 2003.

The 'GTFO' method

Here’s an interesting nugget on Peters. He understands what his coaches want in players, so that’s what he identifies in the scouting process, regardless of the position. For instance, Peters understands what 49ers D-Line coach Kris Kocurek looks for in a defensive lineman. So, Peters, along with his research and development staff with the 49ers, created the “GTFO” metric, which measures explosion off the ball in the first two yards. Here he is explaining the method to 49erswebzone:

Yeah, the GTFO is something that our R&D group came up with and really just mimicking what coach Kocurek wants. And you guys know what the acronym means, or I assume you know, but it’s something we look for and it’s something they measure, and they do a great job of that. And when you get to the later rounds and you see guys like him stand out on that and then it matches up with his 40 and all the different athletic measurements, it’s something that separated him from the other guys at that point on the board.

Forward-thinking: You gotta love it.

Peters knows scouting, but he also knows how to treat people

Far too often, the Commanders have lacked the human element in the front office. That’s not to knock Ron Rivera, as this was an issue dating back to 1999 when Dan Snyder bought the team. This will not be an issue with Peters.

Everyone knows Peters can find talented football players, but, most importantly, he knows how to treat people.

Ben Standig of The Athletic surveys several certified agents every year on all things NFL. On the question of who is the NFL’s best talent evaluator, Peters (and John Lynch) came in second. There was another question where Peters came in second: Whom do agents trust the most? Here’s what was said about Peters, per Standig:

Good, bad or ugly, Adam (Peters) does it the right way. He treats people with compassion, even when it’s a bad situation. He’s always honest. You know where you stand. I’m surprised he has not gotten a general manager job to this point. I think that if you’re a team looking this year, to put it bluntly, you would be dumb to look anywhere else. I think he is the best in the business.

Extremely high praise for Peters.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire