1. Chip Kelly-49ers
I am still a huge critic of Chip Kelly, but there is no denying he has had success in the NFL, with a career record of 26-21. He is also getting a fresh start with Colin Kaepernick as his quarterback. While the Kaepernick and Kelly marriage isn't guaranteed to work out, Kaepernick is by far the most talented quarterback Kelly has ever had. The 49ers will also have anywhere from 8 to 12 picks in the upcoming 2016 draft so Kelly can begin to mold the team in his image. Bottom line is that I don't love any of the head coaching hires, but the Kelly hiring has the most potential to be successful.
2. Ben McAdoo-Giants
McAdoo wasn't a proven coordinator when he got hired so it's tough to say how he will translate, but the one thing that can be said is that he has made his presence known in New York. In 2013 the Giants were 28th in total yards. In 2014 McAdoo was hired and over the next two years the Giants were 10th and then 8th in yards. After only two years he has left a distinct impact on the Giants offense and staying in New York, where his system is already implemented makes his job that much easier. The ownership, by the Mara family, is also extremely stable and will back McAdoo and give him time, making the Giants the easiest job to be successful in. But, with the small sample size he is still a risk, but like Kelly, there is also a large reward.
3. Adam Gase-Dolphins
Adam Gase is similar to McAdoo in that he has helped to make quarterbacks and offenses better wherever he goes, but not only does he have less to work with in Miami, but I don't think he is as good. Yes, he was with Peyton Manning during his record setting season in 2013, but he's not the reason why Peyton succeeded. In 2015, where he was coordinator for the Bears, the total offense didn't improve. In fact it stayed at 21st in the NFL. Unlike McAdoo, Gase has to put his new offensive system into place in Miami which will take at least two years. Gase is a talented coordinator who has potential, but he is extremely unproven and has to start from scratch in Miami.
4. Dirk Koetter-Buccaneers
The Buccaneers shouldn't have fired Lovie Smith. He was leading the team in the right direction and he has a proven record as a good head coach. That being said Koetter was phenomenal for the Buccaneers in his first season. He took a Bucanners offense that was 30th int total yards and coached them to 5th. Not to mention, like McAdoo, he is becoming the head coach of the team he was on in 2015 so the players already understand his and schemes. Could that one year in Tampa have been a fluke? yes, but with Lovie gone, he is the best available for the Buccaneers.
5. Hue Jackson-Browns
Hue Jackson wasn't given a fair shake in the NFL after he was fired by the Raiders after only one season. And in that season he went 8-8, which is a pretty darn good record for a first year. That being said he is going to the Cleveland Browns, a team with so many holes and a very impatient ownership. Jackson if definitly a talent, but his two head coaching turns will have been with the two worst run franchises in the NFL. Is there a chance that he is the savior in Cleveland? yes, but if Terry Robiskie, Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Pat Shurmur, Rob Chudzinski and Mike Pettine couldn't lead the Browns to the playoffs then the odds are looking pretty slim for him to do it.
6. Doug Pederson-Eagles
I was definitely among the group that said Chip Kelly needed to be fired, but that doesn't make Pederson a better head coach. During his time with the Chiefs he didn't even call his own plays and was the second fiddle to Andy Reid on a Chiefs offense that ranks 25th in total yards and 16th in total points. Not to mention the hiring for his new staff hasn't been great either. Sure it's cool that he was the quarterback for the Eagles for one year, but that doesn't make him head coach material.
7. Mike Mularkey-Titans
Hiring Mularkey was a big mistake on the part of the Titans. It was a desperation hire because all of the other major candidates had been taken. So the Titans probably felt that he was the best option to hire in the moment. But, that doesn't change that in his four seasons as head coach with three different teams, including last year as an interim, he has amassed an 18-39 coaching record. What makes him worse then Pederson is that he has been given his chances and proven multiple times that he is not head coach material. They should have waited for Josh McDaniels, Sean McDermott, Darrell Bevell, or Wade Phillips to be out of the playoffs because all of them are better candidates for a head coaching gig. This hire becomes even worse because this is probably the least talented team in the entire NFL so it's not like Mularkey has anything to work with.