Veteran NFL executive Bill Tobin, GM for Bears and Colts, dies at 83

Tobin also provided an all-time NFL draft TV moment by criticizing Mel Kiper

Veteran NFL executive Bill Tobin, GM for Bears and Colts, dies at 83

Longtime NFL executive Bill Tobin has died at the age of 83. The news was announced by the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday.

Tobin had been working for the Bengals since 2003 as a scouting consultant for the player personnel department, which is currently run by his son Duke.

"With Bill, I respected everything he said," said Bengals president Mike Brown on the team's website. "I just took it as a given. He had an eye for players and what they would develop into. If he said the guy was a good player, then he was a good player; that's all I would need to know. We will miss him."

Prior to working for the Bengals, Tobin had an acclaimed career as a general manager for the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts. He was also a director of player personnel for the Detroit Lions. During his career, he drafted eight Hall of Famers, including Marshall Faulk and Marvin Harrison with the Colts.

Among NFL Draft followers, Tobin might be best known for his criticism of ESPN analyst Mel Kiper during the 1994 draft. The Colts selected Faulk with the No. 2 pick, but then drafted linebacker Trev Alberts when many observers thought the team needed to take a quarterback — specifically, Trent Dilfer.

ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen interviewed Tobin shortly afterward and raised the issue of not drafting a quarterback. The general manager responded by going after his most vocal critic, the person ripping Tobin on the air, creating a memorable sports television moment.

"Who the hell is Mel Kiper, anyway?" asked Tobin, providing a line that's become infamous in NFL Draft history. "I mean, here's a guy who criticizes everybody, whoever they take. He's got the answers to who you should take and who you shouldn't take."

"In my knowledge of him, he's never, ever put on a jockstrap," Tobin continued, as ESPN showed Kiper listening on camera.

"He's never been a coach, he's never been a scout, he's never been an administrator and all of a sudden, he's an expert," Tobin added. "He's in our papers two days ago, telling us who we have to take. We don't have to take anybody that Mel Kiper says we have to take. Mel Kiper has no more credentials to do what he's doing than my neighbor, and my neighbor's a postman and he doesn't even have season tickets to the NFL."

Kiper was among those expressing condolences for Tobin on social media.

Despite many believing that the Colts needed to upgrade with a younger QB over Jim Harbaugh, Tobin looked smart for sticking with his veteran as Indianapolis advanced to the AFC championship game as a wild card. Harbaugh played two more seasons for the Colts as the organization's bridge to Peyton Manning (drafted by Bill Polian, who replaced Tobin).

Meanwhile, Dilfer had a modest NFL career, though he did win a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens. Alberts played in 29 games over three seasons with the Colts.