This season marks his 20th NFL season which includes him serving in a variety of player personnel, scouting, football operations and coaching staff roles during his time at three different teams (Lions, Broncos and Falcons). He has direct experience in player evaluations with the last 16 NFL Draft classes and 12 Free Agency periods.
During his tenure as the Broncos’ general manager, Broncos won the AFC West Division for the last two years (2011-2012), where 55/61 players (90%) were acquired through the draft, free agency or re-signed during his tenure as GM. Denver became only the third team since the 1970 NFL merger to win its division and a playoff game with a new head coach following four wins the previous season.
The Broncos executed high-producing NFL Draft classes over the last three years, which finished #1 in the NFL in playtime and #2 in games started during 2010-12. There were nine primary starters from those draft classes, including three Pro Bowl players: LB Von Miller, WR Demaryius Thomas and OG Zane Beadles. There were also eight other Pro Bowl players who were acquired, signed or extended during his tenure: QB Peyton Manning (FA, 2012), SS Brian Dawkins (UFA, 2009-11), WR Brandon Lloyd (FA, 2009-11), RB Willis McGahee (FA, 2011), CB Champ Bailey (re-signed, 2011), DE Elvis Dumervil (re-signed, 2010), WR Brandon Marshall (re-signed, 2010), and OT Ryan Clady (1st round, 2008).
During his tenure in Denver, he also supervised the day-to-day operations of the Broncos' college scouting, pro scouting, labor operations/salary cap, equipment, medical, video, football systems and turf operations departments. He served on NFL College Advisory, NFL Combine Selection and the NFL Statistics Committees. He was originally hired by Denver as assistant general manager in 2008.
Before joining the Broncos, he worked 14 seasons (1994-2008) with the Atlanta Falcons in various scouting, player personnel, football operations, coaching staff and technology/systems roles. Xanders was a member of the Falcons' defensive coaching staff on their 1998 team that became the first in franchise history to earn a Super Bowl berth (XXXIII). Selected by the Falcons to attend Stanford University's NFL Program for Managers in 2005, he has given presentations at several universities on NFL player personnel issues.
A former linebacker who played for Bobby Bowden at Florida State University from 1989-92, Xanders was a member of four bowl-winning teams with the Seminoles that had a 42-7 combined record. He was an All-Atlantic Coast Conference academic team selection and graduated from FSU with a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in business management. He and his wife of 15 years, Amy, have two children, Reid and Mary Claire.
Xanders was hired by the Detroit Lions late last January to assist the player personnel department in college scouting, pro personnel and scouting systems development
With the help of an in-house database system, the Detroit Lions will have more information at their fingertips on draft day
The Detroit Lions have enjoyed coaching continuity the past four years, but bringing in fresh perspectives can also have its benefits