Brian Xanders is in his third season with the Lions, following a five-year stint with the Denver Broncos. During his last four seasons with the Broncos he served as the team’s general manager. For the Lions, he works with all areas of the club’s player personnel department, including college scouting, pro personnel, advance scouting, football research/analytics and football information systems development. Since 2013, he has assisted the Lions’ personnel department in acquiring 16 new starters and 76 new players on the 90-man roster. The 2014 Lions won 11 games, earned a berth in the playoffs, had five Pro Bowl players and finished first in run defense and second in points allowed.
This season marks his 22nd year in the NFL working in a variety of player personnel, scouting, football operations and coaching staff roles during his time at three different teams (Detroit, Denver and Atlanta). He has direct experience in player evaluations with the last 19 NFL Draft classes and 15 free agency periods.
During his tenure as the Broncos’ general manager, he engineered the personnel transformation where 90-percent of the team’s roster (55 of 61 players) were acquired through the draft, free agency or re-signed by the club. Those players led the Broncos to AFC West division titles in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, 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 from 2010-12, which finished first in the NFL in playtime and second in games started during the three-year period. There are 14 primary starters on NFL teams from those draft classes, including four Pro Bowl players: LB Von Miller, WR Demaryius Thomas, TE Julius 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 football operations departments. He served on the 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.Xanders and his wife of 17 years, Amy, have two children, Reid and Mary Claire and reside in Northville, Michigan.
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
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