Brian Xanders, a senior personnel executive for the Detroit Lions, interviewed with the Cleveland Browns regarding their unoccupied vice president of player personnel position. The meeting took place on Tuesday in Mobile, Ala., where Xanders is scouting the Senior Bowl still donning Honolulu blue. He may not be representing that color for too much longer.
If Xanders were to fill the Brown’s vacancy, he would be in charge of the entire scouting operation and pro personnel for the Browns. Unorthodoxly, Cleveland will not have a true GM this year. The Brown’s newly appointed Executive Vice President of Football Operations, Sashi Brown, will have the final decision over their 53-man roster, but would like to have a subordinate of Xander’s caliber as his right-hand man.
Although Xanders may have slightly more power with the Browns than in Detroit, it would essentially be a lateral move.
There is no definitive reason to as why Xanders is looking elsewhere, but the promotion of Sheldon White to interim GM over him after the firing of Martin Mayhew may have something to do with it. There were no reports of Xanders even getting an opportunity to interview for the permanent GM position before it was given to Bob Quinn.
Xanders has played a part in just about every aspect of Detroit’s personnel department. His expansive role included assessment of pro personnel, college scouting, and maybe most notably, the implementation of analytics and innovative scouting technology.
Xanders joined the Lions back in 2013 after a five-year stint with the Denver Broncos. Here is a timeline of Xander’s past front office positions:
- Atlanta Falcons: Player Personnel (1994-2007)
- Denver Broncos: Assistant GM (2008)
- Denver Broncos: General Manager (2009-2012)
- Detroit Lions: Senior Personnel Executive (2013- present)
The 2013 draft, Xander’s first year, was a real home run. He connected on players like Ziggy Ansah, Darius Slay, Larry Warford, Devin Taylor, Theo Riddick and Sam Martin. Since then, he hasn’t been so fortunate. Many young players are still developing, but the early impressions haven’t looked promising.
This actually isn’t the first Lions connection that the Browns have considered, as they also interviewed former Lions general manager, Martin Mayhew. Most teams usually go after execs with proven success, but it’s apparent that the Browns are trying to emulate the one other team in the entire NFL with proven ineptitude.