What exactly is Brian Xanders' role in the Detroit Lions' draft process?
By Kyle Meinke | firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow on Twitter
on March 29, 2014 at 4:58 AM, updated March 29, 2014 at 5:34 AM
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Detroit Lions hired former Denver Broncos general manager Brian Xanders as a senior personnel executive last year, and immediately procured one of the league's best draft classes.
I've seen a lot of comments crediting Xanders for the success of the class, and he certainly deserves his due. But I've seen some go as far as to imply Xanders is the mastermind behind Detroit's draft efforts.
And I've seen a few actually question how involved Martin Mayhew is in the process.
I think there is some confusion about what it is that Xanders does. So I decided to ask Mayhew himself about it.
Mayhew said the Lions assign "area scouts" to mine geographic regions throughout the year. Then as the draft approaches, he doles out specific positions to top talent evaluators such as Shack Harris, Sheldon White, Cedric Saunders and Xanders.
Mayhew wouldn't say which position Xanders was assigned. But that is his primary role this time of year.
Xanders' biggest contribution might have been overhauling Detroit's draft database last year, which helped to modernize the Lions' evaluation process.
"A lot of our information has been compiled a lot more efficiently, and in a lot more efficient presentation," he said. "All the information on one guy is on one sheet -- one page, basically.
"So he's done a lot of the technology work on the background of how we're going to do our draft, and allowed the evaluation process to go a little smoother, because we have all the information in one format in one place. So that's really kind of what his role is."
Xanders spent four years as general manager of the Denver Broncos before joining the Lions last year. He's highly regarded around the league, and was a candidate for the Dolphins' general manager job this offseason.
His addition helped the Lions secure one of the NFL's best draft classes last year -- a haul that included starters Ezekiel Ansah, Larry Warford and LaAdrian Waddle. Cornerback Darius Slay is currently projected to start this year, and tight end Joseph Fauria is expected to be a featured component of the offense.
But Xanders' role remains nothing more than a top aide to Mayhew. Their partnership has been a successful one in the past year, no doubt, but Mayhew is still the one calling the shots.
You can put away the tin foil hats now.http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/20 ... ander.html