Brian Xanders

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Brian Xanders
Detroit Lions
Position: Senior personnel executive
Personal information
Date of birth: (1971-04-10) April 10, 1971 (age 45)
Place of birth: East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Career information
College: Florida State
Career history
As executive:

Brian Xanders (born April 10, 1971) is an American football executive and former Florida State football player. He is the former general manager for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL), and currently is a senior personnel executive for the NFL's Detroit Lions.

Brian Xanders is in his fourth 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, Xanders works with all areas of the club’s player personnel department, including college scouting, pro personnel, advance scouting, coaching research/analytics and football information systems development. Since 2013, he has assisted the Lions’ personnel department in acquiring 37 players currently on the Lions roster who have played for Detroit, including 24 with starting experience.

This season marks Xanders’ 23rd 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 20 NFL Draft classes and 16 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.

The Broncos executed high-producing NFL Draft classes from 2009-12, which finished first in the NFL in playtime and second in games started during the four-year period. Those four draft classes became the highest compensated draft classes in NFL history from 2012-2016. There are 16 primary starters on NFL teams from those draft classes, including five Pro Bowl players: LB Von Miller, WR Demaryius Thomas, CB Chris Harris, 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, 2012-15), 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 18 years, Amy, have two children, Reid and Mary Claire and reside in Northville, Michigan. Xanders has lived in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nebraska, Texas, and Minnesota, before primarily growing up in Tallahassee, Florida.


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