After nearly a decade with the Minnesota Vikings, Kelly Kleine has been named the Denver Broncos' new executive director of football operations/special adviser to the general manager, the Broncos announced on Monday. Kleine is believed to be the highest-ranking female in scouting in the history of the NFL.
According to the team's website, Kleine's role in Denver will include being the "primary liaison for the team's football operations while also holding significant responsibilities in both pro and college scouting. Kleine should be a key piece of the team's front office, as she will be involved with player evaluation, day-to-day football administration and preparation for the NFL Draft and free agency."
"Kelly is a rising star in the NFL, and we're fortunate to add someone of her caliber to the Denver Broncos," said Broncos general manager George Paton. "Having worked with her for nine years in Minnesota, Kelly has a strong understanding of all aspects of football operations and player evaluation along with outstanding leadership qualities. She will be a tremendous resource with her experience on the pro and college sides as well as her knowledge of our grading scale and football calendar."
We’ve hired Kelly Kleine as Exec. Director of FB Ops./Special Advisor to the GM.— Denver Broncos (@Broncos) May 17, 2021
Believed to be the highest ranking woman in scouting in NFL history, Kleine will have significant scouting responsibilities & oversee several football departments.
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Kleine comes to Denver after spending the past nine years in the Vikings' scouting department. Over the past two years, Kleine served as the Vikings' manager of player personnel/college scout. Along with scouting the Midwest region, Kleine also scheduled and facilitated the team's pre-draft visits. Kleine coordinated the Vikings' college all-star game and NFL combine plans. She also played an integral role during the Vikings' recent drafts.
"She does about 1,000 different things to say the least," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said of Kleine during a 2017 interview with Sporting News. "She basically has her hands in all day-to-day operations on the personnel side."
Kleine joins a Broncos staff that is coming off what is being considered a highly successful draft. Denver's draft -- ranked No. 3 among NFL teams by CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Ryan Wilson -- includes cornerback and first-round pick Patrick Surtain II, running back Javonte Williams, guard Quinn Meinerz, and linebacker Baron Browning.