The Miami Dolphins are considering former Denver Broncos General Manager and current Detroit Lions Senior Personnel Executive Brian Xanders for their General Manager position, which was vacated by Jeff Ireland last week. Xanders spent the 2009-2012 seasons with the Broncos, including the first year of the John Elway regime in the Mile High City.
Xanders is not a name that had been known to be on the Miami radar prior to today, meaning not a lot of us know very much about the newest GM candaidate for the Dolphins. In order to fix that, I turned to Kyle Mongomery of SB Nation's Mile High Report for a look at Xanders and his tenure with the Broncos:
Brian Xanders was General Manager for the Broncos - but that was in title only. Looking back, the power to make final personnel decisions was never truly his. In his first two seasons, Josh McDaniels held that power; Xanders said as much when McDaniels was out, and his job security was uncertain. Then, when the Broncos hired John Elway as Executive Vice President of Football Operations, it became clear Xanders still wouldn't have the final say. It only took Elway one season to get up to speed, and Xanders was out just a few weeks after the 2012 NFL Draft.
That being said, Xanders had a lot of sway in Denver across two regimes - sway that influenced personnel decisions from which the Broncos are still benefiting today. With Xanders near the top, the Broncos used high draft picks on Knowshon Moreno, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Von Miller, and Orlando Franklin, then used later round picks (or no draft pick at all) to find impact players like Julius Thomas and Chris Harris. Of course, most famously, the Broncos also brought in Tim Tebow with Xanders near the top.
It's unclear how much influence he had on these picks, but one has to assume it was significant. I think he's a shrewd GM candidate for a team looking to rebuild, like the Broncos were when they brought him in.
However close to the plyoffs you think the Dolphins may be, bringing in a GM who could "rebuild" the team, especially the offensive line and the running game, could be exactly what the Dolphins need. Even if it's not a full rebuild, there is enough work to consider someone with that ability as an asset to the team. Xanders could fill that role perfectly.
A huge thank you to Montgomery for taking the time to respond to my last minute requerst for information. Make sure you check out Mile High Report to keep up with all things Broncos, especially as they get ready to host the AFC Championship Game this weekend.