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Broncos hire Kelly Kleine as Executive Director of Football Operations and Special Advisor to the GM

Kelly Kleine joins Denver’s staff as arguably the highest-ranking female scouting executive in NFL history.

Per Adam Schefter, Kelly Kleine has been hired by the Broncos as their new Executive Director of Football Operations/Special Advisor to the General Manager.

Kleine, who is believed to be the highest-ranking female scout in NFL history, spent the last ten years in the Minnesota Vikings’ college scout department, beginning as a public relations intern in 2012.

Since joining Minnesota’s staff, the Wisconsin native has worn a number of hats for the team, including administrative intern, scouting assistant, and college scouting coordinator.

Her most recent role, Player Personnel/College Scout, involved scouting players in the Midwest region, scheduling pre-draft visits, training scout interns, and being the contact person for off-site scouts.

When Kleine was rising through the ranks within the Vikings organization, GM Rick Spielman spoke highly of her, saying she was “twice as good” as the interns who had played football previously. This is particularly impressive considering Kleine had never played or coached in the sport.

Reportedly, Kleine will have significant responsibilities within the Broncos organization, including player evaluation, day-to-day administration, and NFL Draft and free agency preparation.

Given that Paton also worked an executive position in Minnesota, he is familiar with Kleine’s work and approach.

In his announcement of the decision, Broncos GM George Paton referred to Kleine as a rising star in the NFL.

“We’re fortunate to add someone of her caliber to the Denver Broncos,” Paton said today, per the team’s official news page,

“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,” he continued.

“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.”