The Denver Broncos' latest hire will go down in the NFL history books. On Monday, the team announced they had hired Kelly Kleine as the executive director of football operations and special adviser to general manager George Paton. This makes Kleine, 30, the highest-ranking female scouting executive for an NFL franchise in the league's history.
"Kelly is a rising star in the NFL, and we're fortunate to add someone of her caliber to the Denver Broncos," Paton said in a statement. "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.
Believed to be the highest ranking woman in scouting in NFL history, Kleine will have significant scouting responsibilities & oversee several football departments.May 17, 2021
Klein comes to the Broncos after spending 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. During his last nine seasons with the Vikings, Kleine was part of the team's scouting department. She was manager of player personnel/college scout the last two seasons with the Vikings and scouted the Midwest region, which included Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. She also served as the point person for all off-site scouts while also scheduling and facilitating pre-draft visits. Additionally, Kleine coordinated the Vikings' efforts at all-star games and the Combine.
Kelly Kleine is an integral part of our scouting staff and makes a huge impact within our organization.March 13, 2021
Along with scouting college players, Kleine also helped the Vikings on the pro scouting side, assisting with weekly scouting advances, evaluating pro teams during the preseason in preparation for final cuts while also helping to evaluate tryout players. She also played a big role during the NFL draft as she ran the team's draft board during meetings, while also helping negotiate during college free agency. Before being elevated to the Vikings' manager of player personnel/college scout, Kleine spent four seasons as the team's college scouting coordinator (2015-18). She was also a scouting administration intern (2013) and scouting assistant (2014).
For her new role with the Broncos, Kleine will be the primary liaison for the team's football operations whole having responsibilities in both pro and college scouting. She will also be involved with player evaluation, day-to-day football administration and preparation for the NFL Draft and free agency.