Broncos hire Vikings’ Kleine, make her highest-ranking female scouting executive in NFL history

Monday, the Denver Broncos announced the hiring of the Minnesota Vikings’ manager of player personnel to be the executive director of football operations/special advisor to the general manager.

Kelly Kleine spent the past 10 seasons with the Vikings, working exclusively in the scouting department the past nine years.

In her new role with Denver, Kleine is believed to be the highest-ranking female scouting executive ever with an NFL team.

New Broncos general manager George Paton was the assistant general manager of the Vikings from 2012-2020.

"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."

In Denver, Kleine will be 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.

Kleine will report directly to Paton and will oversee the Broncos’ video and equipment departments.

The Vikings tweeted, "Kelly has played a significant role in our player personnel department since starting as an intern in 2013. While we will certainly miss her in Minnesota, we wish her nothing but the best as she continues her career in Denver."

According to the team’s website, as the manager of player personnel/college scout for the last two years, Kleine has been integral in the Vikings’ front office. Kleine scouted the Midwest region, which included Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, and she served as the point person for all off-site scouts while also scheduling and facilitating pre-draft visits. Kleine also coordinated the Vikings’ efforts at all-star games and the NFL Combine, and she managed and trained the team’s scouting interns.

Kleine also helped the team on the pro scouting side, as she assisted with weekly scouting advances, including special teams advances. She also evaluated pro teams during the preseason in preparation for final cuts while also helping to evaluate tryout players.

While in Minnesota, Kleine also helped managed the team’s draft operations and ran the team’s draft board during meetings, while also helping to negotiate during college free agency. Kleine also helped compile special projects for Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.