VP, Player Personnel at Detroit Lions
Kyle O'Brien enters his 19th season in the National Football League and his fifth in Detroit. In his first season with the Lions, he worked as the team's Director of Player Personnel, before being promoted to the team's Vice President of Player Personnel in 2017. O'Brien continues to play an integral role in the team's roster construction, working closely with Lions Executive Vice President of Football Operations & General Manager Bob Quinn to bolster every aspect of the roster. Helping lead the club's personnel department, O'Brien was instrumental in Detroit reaching the playoffs in 2016. He assisted in acquiring a draft class that combined for a total of 108 games played and 37 total starts in 2016. Detroit's 2016 draft class also included first-round selection (16th overall) Taylor Decker, who started in all 16 games at left tackle as one of only 17 players in the NFL to play 100 percent of the team's snaps in 2016. The Lions 2017 draft class then featured immediate contributors in every phase of the game, including first-round (20th overall) selection LB Jarrad Davis and fifth-round (165th overall) pick CB Jamal Agnew who earned All-Pro honors as a rookie return man. O'Brien's assistance in assembling Quinn's third draft class was marked by noticeable 2018 rookie highlights including first-round draft selection, OL Frank Ragnow, second-round selection, RB Kerryon Johnson and fourth-round selection DL Da'Shawn Hand. Despite missing six games as a rookie, Johnson ranked second in the NFL among running backs with at least 100 carries, with a 5.43 yards per carry average. He was sixth among rookies with 854 yards from scrimmage. Johnson's 5.43 rushing average ranked as the highest by a rookie rusher with at least 100 attempts in Lions history. In addition to the early rookie contributions, O'Brien is instrumental during the offseason as he works closely with Quinn during the NFL Free Agency period. In his second season in Detroit and first as Vice President of Player Personnel, the Lions were one of the most active teams pertaining to free agent acquisitions. The 2017 offseason acquisitions of offensive linemen G T.J. Lang and veteran T Rick Wagner built upon the team's commitment to build within the trenches. Lang's first season in Detroit saw him earn his second-career Pro Bowl appearance in the NFC. Over the span of his NFL career, O'Brien has worked in player personnel for four different teams in capacities that covered both pro and college scouting. Prior to Detroit, O'Brien was with the Jacksonville Jaguars as director of college scouting for three seasons (2013-15). Under O'Brien's guidance, the Jaguars acquired a nucleus of young talent that included QB Blake Bortles (third overall) and WR Allen Robinson (61st overall) as the team's first- and second-round picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Robinson was named to the 2016 Pro Bowl, while WR Allen Hurns, an undrafted rookie free agent in 2014, set the NFL record for the most touchdown receptions by an undrafted player in a player's first two seasons (16). Prior to his time in Jacksonville, O'Brien spent one season as a national scout with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. For 10 seasons (2002-11), O'Brien served in various roles within the New England Patriots player personnel department. The Patriots elevated O'Brien to national scout in his final two seasons (2010-11) in New England after his time as an area scout that covered five seasons (2002, 2006-09). In 2004-05, he was the Patriots' pro personnel scout. A graduate of Harvard where he lettered in lacrosse, O'Brien originally joined the Patriots as a player personnel intern in 2000 and continued those duties during the Patriots' first Super Bowl season in 2001 while still attending Harvard. He began his NFL career as an intern with the New York Jets player personnel department in 1999. O'Brien is a native of Garden City, N.Y. He and his wife, Alexis, together have two sons, Finn and Declan.