Mobile, Ala. — The Lions promoted Lance Newmark to director of college scouting last May with plans of him running the team’s draft board in 2016.
Despite the change at general manager, Newmark will still have that opportunity as new GM Bob Quinn said he will remain in charge of the college scouting department.
“Colleagues of mine around the league that I trust have said great things about him, and so far in the first couple weeks we’ve worked really well together,” Quinn said of Newmark before Senior Bowl practice Wednesday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Although Newmark’s immediate future is safe, Quinn was less committal on other members of the personnel department.
Quinn explained that Kyle O’Brien, the new director of player personnel, will oversee both the college of pro scouting areas, but there will be a director of each department. For now, Sheldon White is back in his role as vice president of pro personnel after a two-month stint as interim GM, but Quinn didn’t comment about White’s future with the team.
“We’re still evaluating everybody,” Quinn said. “So, the decisions that we’ve made so far are out there in terms of staff changes, and everyone is still working.”
The Lions already have fired senior personnel executive Scott McEwen and senior vice president of football operations Cedric Saunders since Quinn took over as GM.
Quinn said he met with the in-house personnel men on his second official day on the job two weeks ago. On Monday in Mobile, he met with some of the college scouts who are based elsewhere as he continues his evaluations.
Newmark joined the Lions in 1998 and had various scouting assignments before becoming the team’s national scout in 2005 and assistant director of college scouting in 2008. He, senior personnel executive Brian Xanders and others have been running the formal interviews during the Senior Bowl this week.
Quinn said he knew Newmark a bit from when they both worked as college scouts. Their relationship, though, pales in comparison to the one Quinn has with O’Brien as the two of them spent more than a decade together with the New England Patriots.
“He’s a long-trusted friend and confidant,” Quinn said of O’Brien. “He was an intern with the Patriots when I was in my first couple years full time. He was going to Harvard, and he would drive over and work nights, doing the playbooks, helping us with scouting tapes and it was just really good.
“He was an easy guy to work with because he’s so intelligent. How many guys in football actually go to Harvard and end up doing scouting? He could probably be doing bigger and better things in the world, but he loves his job and I love having him here with me.”