As the Broncos interview candidates for their open general manager position, we're connecting with reporters across the country who have covered the candidates in their current job. Our aim is to provide a closer look at the prospective candidates and the skill set each may bring to Denver.
We continue by talking to Mike Klis of 9NEWS about Brian Stark, the Broncos' college scouting director.
Aric DiLalla: What type of candidate would Brian Stark be for the Broncos?
Mike Klis: "From what I understand, he's one of the hardest-working guys up there. He's one of those guys that's the first one in, watches a lot of tape. There's a lot of college tape, so I guess there's more responsibility in some ways as far as player evaluation goes. I think he took the detail of evaluation on scouting reports up a notch, and they were impressed. The three years he was scouting director, they came up with three good drafts. They rewarded him with an interview, making him a formal candidate."
AD: You mentioned in one of your stories that he's viewed as an up-and-coming candidate. Do you think that's one of the reasons they wanted to interview him?
MK: "He's not necessarily young for a guy with his amount of experience. He's 47 and he's only really been in the NFL since 2012, all with the Broncos as a scout. But he has some pretty good college experience at San Diego State and Yale. I think he's one of those guys where he's kind of in the sweet spot. I think the next step up for him realistically might be a director of player personnel where he handles full pro and college. I think he's ready for that step for sure to handle that for two or three years and then as the team success [determines]. After this, you probably get interviews if your team is good."
AD: As he's handled the college scouting for Denver, how have you seen the philosophies change?
MK: "It's interesting, in 2018 they made a concerted effort to go after captains, older guys. Chubb was [a] senior. Josey Jewell, Phillip Lindsay — they came out after their senior year. Courtland [Sutton] was a junior. … [It was] mostly older, mature kids, I think.. … I would say more NFL-ready has been [a theme] among the players [they've taken]. Lower-risk guys and more immediate-result guys. We'll have to see. These guys haven't quite emerged into stardom yet. I think Courtland Sutton had a chance before he got hurt. [Drew] Lock, they hope still has a lot of top-end [talent]. These guys are nice, solid players — mature players, leaders of their college programs. That helps build character in the locker room, also."
AD: What are the pros and cons of staying with an in-house candidate?
MK: "The pros are you don't have to blow up the scouting system. Everyone's got their own scouting system with their codes and their letters and their grading scales. For the overall scouting staff, it makes things quite a bit easier and familiar with the system. … Working with the coach, familiarity helps. You build up relationships there. That's what I think the benefit is. The cons are [that] it's especially great to go in-house when you're winning, because you want to keep things the same. When you're not winning, you want change. Staying in-house, I guess, would not necessarily represent change. It would not necessarily bring new ideas. Although in Brian Stark's case, I think it would be a situation where he maybe had ideas, but because he wasn't high enough on the totem pole, they didn't have as much influence. Now he might have a little more influence to express his ideas."