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Jeff Ireland
Asst. General Manager/College Scouting Director

Jeff Ireland is in his second season working in the Saints personnel department as the club’s assistant general manager/college scouting director.

Jeff Ireland is in his second season working in the Saints personnel department as the club’s assistant general manager/college scouting director.

Hired in January, 2015, Ireland immediately turned his focus to preparations for his first draft with the Saints that would take place three months later. Armed with two first round draft picks, New Orleans selected Stanford tackle Andrus Peat with the 13th overall pick. Peat appeared in 12 games with eight starts, possessing the versatility to open contests at left tackle, left guard and right tackle. With the 31st overall pick, The Saints selected Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony, who opened all 16 games and led the team with 144 tackles. The defense was addressed once again in the second round with the selection of Washington linebacker Hau’oli Kikaha, who made four sacks and was tied for second in the NFL and ranked first among rookies with four forced fumbles. Later in the draft the club also added quarterback Garrett Grayson,  cornerback P.J. Williams, linebacker Davis Tull, defensive tackle Tyeler Davison, cornerback Damian Swann and running back/return specialist Marcus Murphy. All nine members of the draft class remain with the Saints. Three undrafted rookies also spent the entire season on the Saints 53-man roster, with Bobby Richardson taking over starting left defemsove end duties and tying for the team lead on the line with 66 stops.

Prior to joining the Saints, Ireland served as general manager of the Miami Dolphins for six seasons. Inheriting a 1-15 team upon his arrival in 2008, Ireland’s first season in Miami, he worked with the club’s personnel staff to overhaul the team’s roster, efforts that resulted in an 11-5 mark, the AFC East title and a playoff berth, a turnaround unprecedented in NFL annals.

Ireland replaced almost half the roster in 2008, bringing on board 27 new faces, including nine new starters. One of those newcomers, quarterback Chad Pennington, went on to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award and finished tied for second in voting for the league’s Most Valuable Player award. Among the new faces Ireland brought on board in 2008 were 11 rookies who made the team, including eight draft choices, three of whom were in the opening day starting lineup. Tackle Jake Long, the team’s first pick of the draft went on to earn Pro Bowl honors at the conclusion of the season. Rookie free agent kicker Dan Carpenter led the Dolphins in scoring.

During Ireland’s tenure, eight players (Long, Carpenter, defensive lineman Randy Starks, defensive end Cameron Wake, wide receiver Brandon Marshall, guard Richie Incognito, cornerback Brent Grimes and center Mike Pouncey) he acquired through the draft, free agency and trades accounted for a total of 14 Pro Bowl selections, with Long and Wake earning Associated Press first-team All-Pro honors.

Ireland joined Miami after a seven-year stint (2001-07) with the Dallas Cowboys, including his last three seasons there as the team’s vice president of college and pro scouting. He was originally hired by the Cowboys as the team’s national scout. In 2007, Ireland’s last season in Dallas, the Cowboys went 13-3 and won the NFC East title. Of the 53 players on the active roster, 38 had been acquired over the three years (2005-07) Ireland served as the team’s vice president of scouting. Seven of those players made the Pro Bowl during that time, including outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Ireland’s first pick as the team’s lead scout), 2005 fourth round selections defensive end Chris Canty and running back Marion Barber, 2007 draft choice kicker Nick Folk and two free agent acquisitions that season, guard Leonard Davis and safety Ken Hamlin. 2005 seventh round selection defensive tackle Jay Ratliff would go on to be selected to four Pro Bowls from 2008-11.

Ireland began his tenure with the Cowboys as the team’s national scout in 2001, evaluating all of the top collegiate prospects in the country. In his four years in that role, his skill as a talent evaluator helped lead to the drafting of four Pro Bowl performers, safety Roy Williams (who was selected five straight years), cornerback Terence Newman, center Andre Gurode and tight end Jason Witten.

Prior to joining the Cowboys, Ireland spent four years in Kansas City as an area scout. He started his NFL career evaluating talent as an area scout for the National Football Scouting Combine from 1994-1996.

Before becoming a full-time talent evaluator, Ireland helped coach special teams at the University of North Texas from 1992-1993. He was a four-year starter as a placekicker at Baylor University from 1988-1991, finishing his collegiate career third on the school’s all-time scoring list with 213 points. His 45 career field goals, which included a 58-yard effort against Rice in 1991, established a school record for field goals made. Following his senior season, he was selected as the South team’s kicker in the 1992 Senior Bowl.

Ireland, an Abilene, Texas native, is the stepson of Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame linebacker/center E.J. Holub and the grandson of former Philadelphia Eagles player and longtime Chicago Bears personnel executive Jim Parmer.