Xanders and Lions general manager Martin Mayhew share an alma mater, Florida State, and for the past year have also shared a philosophy and offices. Mayhew brought Xanders in as a senior personnel executive to help revamp the Lions' scouting and player personnel departments last January and the results were obvious.
"He's been outstanding," Mayhew said. "He's been really good. I think he's done a good job from a technical standpoint, a data standpoint. He's a good evaluator, he's a very organized guy, he's very detailed.
"He's been a real asset for us."
One of the things the 42-year-old former Broncos general manager did was install an internal database for scouting, one Mayhew joked will stay with the Lions even if Xanders lands the Miami job.
Together with Mayhew and Xanders, the Lions had an outstanding rookie class, grabbing starters in the first round (defensive end Ziggy Ansah), third round (right guard Larry Warford), fifth round (punter Sam Martin) and two undrafted free agents (tight end Joseph Fauria and right tackle LaAdrian Waddle).
Due to his work with the Lions and his experience combined with youth, Mayhew said even if the Dolphins don't hire Xanders, "I would think that he's not going to be with us for a real long time. He's really good at what he does."
As in even if Xanders doesn't get the Miami job, he expects at some point he'll get another shot to be a general manager.
"I'd be honored to have worked with him. That would be awesome for him and he's from Florida," Mayhew said, specifically about the Dolphins job. "So he'd have an opportunity to get closer to home and I know he would appreciate that."
Miami has interviewed multiple candidates for the job throughout the NFL. Among the other candidates interviewed are Cleveland assistant general manager Ray Farmer, Pittsburgh's Omar Khan and Tennessee vice Ppesident of football operations Lake Dawson, among others.