Grigson will report to Andrew Berry, the Browns' vice president of player personnel. It's an interesting twist; Grigson used to be Berry's boss in Indianapolis.
Another interesting twist to the hire: Grigson was the GM responsible for trading a first-round pick to the Browns for running back Trent Richardson. The Browns' Mike Holmgren had taken Richardson third overall in 2012, but Joe Banner traded him to the Colts in 2013 after two games.
Richardson never worked out in Indianapolis, playing just two seasons and averaging 3.1 yards on his 316 carries. The Browns used the pick they acquired from the Colts to move up four spots in the 2014 draft to take quarterback Johnny Manziel. He lasted two tumultuous seasons in Cleveland.
Grigson takes the place of Lake Dawson, who left the Browns on May 18 to join the Buffalo Bills as assistant director of college scouting.
"Ryan brings valuable experience to our personnel group," Browns executive vice president for football operations Sashi Brown said in a statement. "He was raised as a road-scout and has been evaluating talent in this league for almost 20 years.
"We place a premium on that experience and on his passion for football. Ryan has much to offer to any personnel department and we are pleased that he chose to join our staff."
Grigson will be starting his 19th year in the NFL. He was GM of the Colts from 2012-16, when the Colts went to the playoffs three times. In 2012, Grigson was named the NFL Executive of the Year by The Sporting News. In that year's draft, Grigson took Andrew Luck first overall, then added tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen and receiver T.Y. Hilton. After the Colts lost the AFC Championship Game in 2014, Grigson went all in on 2015 by signing several veterans: running back Frank Gore, receiver Andre Johnson, defensive lineman Trent Cole and offensive lineman Todd Herremans. The Colts went 8-8 in '15 and '16; Gore is the only one of the four still with the team.
Berry and Grigson worked together for four years in Indianapolis.
"I know Ryan is an individual with a palpable passion for scouting, a tireless work ethic and an insatiable competitive drive," Berry said in a statement. "His experiences as an NFL player and executive will prove valuable to the mission of our group, while his team-orientation and personal integrity will continue to strengthen our department's culture."