The Detroit Lions draft war room will be missing one key member who has been around the organization since 2007. As first reported by Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Lions director of college scouting Dave Sears is being hired by the Arizona Cardinals.
Per Ian Rapoport, Sears is getting a promotion to assistant general manager in Arizona, as he reunites with newly-hired general manager Monti Ossenfort. Sears and Ossenfort were both scouts for the Houston Texans between 2004 and 2005.
Sears started with the Lions as a regional scout 16 years ago but was named director of college scouting in 2019, before the arrival of now-general manager Brad Holmes. That said, Holmes has mentioned Sears several times as a key member of their front office, noting that Sears’ evaluation of sixth-round pick James Houston was key to drafting him.
“Dave Sears, our college director, he had a lot of passion about his evaluation and what he thought his potential could be,” Holmes said last April.
Houston met that potential, producing 8.0 sacks in just seven games of his rookie season.
Neither the Lions nor the Cardinals have announced the move to make it official, but this would clearly be a significant loss to Detroit’s front office. That said, they have a natural replacement potentially ready to go in Brian Hudspeth, who currently holds the title “assistant director of college scouting.”
Hudspeth has been with the team since 2018 but has worked in NFL scouting departments since 2001 with stops along the way for the Texans, Falcons, and Buccaneers. Hudspeth was a national scout for the Lions for four years before his promotion to assistant director of college scouting last year.