The Browns named Ray Farmer their assistant general manager, the team announced today.

“He adds a voice as just a, I think, top, top-tier player evaluator in the NFL,” Browns CEO Joe Banner said this afternoon during a conference call.

Mike Lombardi, who was named vice president of player personnel on Jan. 18, also has had his title changed to general manager. Farmer will work closely with Lombardi, helping manage the professional and college scouting departments.

“The change in Mike’s title was a reflection of the need to create the assistant general manager title in order to get permission from Kansas City for Ray to be free to interview with us,” Banner said. “There’s no change in Mike’s position at all. It’s purely an add of Ray. The title change just facilitated our getting permission from Kansas City.”

So why didn’t the Browns name Lombardi general manager from the start?

“At the time we didn’t know if this would happen, and I like the structure of a vice president of player personnel a little bit better,” Banner said. “Frankly, it gave [Lombardi] and the department something to aspire to, and I thought that was a good thing to have. But I thought it was outweighed by the opportunity to add another top-tier person in his department.”

Farmer, 38, interviewed with the Browns in January as they searched for their new personnel chief, Banner said. He joins the organization after spending the previous seven seasons (2006-12) as the Kansas City Chiefs’ director of pro personnel.

With the Chiefs, Farmer oversaw the scouting of all players with professional experience, evaluating current players in the NFL, Canadian Football League and all other pro leagues. Farmer, a graduate of Duke University who hails from White Plains, N.Y., was a pro scout with the Atlanta Falcons (2002-05) before joining the Chiefs.