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broncos_fan _from _uk


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 9100
Location: Rockville, MD
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: How do *you* scout? Reply with quote

Simple question. Tough answer. What is it that you put preference on? Seems that there are four major categories in scouting a prospect. Size, Athleticism, Production, Instincts/smarts/drive/whatever the hell you want to call it in their head.

What order do you put them in? Does it change base upon the round? Is it a sliding scale where every unit of improvement makes a prospect better in your eyes, a threshold point where they just have to have enough, or a combination thereof?
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broncos_fan _from _uk


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 9100
Location: Rockville, MD
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me personally, my overarching preference is:

#1) Instincts-sliding scale (too many freak athletes that never made it because of whats lacking between the ears)
#2)Athleticism-Combination. (too many great college players who didn't make it because they just were not very good athletes)
#3)Production-Threshold (Very rarely does a player have the first two and not this one. People tend to hold this up when a player is lacking one of the the other three)
#4)Size-Combination (we have seen great players and busts of every possible size)

It does however, vary based upon the round. In the early rounds I want instinctual players who are very good athletes. In the middle-late rounds I would be more willing to take a flyer on a player who has great athleticism/size when the other two seem to be missing (Julius Thomas). Thus athleticism/size are no longer a threshold point but rather a sliding scale. alternately I would also be willing to take a flyer on a player with elite instincts but lacks the athleticism or size assuming college production met the threshold. (Chris Harris and Danny Trevathon). But I would avoid at all costs a player that is outstanding in one area but is lacking in the other two (Ronnie Hillman)
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germ-x


Joined: 06 Apr 2009
Posts: 7822
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice topic UK.

4-5 years ago i was really high on athleticism+size. Basically, physical potential. While i obviously liked to see production+intangibles as well, if they lacked in those areas i would easily overlook them with the thought that NFL coaching would bring them up to speed in areas such as technique and awareness.

My view has since changed quite a bit. For early round prospects this is what i am looking for.

#1- Athleticism- This isn't at all to say that i simply look for the best athletes (as i used to tend to do quite a bit), instead i am looking at whether they have enough athleticism to succeed in the NFL. I find it difficult for a player to overcome poor athleticism in the NFL, even if they may be exceptional in every other area.

#2- Intangibles- Once i see that a player has the required athleticism to succeed in the NFL, i'm looking at their instincts, technique, and awareness. Personally, i'd rather draft a player that shows these qualities instead of a guy that has excellent athleticism and doesn't.

#3- Size- This is the category that i previously valued a lot more. I used to put a lot of value in a WR being 6'3"+ or a LB being 6'2" 245. Again, i like seeing it, but an under or over sized player isn't going to make or break how i feel about them, unless it is to the point where it could be a major issue, like a 5'7" WR or something.

#4- Production- I have this at the bottom for an early round prospect because if they have the above they should be productive college players, IMO. If they aren't then i would assume i am missing something.

As for mid/late round selections it just comes down to how i feel about the player and how the rest of the draft has fallen. The above is by no means the only way i would evaluate and select a player throughout an entire draft. I have no issues on taking a flyer on an excellent athlete or a guy that has fallen because they lack size.

One thing i would like to add is the evaluation of positions. For example, i care more about athleticism at CB than i do LB or even S for that matter on defense.
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paul-mac


Joined: 12 Jul 2009
Posts: 8746
Location: Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's all in the eye test for me. I just watch a guy on tape and if it feels right then I rank him highly.


The exception is QBs. I am very high on decision making.
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bobdevine


Joined: 24 Jan 2008
Posts: 2223
Location: Wisconsin
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Several more dimensions to consider:
- team fit/personality
This might fall into one of the dimensions you listed. Will a player sulk, act like a jerk, or be immature? In baseball, a current story is Yasiel Puig, who has great physical talent but he has caused problems with his personality.

- projected length of career
Is player A better than player B if A can play for 7 years but B for only 3? Some positions (like K and QB) may see a player play for over a decade while RBs have a career averaging under 5 years.

- Injury history
While recovery from injuries is getting better as medical treatment improves, one injury may predict another. The science on injury prediction is very early so coaches rely on rules-of-thumb and myths when evaluating college players.

- college prep/polish
Some big-school players may look better than small-school players because the coaching and facilities are better at major schools. But will the big-school players max out sooner? Will a small school player show better improvement when in the NFL? Lots of players were great college players but couldn't transition to the NFL.

Ideally you want to draft a player that is athletic having great instincts, size, and smarts that is mature, motivated, and has never been hurt. Plus one that is skilled and hasn't reached his potential. Unfortunately, very few players have those attributes.
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broncos67


Joined: 28 Dec 2006
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Location: Conshohocken
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Athleticism- The guy doesn't have to be a freak athlete, but he needs to, at a minimum be an average to above average NFL caliber athlete to even be in the conversation. As has been said, there's plenty of guys who never made it because they weren't athletic enough.

2. Intangibles/Brains- Basically, the guy needs to have good game knowledge and situational awareness, to go along with anticipation, recognition, and the like. Being a freak athlete won't help you if you can't figure out where you should be on the field.

3. Injury History- I like that bobdevine brought this up, because it weighs heavily for me. If a guy has a history of being kept out by small injuries, or recurring injuries to knees, feet, etc..., that's a major red flag for me, and regardless of talent I would think twice.

4. Size- It matters to some degree. Guys don't necessarily need to fit the "traditional size molds" that everyone expects they need to fit into, but more often than not guys who are outliers to those notions tend to flop.

5. College prestige/production- I put stock in where a guy goes to college, albeit not a ton. Some schools are notorious for masking players weaknesses, while others don't expose their guys enough. That can be worth paying attention to. At the same time, I value production to an extent. If you are playing a lot of snaps with poor numbers, odds are, unless the team is abysmal, you aren't an NFL guy.
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Winder23


Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with most of what everyone is saying.

I only scout for mocking purposes. For instance, I am not studying any QB's this season nor did I last.

My preference is mid to late round guys. Finding a player that isn't ranked highly and seeing him drafted "early" is always satisfying. I also like when the Broncos draft a player I am high on. Malik Jackson was one of those guys for me.

I have no formula other than what I see on game breakdowns. If a player doesn't have much to view it is hard to form an opinion without a little reference. Length and speed are also very important factors in the NFL.
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thebestever6


Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mean doesn't is vary on position by position.
Running backs you want a natural runner who can see any hole and makes himself small. You also want a rb who can catch that is a must in the NFL and pass protecting that can be developed somewhat.

Qb - you want a guy first and foremost was a team leader this is a must. If you can't gain leadership in a college locker room the pros is 10 xs harder because of age differences. You want a qb with great accuracy especially being faced with pressure. Let's face it qbs in the NFL get pressure a lot. Mental grasp of the offense is big. Arm talent isn't huge for me doesn't need a cannon but needs enough to make every throw.
....

Going down every position in my mind the hardest players to look at are the ones that go against poor competition. It's hard to see how they translate to the NFL.

Running backs, wrs, dbs, pass rushers, lbs all need fluid hips for multiple reasons making themselves small whether to beat bump and run coverage or a guy blocking them. To be able to cover guys, find a hole, etc.

Much of it is the eye test for me on tape you can see a lot of what you're looking for. Like tre mason I think he's gonna be a hell of a rb from this class. I also loved Doug Martin. The things that scare me more than level of competition is great college football teams.
Take Alabama as an example they have a great oline most years so I'm weary of Rbs and qbs. Richardson fits this category Lacy doesn't. Lacy didn't got top five though so the risk is lower. A.j their qbs I'd be weary too touch in the first three rounds because he's had safe Haven team in college. Really hasn't been battle tested I don't care how much he won in college he was on phenomenal teams. Johnny football I would not take in the first two rounds. 1) I don't know if he can handle the spot light of being the guy hasn't handled it well for much of college. 2) I question his play translating to the NFL. He is great at extending plays. I question how good he is at reading defenses and throwing a wr open. You can't just always feel like the pressure is coming on every play you have to sit in the pocket make reads and use running and scrambling when you need too.
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howie102


Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 530
Location: London
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't.

UK-side we simply don't have the blanket coverage that you guys do, so there's no point in even trying. I'll spring for ESPN come September on the offchance that Cal have a game showing at somepoint, but I'll watch for the sake of enjoying that game over anything else.

If it was readily available, was part of my daily "consumption" (on in bars, 24-hour coverage, part of my social scene) or if I had been brought up understanding the game as a kid, I'd probably take more of an interest.

To be honest, I'll pay most interest to the opinions of the members on here who've been around a while over anything else. And Mayock, of course, but thats mainly because of his voice. Does it for me.
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ToastedOats


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UK,

You forgot the most important term - Potential - many coaches and draftniks rank individuals on potential - many coaches get fired because the potential in the player never panned out.
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KingBishop


Joined: 29 Dec 2013
Posts: 2366
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For scouting Safeties which is what I normally scout

1. Assignment discipline/scheme fit

How disciplined are they in their assignments. Does he have cover 3 responsibility but let a guy torch his zone because he is staring into the backfield? How well does he pick and choose when two guys flood his zone?What schemes do they fit into. A cover 2? An In the box role?

2. Athleticism/Range

How well can a safety cover a deep corner and break on the ball is vital in my evaluation. Does he have the speed to track and come up out of his coverage assignment? Does he have active feet?

3. Run support

How well does he take angles and support the run. Tackling is a big key obviously.

There is more but I realized I'm late!!!
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broncos_fan _from _uk


Joined: 06 Feb 2005
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Location: Rockville, MD
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ToastedOats wrote:
UK,

You forgot the most important term - Potential - many coaches and draftniks rank individuals on potential - many coaches get fired because the potential in the player never panned out.
Potential is just draftnik speak for a player who oozes athleticism and size but lacks the college production ( usually due to lack of instincts/intangibles) when I hear the word potential I automatically slot them as no higher than a 3rd rd pick as they will bust more likely than not, and almost assuredly if they don't have the "chip" of being a mid-late round pick.

For those that say "the eye test" this is exactly what i'm talking about. When you go by the eye test what is your eye looking for?

bob: Injury history is a good one that i forgot about so good call on that one, Personality i would group under intangibles/instincts/ect.

TBE6: i had fluid hips under athleticism, would you categorize things like that (fluid hips, ability to anchor, hand fighting) as something separate? the more i think about it I think it should be separate. Perhaps under "Skills?"
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germ-x


Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

broncos_fan _from _uk wrote:
on that one, Personality i would group under intangibles/instincts/ect.

TBE6: i had fluid hips under athleticism, would you categorize things like that (fluid hips, ability to anchor, hand fighting) as something separate? the more i think about it I think it should be separate. Perhaps under "Skills?"


I lump a lot of qualities under intangibles, even if they may not necessarily fit. Instincts, toughness, awareness, work ethic, on field/off field problems, and technique i all lump into that one word.

I really don't pay a whole of attention to injury concerns, unless they are major. For example, a guy that's blown his knee out multiple times or in their medical check up there is a major red flag. I just find it to be too unpredictable. You see players in college that seem to be banged up all the time that go to the NFL and rarely miss games, then you see guys that were healthy throughout college, but are constantly injured in the NFL. IMO, it's just an issue that is completely out of your control when evaluating.
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thebestever6


Joined: 03 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

broncos_fan _from _uk wrote:
ToastedOats wrote:
UK,

You forgot the most important term - Potential - many coaches and draftniks rank individuals on potential - many coaches get fired because the potential in the player never panned out.
Potential is just draftnik speak for a player who oozes athleticism and size but lacks the college production ( usually due to lack of instincts/intangibles) when I hear the word potential I automatically slot them as no higher than a 3rd rd pick as they will bust more likely than not, and almost assuredly if they don't have the "chip" of being a mid-late round pick.

For those that say "the eye test" this is exactly what i'm talking about. When you go by the eye test what is your eye looking for?

bob: Injury history is a good one that i forgot about so good call on that one, Personality i would group under intangibles/instincts/ect.

TBE6: i had fluid hips under athleticism, would you categorize things like that (fluid hips, ability to anchor, hand fighting) as something separate? the more i think about it I think it should be separate. Perhaps under "Skills?"

Yes, athleticism is so broad. Taylor Mays was an athletic freak. Ran a 4.3 something forty, high vertical, etc . His problem was he had stiff hips thats why he sucked in coverage. Same with josh Barret. Many guys can be athletic it's what football skills translate from their position to the pros.


The type of players I consider just athletic usually are workout warriors and they fail to translate into the pros. Chris Henry the rb for the Titans a couple years back come to mind.
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jsthomp2007


Joined: 11 Jan 2008
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Location: USA
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually scout at night, in all black clothing so I cannot be seen. I usually shimmy up a tree or hide in the bushes with some night vision binoculars.
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