Some of you may have the misconception that I think I’m a scout because I write profiles, or player evaluations. Just to set the record straight, I do not consider myself a scout. A scout does far more work on an NFL draft-eligible player for the draft than I do. I don’t interview players or coaches or parents. I don’t do background checks on players or interview high school coaches or friends of players. I’m not on the road eight months out of the year looking for players all over the place or getting lost in a rental car trying to find a small college for a player that in most cases does not have the talent to play in the NFL, but must be checked out just in case. I don’t stay up all hours of the night missing my family and friends trying to get reports done for a GM.
I consider myself an analyst. I am just a person who analyzes the draft and its players by studying film, stats and information. I am no different than a stockbroker on Wall Street who breaks down a business from information and sources available to give my client a profile recommending whether to buy or sell a stock.
In using film, information and stats to develop a profile, at times, I am out of step with the mainstream thinking of player profiles found on most other sites. For this I offer no apologies; in fact, I’m proud that my profiles offer a fresh look at a player. I feel that by using film as the main basis of a profile, I can develop a better picture of a player’s ability than I would by reading a lot of propaganda on a player and repeating a skill level that is formalized by others. I also try to add a little humor to a profile because that’s just me…it’s who I am. It’s also what I hope brings character and readability to the profiles.
I have been criticized occasionally for being too opinionated in the profiles; however, the truth is, I have never taken myself serious enough to think for one minute that my criticism or opinions in a profile would affect the ability of a player to make an NFL roster. No matter what I say about a player, good or bad, it is up to the player as to whether or not he is successful.
I don’t just watch film. I scrutinize film on each player – looking for his level of heart, execution, avidity (desire) and talent (HEAT). To be specific, in film review I am measuring a player’s:
· Heart– What the player shows on film in the 4th quarter of a winning and losing game situation. Does the player have the character to win and lose with sportsmanship?
· Execution– How well the player executes the game plan and the specific responsibilities of his position. Does a player (based on execution) make impact plays during the course of a game?
· Avidity– Does the player on film take downs off? Does the player have stamina in the 4th quarter? Does a player (based on effort) make impact plays during the course of a game and in the 4th quarter?
· Talent - Does the player show on film the speed, strength, balance and awareness needed to be a success at the next level? Do his skills improve from year to year? How does his production/stats relate to his talent? Does the player (based on talent) make impact plays during the course of a game?
I’m also looking for those intangibles – such as the way the player conducts himself with coaches and with players on the field in good times and in bad. To most people reading this right now, you might be
saying to yourself, “Yeah, right! He can see all of those things?” Well all I can say to that is, yes. I can and do see all of those things about a player from the film.
I believe it takes more than talent to play the game at the NFL level and I look for more than talent when I watch the film on a player. I look at a player from the point of view of a businessman doing his due diligence on an investment. Hopefully, this gives you, the fan, a different perspective on the draft that most profilers don’t have, and a point of view that I hope is unique for use in your personal evaluation of the players in the draft for your team. My passion for the draft grows every year and I don’t know why. As long as I can do profiles, watch film, check out the combine and analyze the Senior Bowl, I am happy. It’s strange to me that I have gotten so involved in the draft and yet, it is very fulfilling. But make no mistake about it, I’m not a scout. I’m not that good.
Originally Posted 5/9/2004