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Old 05-27-2012, 05:08 PM    (permalink
Matthew Jones
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Default Your Grading Criteria When Scouting Prospects?

When you are grading prospects, how do you assign your grades? Below is my general criteria; is yours similar or different?

First round - cornerstone player

Second round - quality starter

Third round - quality rotational player/starter potential

Fourth round - rotational player

Fifth, sixth, and seventh round - depth player/special teams contributor
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:44 PM    (permalink
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Pretty similar except I would reserve the "cornerstone" class for the top 10, 1st round would be an expected day 1 starter, day two would be a day 1 role player or year 2 starter (ideally, I think most coaches would not want to start a 2nd/3rd rounder unless they had to), and day 3 as depth/replacement level with upside.

I figure each team gets 3-4 rookie contributors each year give or take, 2-3 won't play, and 1-2 won't make the cut. So. I think the rotation or better players cap out at about 100 per draft.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:04 PM    (permalink
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When I grade someone a first rounder, a lot of things go into it but the biggest one that seemed to be controversial the last few off-seasons is that I expect them to be a 10+ year starter. If they are not likely to be worth signing two long contracts, they are not a first rounder. (5 for the first deal and 5 for the second).

To me, you start making those kinds of compromises in the 3rd and 4th rounds.

And then you start to just look at guys that might make your team for a year or two in rounds 5-7 and hope they can be coached up to stick around longer.
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:03 PM    (permalink
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Tier 1 - an elite player who has the potential to be a HoF caliber player. Usually between 4 and 12 players deep, depending on the quality of the draft.

Tier 2 - a very solid starter who has the potential to be a All Pro at least occasionally. Usually ranges between 7 and 22 players, again depending on the quality of the draft.

Tier 3 - a stater who has some potential to be an occasional All Pro. Usually ranges in the 18- 28 range. Like the other tiers, it will vary from year to year depending on the quality of the draft.

Tier 4 - a starter who may need a year to reach that potential. Usually in the 22-35 range, again it all depends on the quality of the draft.

Tier 5 - the potential to be a starter, some, but has very few elite qualities and not likely to be an All Pro very often unless they play OC, OG, LB or S. Usually in the 33-62 range.

Tier 6 - the potential to be a starter but no elite qualities whatsoever. 60-96 range.

Tier 7 - potential to be a starter but will have to work hard at it and it may take a year or 2. Range: 90 - 160

tier 8 - some but not a lot of potential to be a starter after as much as 3 or 4 years of hard work. A special teamer till then. Range: 160 - 235 depending on comp picks.

Tier 9 - FA quality talent with a small make window to make a team.

I don't think you can just say a 1st rounder has certain qualities since in very weak draft years, there are only a few who may have those qualities.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:05 PM    (permalink
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Good or not that good.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:45 PM    (permalink
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First and foremost I look for athleticism. Does he have the size and/or speed to play at the NFL level?

Next I look at his feet. Does he have quick feet? How is his footwork? Does he have a burst?

Then I look at his hand placement. Does he use his arms and hands properly? The right leverage? Is he quick with his hands, can he fight off other guys? Does he have a strong punch?

Then I look at technique and instincts.

Then I look at motor.

Then I determine his upside/ceiling based off of all of that, and I put an initial grade on him. Then I go and watch maybe 3 or 4 games of his against the best competition he goes against all season, factor in his combine numbers, and watch him perform over 4 quarters for all the games and feel out his ability and athleticism and put a final grade on him.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:49 AM    (permalink
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how good of a prospect is said prospect
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:55 PM    (permalink
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is progression. NFL teams want to see progression. If you suck as a freshman, they want to see you suck less as a sophomore and even less as a junior.

Bill Belichick (first person I heard say it) has a nice quote relating to this matter. "Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling."
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:44 PM    (permalink
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I look at the draft a little bit differently than most...

Round 1 - High impact player that will force opponents to gameplan for him.

Round 2 - Starter who will erase the need to address his position for the next several drafts, or a luxury/niche weapon that may be one-dimensional, but is too good to pass up, such as a super fast receiver or an explosive passrusher.

Round 3 - Best player available at a position of lesser value, such as safety, fullback, center, guard, right tackle or linebacker.

Round 4 - Best player available that has fallen out of favor in the draft and taken a dramatic slide, or a raw prospect with ridiculous triangle numbers.

Round 5 - Best small-school prospect available or risk/reward prospect.

Round 6 - Best player available that blew it at the combine/pro day/all-star game, or the best QB available.

Round 7 - Take a flier...unknown player with great triangle numbers; player that lacks prototypical size or speed but has a high football IQ and was ultra-productive (isn't supposed to succeed but doesn't know it); player that flashed in college but didn't fit the system; player that didn't have a true position in college but racked up all-purpose yards in several different categories; little brother or son of a great player; player that lacks elite strength/speed/athleticism but loves the game and is a film-room junkie.


I also look at extra picks a bit differently. I see them as a bonus, a pick that can be used in a way that you maybe wouldn't if it wasn't a spare. An extra corner is always nice to have, even though we have a strong secondary. A 3rd down back or a goal line back. An undersized, really fast linebacker to cover tight ends (I think this is the next specialty position that will evolve in the NFL...I call it the "cornerbacker). A really athletic quarterback that is making a position switch to WR/KR. A basketball/TE project.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:09 PM    (permalink
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Can the guy play football. To me, there's no such thing as a 1st or 7th round "prospect" however there is a 1st or 7th round "grade"

I take the approach that if I take a guy in the 7th round, he can start for my team because I'm getting a good football player.

There's way too many talented FOOTBALL players in this country to say a guy is a "developmental/backup" type of guy. Development stops at College.. you kinda are what you are at that point

Out of a Football Playing population of 200,000 draftable prospects per year... I think I can find 7 Ballers :)
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rashaan Salaam View Post
Can the guy play football. To me, there's no such thing as a 1st or 7th round "prospect" however there is a 1st or 7th round "grade"

I take the approach that if I take a guy in the 7th round, he can start for my team because I'm getting a good football player.

There's way too many talented FOOTBALL players in this country to say a guy is a "developmental/backup" type of guy. Development stops at College.. you kinda are what you are at that point

Out of a Football Playing population of 200,000 draftable prospects per year... I think I can find 7 Ballers :)

I totally disagree with this statement. Many men are not fully developed physically by the age of 22 or 23. Other guys hit their physical peak by the time they are 19 or 20. To say that anyone who hasn't developed by the time they finished college never will is just not realistic. Look at Kurt Warner. He was in Green Bay's training camp in 1994 and didn't "develop" until 1999.

Aside from that example, what you are suggesting is that players are as good as they will ever be coming out of college. That's the craziest thing I have ever heard. Most players get better every year until they peak between 25-28, stay at the time of their game as age and injuries allow, and then gradually regress until the game has no place for them anymore or they choose to retire. I don't see your logic at all.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:35 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisfan37 View Post
I totally disagree with this statement. Many men are not fully developed physically by the age of 22 or 23. Other guys hit their physical peak by the time they are 19 or 20. To say that anyone who hasn't developed by the time they finished college never will is just not realistic. Look at Kurt Warner. He was in Green Bay's training camp in 1994 and didn't "develop" until 1999.

Aside from that example, what you are suggesting is that players are as good as they will ever be coming out of college. That's the craziest thing I have ever heard. Most players get better every year until they peak between 25-28, stay at the time of their game as age and injuries allow, and then gradually regress until the game has no place for them anymore or they choose to retire. I don't see your logic at all.

If you can't catch at 19, 22, you won't be able to catch at 30.. Football is an easy game.

Kurt Warner was always that good...he just needed the opportunity to show it.

You're making football seem harder than it really is. Either you can play or you can't its that simple. Some players in college that are backups are better than the starters (Travis Minor & Jeff Chaney for example).. Its all about opportunity. If you never get to show it, then no one will know.

You think Aaron Rodgers "developed" behind Brett Favre?

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Old 05-29-2012, 08:29 PM    (permalink
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Rodgers did "develop", change his throwing motion while waiting to play. Technique, stamina, strength, footwork, mechanics, all can be and are developed/perfected as a pro. I agree, opportunity probably plays the biggest role in whether a guy makes it or not, but there's no question some guys get better as pros based on work ethic and coaching/mentoring.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:05 AM    (permalink
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- Physical traits. Obviously, yes, talent and tools, and technique are a huge factor.
- Motivation, work ethic. Does the player have the motivation, work ethic, character. If I'm a gm, I want a football guy who I can trust to become a leader, or become dedicated to the team. I also want character on and off the field.

- . Instincts.

- Coach-able.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:45 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
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- Motivation, work ethic. Does the player have the motivation, work ethic, character. If I'm a gm, I want a football guy who I can trust to become a leader, or become dedicated to the team. I also want character on and off the field.
100% agree - character is so important - just a shame as fans we have no real idea on these prospects character when trying to grade them!
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:44 AM    (permalink
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Rodgers definitely developed behind Favre. He not only reworked his throwing motion, but you can see Favre's influence in the nuances of Rodgers' game (most notably in his use of the hard count). I do agree that he would have been great no matter where he went or how soon he started, however.

Warner's problem was that he was scared early on in his career. The Packers did give him an opportunity to show how good he was, and he just simply wasn't ready. Green Bay had so many talented young QBs at that point, that Warner simply wasn't worth keeping in camp. He would have probably broken out a lot sooner if he had signed that first contract with a team that didn't already have a logjam at QB.

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