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Old 04-08-2013, 11:02 AM    (permalink
Denver Bronco56
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Default Measurables v. Production?

Just had a debate with a couple co-workers about this topic in regards to evaluating prospects.

I took the position of having the production but also having measurables that show the potential. But taking in account that many positions require different skillsets its not so clear cut.


But what happens in turn with the workout warriors, or the guys that produced against top level talent but had a bad workout?


I think ideally you would want the production with the measurables, but at what point do you value one over the other?


I feel that a football player that has always produced is typically going to be able to continue, there are some players that do not light it up off the field but when you put a gamer on the field he will stand out. what comes to mind is someon like Jerry Rice, that didnt jump off the page with his workout numbers but you cant deny what he did on the field.


I feel like so many people today are like OMG dude is 6'4" and ran a 4.3.... but what good is that if he just doesnt bring it on the field. Somone like a Steve Smith comes to mind someone that just has it, doesnt have the size that you look for but get it done on a regular basis.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:20 AM    (permalink
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There are examples that either side can use to prove their point. I don't think there is a right answer, it comes down to individual players.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:34 AM    (permalink
Denver Bronco56
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I totally agree, but if you were a GM how would you go about factoring in both sides?
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:37 PM    (permalink
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Production is important. You do want measurables too. I think the perfect balance is ideal. The combine I think is less important from the standpoint, that there are gyms or companies that help prepare for it. It's like taking an SAT class. You prepare for it and find ways to "beat" the SAT.

You have this going on for the combine. So you may have average production but excellent numbers at the combine. That may be a result of your classes and finding ways to refine the drills asked. The companies are basically trying to find ways to "beat" the combine.

So I think a good GM will find a balance, and then stick his teams draft philosophy. Ron Wolf's book, the old GB GM, wrote about this. He had a draft philosophy of wanting Big CBs. However, he mentioned he made a mistake one year by drafting T. Buckley. A good player but didn't fit the draft philosophy of wanting a big CB.

So I think each GM and each team is different. It depends how so many factors from how their FO is set up and power structure. What is the draft philosophy that the GM envisions?
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:48 PM    (permalink
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Out of the two, measurables is a lot more important to me : there's only so much a slow RB who put up great numbers can do in the pros (see Mike Hart). Only so much an undersized lineman can do. Only so much a weak-armed QB can do. No matter how they played in college. For any position, I'd say there's a certain quality of measurables that absolutely NEEDS to be met in order to consider the player draftable. Production? not so much.

Then again, once you've met that threshold, neither is a really good answer. What you want to look at is the player's abilities. What does he do well, regardless of production? What can he get done with those measurables?

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Old 04-08-2013, 12:57 PM    (permalink
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The eyeball test. A player doesn't need to put up big numbers to show their talent on tape, nor do they need to dominate the combine. If they can show their athleticism and the ability to utilize their athleticism on film that's the most important thing. After that comes work ethic and learning skills. Only then do production and combine results come into it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:11 PM    (permalink
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I think everyone takes note of measurables no matter which side you fall on in this argument. It is understandable to be aware of them if you are going to invest in them with a 1st rnd/2nd rnd pick.

That being said, I'm big with production. If a player constantly produces when the lights go on, I don't know how you can completely rule them out if their measurables are not as good as another player at that position. Then after I notice production, I still do like to know the measurables/potential, but production always first before anything.

And yes, I would miss out on some really good players because of that.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:42 PM    (permalink
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The eyeball test. A player doesn't need to put up big numbers to show their talent on tape, nor do they need to dominate the combine. If they can show their athleticism and the ability to utilize their athleticism on film that's the most important thing. After that comes work ethic and learning skills. Only then do production and combine results come into it.
I agree with this for most cases.

Sometimes it is important to weigh workout numbers more heavily, though. A player may look fantastic on film, but it is deceptive because of the level of competition. Also, actual physical dimensions are very important. It is difficult to tell just how big a player really is by watching film.

In a team sport, high or low production can easily result from scheme or surrounding talent. The only reason that high production is good is that it gives you a larger body of work to analyze.

Really, neither metric is useful in isolation. It it always about the sum of all the parts.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:43 PM    (permalink
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Yeah I have always been the how do they perform in games kind of guy, I think being able to constantly perform against your competition is far more important than being able to slim down and run a drill fast or jump high on a measuring stick.

I know there have been TONS of players that were good in college that didnt pan out in the NFL but there is something to be said about a player that gets it done...

I agree ideally it would 50 50 for me but, i would not be the one to reach on a player that ran lights out over a guy that might not have been that fast but runs good routes and has fluid hips and good hands..

because at the end of the day you can end up with a Jerry Rice or a Heyward-Bay
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:49 PM    (permalink
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And not to hard on the actual drills but i think being good at certain drills is important. I think an athletic QB needs to have a great 10 and 20 yard split in comparison to a 40 yard dash, and that really goes into all positions because other than a BREAK AWAY run most football plays are around 5-10 yards
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:04 PM    (permalink
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I don't have a list compiled but I'd bet the list of successful NFL players who had elite measurables but sub-par production is a lot longer than the list of below-average athletes who put up big numbers in college.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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I don't have a list compiled but I'd bet the list of successful NFL players who had elite measurables but sub-par production is a lot longer than the list of below-average athletes who put up big numbers in college.
That would be a really interesting list to look at and compare. Someone has to have it somewhere.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:16 PM    (permalink
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I think context is important. If a guy doesn't produce while starting for two years with an established program and good coaching, to me his measurables don't matter that much. But if it's an athletic freak from a tiny school where he likely didn't get much high-quality coaching, or if you have a guy that measures off the charts but is new to football, then I'd give a guy like that more of a look.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:20 PM    (permalink
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There's a certain parameter of athleticism that must be met in order to succeed in the NFL. So athleticism is more important than production.

You can be the most productive player in college history, but if you don't have enough athleticism to meet the parameters of your position, you won't do a damn thing in the NFL.

Now when 2 players do fit within the parameter, but one is just average athleticially but extremely productive vs the guy who's not productive at all but a physical freak, then you have to investigate further. It's not a black and white topic. It's dependent on each individual circumstance.

Some positions require athleticism more than others, and should be weighted as such.

The whole "he's just a football player" crap you hear around this time of year is just that: crap. Athleticism projects to the next level. You can teach skill, but you can't teach ability.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:30 PM    (permalink
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the context is very important, but for both production and measurables.

If you played 3 years(started for say 2 of those years at WR at a school in the SEC and didnt put up great numbers, but ran great at the combine) I have a hard time seeing that player that had the athletic ability to just jump on to the scene and explode in the NFL if he couldnt get it done against top college talent i dont see him all of a sudden doing it in the NFL.


I think if you ran say a 4.5 and had great production in the SEC for example you probably could translate that in the NFL .... there are people that just play better in games than they do on the track plain and simple.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:44 PM    (permalink
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In essence we all agree that you need a certain amout of measurables and production but it is different for each circumstance.

That being said, would you take the risk on the higher ceiling in hopes he pans out or the guy you know pretty much what you are getting?

exe.
Demaryius Thomas v. Dez Bryant?

this might not be the best example but from what i read around that draft was Thomas was a great deep ball threat with a huge ceiling if he could learn the route tree.... and with Dez you were getting less of a wild card, very polished receiver but not as athletic.

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Old 04-08-2013, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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Give me the guy that wants to be great and has elite measurables. I'll let my coaches worry about his production.

It doesn't matter what kind of player you are in college if you don't have the desire to be great at the next level. The film doesn't watch itself and the weights don't lift themselves. It doesn't matter how good the player is if he's playing at half speed; he won't succeed in the NFL.

Every coach has probably said "Talent sets the floor, character sets the ceiling" at some point, because it's true.

JaMarcus Russel isn't in the NFL right now, because JaMarcus didn't want it. He lied to the Raiders about watching film and he lied about working out.

I personally think that most of the workout warriors that bust in the NFL do so because they've never had to learn how to adapt in college or high school or anywhere else, because they've always been so much more talented than the people around them. When you get to the pros, you won't be that much better. You'll have to earn your spot and some people don't get it until it's too late.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:53 PM    (permalink
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Bad example just because both Thomas and Bryant had huge ceilings.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:20 PM    (permalink
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First I will get my cop out answer out of the way. Both are important but there is a large amount of diminishing returns.

That said, I think some of the intangibles arguments don't hold water. Prospect A is ahead of the curve, plays like a five year vet etc.

Those guys that lack the athleticism but still produce may just never have the minimum threshold to be a difference maker in the NFL. Exceptions/outliers exist, but they are just that. Some maximize their scheme viability, but that doesn't translate to the NFL. Spread guys, WR and QBs hit this all the time. No matter how much college production will make TOmmy Chang a viable NFL starter.

Others are really good at doing the small things. Stuff like this can create a lot of college production, but it may be these things already known that were the stepping stone to NFL legitimacy, where it has been used up already.

However, these sort of things show that these guys are the type of players to always develop.

As for measurables guys, you have to take into account where on their learning curve they are. Most draftniks already do this already, but the JPP process just makes it very obvious and someone like Ansah is reaping the benefits. To beat a dead horse, a majority guys take at least a couple of years at the highest level possible to show their stuff. If you are drafting guys that are just around this threshold, then college production is devalued. You just gotta cross your fingers the guy doesnt plateau.

Lastly the best of both worlds is obviously best. I mean look at Keuchly, Great production, head for the game, etc. Oh wait, he has top flight measurables to boot?
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:46 PM    (permalink
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Depends on the position, and measurables are more important on defense I'd say. On offense I'd be looking for guys that execute first and foremost. I don't care how fast or big my RB is, if he can't take a hit and can't pick up a blitz, he's useless as an NFL player.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:38 AM    (permalink
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I agree, I think measurables are more important for defense. Primarily speed.

I can get away with being slow as a WR, but I sure as hell can't get away with it as a CB. Same with RBs vs LBs. OL vs DL. You gotta have the measurables on defense or else you're toast.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:55 AM    (permalink
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Scheme is almost if not more important than measurables.
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Old 04-09-2013, 07:57 AM    (permalink
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No scheme works with slow players.
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:21 AM    (permalink
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Could Brandon Spikes play Mike for the Giants??
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Old 04-09-2013, 08:25 AM    (permalink
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He can't play MIKE for anyone really. He's a liability in coverage in any scheme. Which is my point.
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