|01-19-2007, 12:18 PM||#1|
How about some Tapenade!
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: The Coaches Cradle...Eastern Illinois University
How the Broncos and other teams scout...
Interesting bit from Legwold on the ins and outs of scouting in the NFL and specifically the Broncos...
Q: I was wondering how the Broncos go about preparing for the draft. I have a friend who assured me that there are only a handful of teams that use their own in-house draft program . . . and that most teams use one of a couple of draft talent evaluating agencies. They assured me that the pool of draftees is too large for most teams . . . to independently evaluate very effectively. Do the Broncos use an agency to help evaluate the upcoming draft prospects or do they do it all in-house?
A: All teams do their evaluations in house. They send their staff of scouts on the road throughout the year to evaluate the prospects, using their own grading systems.
Some teams have more scouts, some less -- for a long time, at least until Marvin Lewis began running the football side of the organization, the Bengals used their assistant coaches to do the bulk of scouting work after the season and before the draft.
Usually scouts -- called "area scouts'' -- are assigned certain portions of the country and most then live in that area to make travel easier. Teams will have at least one scouting director as well -- Jim Goodman, a long-time football man whose Rolodex of football friends is huge, is the Broncos' -- who travel throughout the country as well adding to the area scouts reports as well.
Often teams will then send a scout from a different area to look at all the prospects again -- called back-checking -- just to get another set of eyes on the player. Some teams can spend upward of $6 million on the whole process.
A lot of money to be sure, but not equal to the signing bonus many first-rounders will get and well worth it when a team hits on a few guys each year up and down the board.
There are two scouting services used by the NFL teams -- Blesto and National Scouting. National runs the scouting combine in Indianapolis each year. Most teams use at least one of them, and a select number of teams use both.
The Broncos use National, and Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist, with several other personnel executives around the league, participates in the annual meetings to decide which players get invited to the combine.
Last time I checked, 19 teams used National and nine used Blesto.
They pay for the service. And those services have scouts as well, and they do a lot of the early work making preliminary lists in the spring for the following year's draft. They will also grade all of the prospects several times before the draft.
But each team will issue its own grades on the prospects as well.
A few teams don't use either service, including Baltimore and Washington.
But every team does its own grading in the end because all are looking for a little something different, and it is an inexact science. I've sat at the Senior Bowl with scouts I've known for 20 years and listened to them argue for 20 minutes about a guard's ability to move around the line of scrimmage.
That's just one player, let alone the 600 or so on somebody's draft board.