The 2014 Draft marked an evolution in how I grade draft prospects: Shifting from an objective scoring system to a numerical system totally revolutionized my approach. This in depth approach grades prospects on FIVE factors: Talent, Athleticism, Production, Size and Leadership, all with varying levels of weight on the overall evaluation score based on specific positional values and importance (included below). So what do each of the 5 variable actually account for? Here's what they mean:
- TALENT: What you see when you watch a player on film. This grade is based on 10 position specific variables and is scored on evaluations of the in game performances of players.
- ATHLETICISM: The overall athletic ability of a prospect. This grade is derived from a statistical analysis of past performances at the NFL Combine and based on position specific athletic testing results.
- PRODUCTION: How well a player produces during the course of their career. This score also factors in performance vs. top competition in each of the last 2 seasons. This score is given objectively based on quality of production (and offensive linemen receive an "experience score" based on their starting experience as an alternative).
- SIZE: The measurements of a player taken at a Senior All Star game or the NFL Combine. The scoring is based on a series of position specific scales based on NFL prototypical sizes.
- LEADERSHIP: Based on 3 components: Was the player a captain? How many games did the player start? How successful was the program during the player's stint as a starter?
Our friends over at www.draftbreakdown.com provide the greatest collection of NFL prospect videos on the internet. A large bulk of our personal scouting comes from Draft Breakdown's stellar work, so if you're interested in putting players up to the eye test for yourself, look no further.
When it comes to statistics, NDT Scouting's premium source of information is www.sports-reference.com/cfb/. If you're in need of a prospect's career statistics, be sure to swing by Sports Reference for all your player specific needs.
After utilizing this methodology in the 2014 NFL Draft evaluation process, I felt it necessary to revisit my methods and make some minor adjustments. The scouting process is, after all, always fluid. Here is NDT Scouting's evaluation weights for the 2015 NFL Draft season:
In addition to the adjustments made in our
evaluation weights and emphasis, 2015's NFL
Draft will also bring a slightly adjusted scoring chart.
You can view our newest, most in depth scoring
chart to the right, where we've further broken down
the increments separating "round values". This has
been done in an effort to prevent saturation in the
number of prospects scoring in the same range and
should help to create a more similar big board to the
one's NFL fans are accustomed to seeing each year!
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