This season I was hired by an NFL team as a contract scout. They wanted to take full advantage of the depth of the DB class this year. This particular team has had great success at drafting over the last 7 years with their HC, scouting and player personnel departments working very closely together.
My first meeting was in June with members of the coaching staff, scouts, player personnel department, cap manager and the members of their stats and analytics department along with select people from the medical and psychology fields. The point of this meeting was to review and discuss what they called the critical factors in a player profile that would help them identify players who could have long-term success in the NFL. These were in addition to the measurable and skills that are evaluated in a traditional scouting model. This is what they believe makes up their version of an RKG. The profile was broken down into 7 areas or critical factors. The following is taken from my handouts and notes.
The 7 critical factors.
1. Confirmed Speed: This is timed using 10, 20 and 40 yard dash. A grade is assigned based on speed chart for each position
2. Play Speed: How fast you think he plays in practice and games. Is he any faster or slower than how he ran?
3. QAB (Quickness, Agility, Balance): The athleticism of the player; the "heart of the heart"
a. Stride: Does he have long medium or short stride.
b. Quickness: ignition, explosiveness, any sudden movement, ability to catapult or leapfrog
c. Agility: nimbleness, adroitness, ease of movement, ability to move
d. Body Balance: basic equilibrium, ability not to fall on face
e. Quick Feet: "Happy feet" - ability to move feet so quickly, nimble to get the job done. Athleticism starts at the feet and goes all the way up
f. COD (Change of Direction): see discussion of feet above
g. Acceleration: a seen quickening of speed; burst
h. Flexibility: elastic, pliable as opposed to stiff, starchy, rigid Flexibility as in functional flexibility; football flexibility
i. Ease of Movement
j. Overall Body Coordination
a. Toughness: plays with pain, resilient
b. Win at all cost: fierce, do anything to win.
c. Aggressiveness: he initiates the action, vicious, combative, a hitter
d. Clutch Player: doing the right thing at the right time in the ballgame, making the
plays when you need them
e. Determined to be the Best: you hear a lot of this from the position coach, weight
coach plus what you perceive
f. 2nd Effort: no quit, never say die
a. Coachable: takes direction from coaches and does what he is asked to do.
b. Shows Leadership Qualities: both by example and as a leader.
c. Enjoys Football
d. Training Habits
e. Stability: Does he have a drug or alcohol problem. Has he been arrested?
f. Team Player
6. Mental Alertness
In situations applying to football and everyday life
a. Learns Quickly
d. Retains Once He Has It: Once he has it, does he retain it?
e. Adjusts Quickly to Strange or New Situations (Alertness): Ex: he's working all week vs. the 3-4, now he faces a 4-3 Man Defense on the opening play. Can he make the adjustment?
f. Shows That He Sees Things Happening (Awareness): we call it INSTINCT (and LB's must have it). Is he aware before it happens? Does he understand angles? Where to run, where to break, where to throw, etc ... Example: WR who cuts 8 yds on 3rd and 9 or who runs out of bounds
7. Strength and Explosion
a. Delivers Blows (Does He Pop Leather When He Hits)
b. Arm Strength (Upper Body Development)
c. B.P. Strength
d. Leg Strength (Lower Body Development)
e. A Hitter
g. Functional Strength: Does he stay square when he hits someone or does he roll? Does he anchor?