Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

14 May 2013

Anatomy of a Draft Pick

An in-depth look at how the Saints scouting department came to the conclusion that Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro was the player they wanted with the 15th overall pick.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 14 May 2013

5 comments, Last at 15 May 2013, 5:08am by Jerry

Comments

1
by Nathan :: Tue, 05/14/2013 - 12:10pm

By looking at his anatomy?

2
by Lance :: Tue, 05/14/2013 - 5:22pm

"National Football Scouting employs 11 scouts who cover every football-playing school in the country"

Am I the only one who thinks this is a crazy task? There are something like 100 D-1A schools (whatever). How quickly does game film get filtered to scouts? And is it all computerized? It seems like a huge task, but perhaps they can pull it off?

And which teams DON'T pay for this service?

3
by JonFrum :: Tue, 05/14/2013 - 6:35pm

The combine scouts aren't watching every game of every team to see every player. The combines just do the dog work for the teams - height, weight, etc. If a guy is a 210 lb linebacker or a slow-as-molasses cornerback, that information saves the team the effort of considering him.Each team has their own scouting staff to do the talent scouting. The Saints have more scouts than the combine they subscribe to does - what does that tell you?

4
by bubqr :: Wed, 05/15/2013 - 12:47am

Not a whole lot of information in this one, apart from " All 11 scouts are affiliated with NFL teams, though they share their information with all 21 member teams". That is funny to me, I would be curious to know if the report they publish to NFS are the same that gets to their respective teams scouting director... Quite a conflict of interest there.
Also from a pure process perspective, I've been led to believe teams each have a different model to evaluate player, so how could they complete a report for their teams based on their team-specific criteria and another "generic" one?
It does sound the good ol' scout writing reports like "Kid can run, nice hands, nice lower body. 2nd rounder." and sending that to both their team and NFS.

5
by Jerry :: Wed, 05/15/2013 - 5:08am

The combine works because everyone trusts it to play straight. Teams assign junior scouts to combine positions, not their top guys, and (as the article points out) follow up with their own people. I don't know this, but I'd guess that combine scouts are available to all member teams who might have questions. As Jon mentions above, the combine is just doing first-level scouting, and I doubt anyone is expecting them to assign precise values to prospects.