Scouting Football Talent – NFL Draft First 5 Facts

Scouting Football Talent

Putting the finishing touches on a first round draft choice requires ensuring that all the boxes are checked off and the various angles examined.  The Football Educator is not a fan of the mock draft process, but recently I was asked to present my Top 10 picks from a general manager’s perspective. Along with Charley Casserly the two of us surmised who we would each select given the scenarios facing the club at the time.

Evaluating a prospect’s on field play goes without saying and many clubs go to extreme lengths to provide multiple opinions (crosschecks).  But there are other areas of consideration also helpful in determining the long term potential and overall value of a particular player.  Height, weight, arm, and hand measurements separate the elite physical frame from the average.  Looking at the overall relevance of a Combine performance can confirm whether or not a player has similar skills to his peer group.  Certain selections are more apt to provide a club with a reliable option at the position for years to come.  Clubs struggle in statistical areas that traditionally correlate to winning in the National Football League and GM’s look to improve talent levels that will strengthen those stats.  Current roster makeup and contractual obligations can either enhance or hinder selecting a specific position.

Here is a list of the first 5 picks in this year’s NFL Draft (the one’s I presented on NFL Network) and some of the sidebars that should be considered in addition to their playmaking abilities.

Kansas City Chiefs – Luke Joeckel (OT)

  • Ht 6060 Wt 306 Arm 34 ¼” Hand 10 1/8″
  • 4 of 6 EPA (Bench, Broad Jump, Short Shuttle 3-Cone)
  • 91.7% OT selected between (1-10) start 56 games – 5 seasons
  • KC allowed 40 sacks in ’12 (22nd) , 31st in NY/A
  • Brendan Albert (Chiefs starting LOT) Franchised 2013, UFA 2014

Jacksonville Jaguars – Dion Jordan (OLB)

  • Ht 6062 Wt 248 Arm 33 7/8” Hand 10”
  • 3 of 6 EPA (40 yd, Broad Jump, 3-Cone)
  • Jags 32nd  in NFL in sacks (20) ‘12
  • Jags 29th in NFL opponent negative plays (83) ‘12
  • Jason Babin & Jeremy Mincey on the edge w/ big CAP #’s ’14

Oakland Raiders – Sheldon Richardson (DT)

  • 4 of 6 EPA (40 yd, Bench – 2 from Mizzu Pro Day; Short Shuttle, 3-Cone) All 3 ASC
  • Loss of Richard Seymour & Tommy Kelly
  • ’13 UFA additions Sims & Walker on 1 year deals
  • Measurables equal or superior to Shariff Floyd’s
  • 19% of 2 Deeps come from 1st Rd.

Philadelphia Eagles – Eric Fisher (OT)

  • Ht 6072 Wt 306 Arm 34 ½” Hand 10 ½”
  • 5 of 6 EPA (40 yd, Bench, Broad Jump, Short Shuttle, 3-Cone) *Optimum & ASC
  • 91.7% OT selected between (1-10) start 56 games – 5 seasons
  • Tied #3 position rookie impact 10%
  • ’12 Eagles 27th in NY/A, 28th in NFL sacks allowed (48)

Detroit Lions – Dee Milliner (DC)

  • 25% of 2 Deep Corners come from 1st round (Overall by position – 3rd)
  • ’12 Lions 23rd TD% allowed, 25th interceptions, 23rd opponent QB rating, 27th points allowed
  • Good match w/ veteran Chris Houston
  • Tied #3 position rookie impact 10%

Every decision maker in the NFL has their own set of criteria they fall back on to verify their evaluation of incoming talent.  I’m a strong believer in finding both tangible and intangible factors that can complete this puzzle of prognostication.  Those historical benchmarks that have correlated in the past with successful professional football careers help me confirm my observations of productive play.  Everyone has the pieces they look  for and there are more for me than mentioned here, but this is a good start as to why I feel these players are good fits for the teams looking to improve some of their weaknesses.

Next up, pick 6 through 10.

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