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Burns336
11-11-2008, 06:09 PM
After reading a post in the NFL forum about X's and O's I thought a similar thread about scouting would be appropriate.

I want to know what people are looking at when they say a guy "has great hips" or "Great footwork"

We also often hear people say "he can make all the throws" or "he's more of a RT and not a LT"

I am curious, and I'm sure many others are, to know the significance of all of these things and what you look for when evaluating different prospects.

For instance, what make's a cb better than another cb? Why is one guy an RT and the other a LT? What are you looking for in a linebacker?

Which things from the combine should be valued and which should be trashed? 40 time? Vertical? Short Shuffle?


Any feedback is appreciated.

Babylon
11-11-2008, 06:17 PM
In QBs i look for guys with good feet, can they make the 1st guy miss and step up in pocket. As for arm strength i look for how long a ball stays in the air with the thrower. Distance on a throw would be pretty far down the list of strengths. Accuracy, catchable ball, stuff like that.

thule
11-11-2008, 06:19 PM
One thing that I really love to use when evaluating WRs post combine/pro days are the first 10 yards in the 40 yard dash. WRs get their separation early so this is the most important measurable for me when evaluating WR's come draft time.

illmatic74
11-11-2008, 06:23 PM
When people say make all the throws it means they have the arm strength to throw every pass that could be in the NFL playbook like the 15yd outand the 20yd dig.
When talk about hips they are trying to say how well and naturally they move laterally.
When they talk about footwork they ae talking about if they complete their task without extra steps.

Malaka
11-11-2008, 06:25 PM
Well an LT should be a better pass protector and more quick on his feet, as he is protecting the QBs blindside and LT is the most important O-line position. LTs need to be quicker and more agile than an RT due to the fact they are matched up against a quicker RE, and are alone as most of the time they are on the weakside. An RT, should be more of a run blocker, and his agility is not as important as an LT's as the TEs can help him, and they are usually up against stronger yet slower LEs. LT is much more important than an RT because of the LTs job protecting the QBs blindside.

In my linebackers I look for balance. He does not need to have great size, but if he has decent instincts, is a very good tackler, a decent blitzer and decent in coverage. It also depends on your scheme, my scheme would be a 4-3. but a 3-4 would ask things differently for their linebackers. Also, SLB MLB AND WLB have different jobs, and so one might need to be a better in coverage or one a better blitzer. I also like to have leaders in my linebackers, like a Ray Lewis or Antonio Pierce.

The short shuffle is good indication of agility and is a combine drill that I like. The 40 yard dash is not as bad as some people making it out to be, but I do agree that people extremely overrate players 40 times sometimes, I think it gives an estimate of how fast that player is. The vertical isn't all that important in my opinion because they will not jump that high in pads. I like the bench press and it is good indication of a players strength, but strength will not make or break you that much in the NFL, technique IMO is more important for many positions.

I hope I helped you with my post.

thule
11-11-2008, 06:31 PM
Well an LT should be a better pass protector and more quick on his feet, as he is protecting the QBs blindside and LT is the most important O-line position. LTs need to be quicker and more agile than an RT due to the fact they are matched up against a quicker RE, and are alone as most of the time they are on the weakside. An RT, should be more of a run blocker, and his agility is not as important as an LT's as the TEs can help him, and they are usually up against stronger yet slower LEs. LT is much more important than an RT because of the LTs job protecting the QBs blindside.

In my linebackers I look for balance. He does not need to have great size, but if he has decent instincts, is a very good tackler, a decent blitzer and decent in coverage. It also depends on your scheme, my scheme would be a 4-3. but a 3-4 would ask things differently for their linebackers. Also, SLB MLB AND WLB have different jobs, and so one might need to be a better in coverage or one a better blitzer. I also like to have leaders in my linebackers, like a Ray Lewis or Antonio Pierce.

The short shuffle is good indication of agility and is a combine drill that I like. The 40 yard dash is not as bad as some people making it out to be, but I do agree that people extremely overrate players 40 times sometimes, I think it gives an estimate of how fast that player is. The vertical isn't all that important in my opinion because they will not jump that high in pads. I like the bench press and it is good indication of a players strength, but strength will not make or break you that much in the NFL, technique IMO is more important for many positions.

I hope I helped you with my post.

This is such a joke of a post....did you really actually write that stuff....hell I could find that out of a "football for dummies book" or about.com football section.

I don't think this is what burns wanted this thread to turn into. Who doesn't know that LT/RT jargon. If your gonna bother posting in here give actual useful information...this is such a cookie cutter post it's sickening.

Malaka
11-11-2008, 06:34 PM
This is such a joke of a post....did you really actually write that stuff....hell I could find that out of a "football for dummies book" or about.com football section.

I don't think this is what burns wanted this thread to turn into. Who doesn't know that LT/RT jargon. If your gonna bother posting in here give actual useful information...this is such a cookie cutter post it's sickening.

LOL you think I copied and pasted this?!?!?!

I am sorry if you think that what I said isn't what burn was looking for but, pleeeease if you think I took this from the internet ur crazy I just typed this from the top of my head.

Primetime21
11-11-2008, 06:40 PM
LOL you think I copied and pasted this?!?!?!

I am sorry if you think that what I said isn't what burn was looking for but, pleeeease if you think I took this from the internet ur crazy I just typed this from the top of my head.

He was saying you basically just repeated the stereotypical and most basic scouting "secrets". And if you really typed it with the top of your head I am very impressed.

Get it?

thule
11-11-2008, 06:40 PM
LOL you think I copied and pasted this?!?!?!

I am sorry if you think that what I said isn't what burn was looking for but, pleeeease if you think I took this from the internet ur crazy I just typed this from the top of my head.

No No No....I don't actually think you copied this...just saying you might as well because there isn't any useful information in here...that the average draftnik wouldn't know already.

For instance I'll give you an example of something that would actually be useful.

LT vs. RT
When evaluating a prospect you are sometimes faced with a tough decision. I'll use last years draft as an example.

Jake Long
Some analysist thought Long didn't have the footwork to play the left side. Now one thing that I saw when watching games of his...was that he had such a powerful punch and such a great balance off of his first step that he would truly be his best on the right side.

What I didn't realize was that although he wasn't ever considered a dancing bear....his quick 3 step to his left was probably the best of any OT in the draft since Gallery. It didn't look effortless like a guy like D'Brick makes it look....as Long seems to pound his feet into the ground...which is a flaw in his game..but pounding his feet into the ground also gives him tremendous leverage against the bull rush...something that D'Brick has occasional trouble with.

I think that is the big difference between the right side and the left side....how powerful is their first step....and how quick can they get out in their three step position while using perfect technique...that is my difference between LT and RT.

Malaka
11-11-2008, 06:43 PM
No No No....I don't actually think you copied this...just saying you might as well because there isn't any useful information in here...that the average draftnik wouldn't know already.

For instance I'll give you an example of something that would actually be useful.

LT vs. RT
When evaluating a prospect you are sometimes faced with a tough decision. I'll use last years draft as an example.

Jake Long
Some analysist thought Long didn't have the footwork to play the left side. Now one thing that I saw when watching games of his...was that he had such a powerful punch and such a great balance off of his first step that he would truly be his best on the right side.

What I didn't realize was that although he wasn't ever considered a dancing bear....his quick 3 step to his left was probably the best of any OT in the draft since Gallery. It didn't look effortless like a guy like D'Brick makes it look....as Long seems to pound his feet into the ground...which is a flaw in his game..but pounding his feet into the ground also gives him tremendous leverage against the bull rush...something that D'Brick has occasional trouble with.

I think that is the big difference between the right side and the left side....how powerful is their first step....and how quick can they get out in their three step position while using perfect technique...that is my difference between LT and RT.

Okay, so I just told him from what I know about LT and RT, because he asked about the two, so obviously you know more than me /clap 8)

Then the linebacker part and the combine drill parts of the post are obviously also garbage, as they are my opinion which is worthless.

EDIT: So excuse me, I am 14 I need to explain to idiots my age all the time what the difference is.

thule
11-11-2008, 06:45 PM
Okay, so I just told him from what I know about LT and RT, because he asked about the two, so obviously you know more than me /clap 8)

Then the linebacker part and the combine drill parts of the post are obviously also garbage, as they are my opinion which is worthless.

I'm not trying to come down on you...just saying that cookie cutter stuff should be kept out of here...because all you have to do is read scott/kiper/mcshay to get that information...this should be used for stuff where you don't hear a lot of scouts talking about it. Kinda a big reason most people around here love Mayock it's because he uses more of a breakdown in why he has certain guys above other prospects due to what he see's which isn't always the norm.

Malaka
11-11-2008, 06:49 PM
I'm not trying to come down on you...just saying that cookie cutter stuff should be kept out of here...because all you have to do is read scott/kiper/mcshay to get that information...this should be used for stuff where you don't hear a lot of scouts talking about it. Kinda a big reason most people around here love Mayock it's because he uses more of a breakdown in why he has certain guys above other prospects due to what he see's which isn't always the norm.

As I said in the edit part, I am not saying Burns is an idiot but when people in the ninth grade still think Roy Williams (Safety) is a beast safety anything is possible, trust me I do not expect anyone my age to know anything about football but only one part of the post was about offensive tackles.

I like Mayock in his analysis but not really so much his draft predictions, case and point Manningham to NYG in... the 1st round, went to NYG but in the 3rd.

thule
11-11-2008, 06:58 PM
As I said in the edit part, I am not saying Burns is an idiot but when people in the ninth grade still think Roy Williams (Safety) is a beast safety anything is possible, trust me I do not expect anyone my age to know anything about football but only one part of the post was about offensive tackles.

I like Mayock in his analysis but not really so much his draft predictions, case and point Manningham to NYG in... the 1st round, went to NYG but in the 3rd.

How about Mayock being the only draft analysis to call Whitner to the Bills....these can go either way....heaven for bid he can't get them all right O_o

Malaka
11-11-2008, 07:00 PM
How about Mayock being the only draft analysis to call Whitner to the Bills....these can go either way....heaven for bid he can't get them all right O_o

Well being a giants fan any pick other than Kenny Phillips made me angry ;)

Thigamahjigee
11-11-2008, 07:05 PM
This is what I do, and I'll tell you that it varies from team to team. Some teams value traits much more then other teams do. Anything at the combine has some sort of value. My favorite drill to look at is probably the short shuttle. I think most of football is about short quick explosion, and that measuers it very well. Along with the 3 cone drill. That's a good way to determine someone's range of motion and ability to turn on a dime, which is an esstential football quality for most positions.

Burns336
11-11-2008, 09:49 PM
No No No....I don't actually think you copied this...just saying you might as well because there isn't any useful information in here...that the average draftnik wouldn't know already.

For instance I'll give you an example of something that would actually be useful.

LT vs. RT
When evaluating a prospect you are sometimes faced with a tough decision. I'll use last years draft as an example.

Jake Long
Some analysist thought Long didn't have the footwork to play the left side. Now one thing that I saw when watching games of his...was that he had such a powerful punch and such a great balance off of his first step that he would truly be his best on the right side.

What I didn't realize was that although he wasn't ever considered a dancing bear....his quick 3 step to his left was probably the best of any OT in the draft since Gallery. It didn't look effortless like a guy like D'Brick makes it look....as Long seems to pound his feet into the ground...which is a flaw in his game..but pounding his feet into the ground also gives him tremendous leverage against the bull rush...something that D'Brick has occasional trouble with.

I think that is the big difference between the right side and the left side....how powerful is their first step....and how quick can they get out in their three step position while using perfect technique...that is my difference between LT and RT.

This is what I am looking for...

Not LT is a better pass blocker...

I'm not completely stupid, and I doubt many people on here are that dumb.

I'm looking for more of things like when you watch a CB play, in college or the pros, what do you see with his hips or his feet that make you say "wow" as opposed to a guy that makes you say "you suck".

When the combine rolls around, what things do you really look for to evaluate if a linebacker is going to be able to be successful at the next level. How about a DT?

Basically the post that thule put up about Jake Long is exactly what I'm looking for.

I don't need to know if a guy can play OLB in a 3-4 or what a Safety is required to do.

I'm more into finding out about the "little things" you can see during a game that really tells you about a players ability.

Bengalsrocket
11-11-2008, 10:45 PM
As far as CB's go, I'd like to know what decides if a guy is better for zone coverage as opposed to man coverage.

I've always assumed it has something to do with speed and agility (getting in and out of cuts to continue to pursuit of the receiver) being better for man2man coverage.

But if that's true, what natural traits do zone coverage CB's need?

illmatic74
11-11-2008, 10:48 PM
As far as CB's go, I'd like to know what decides if a guy is better for zone coverage as opposed to man coverage.

I've always assumed it has something to do with speed and agility (getting in and out of cuts to continue to pursuit of the receiver) being better for man2man coverage.

But if that's true, what natural traits do zone coverage CB's need?The zone CB needs to be better at jamming and getting recievers off their routes.

Bengalsrocket
11-11-2008, 10:54 PM
The zone CB needs to be better at jamming and getting recievers off their routes.

Thank you!

gator3guy
11-11-2008, 10:56 PM
Well an LT should be a better pass protector and more quick on his feet, as he is protecting the QBs blindside and LT is the most important O-line position. LTs need to be quicker and more agile than an RT due to the fact they are matched up against a quicker RE, and are alone as most of the time they are on the weakside. An RT, should be more of a run blocker, and his agility is not as important as an LT's as the TEs can help him, and they are usually up against stronger yet slower LEs. LT is much more important than an RT because of the LTs job protecting the QBs blindside.

In my linebackers I look for balance. He does not need to have great size, but if he has decent instincts, is a very good tackler, a decent blitzer and decent in coverage. It also depends on your scheme, my scheme would be a 4-3. but a 3-4 would ask things differently for their linebackers. Also, SLB MLB AND WLB have different jobs, and so one might need to be a better in coverage or one a better blitzer. I also like to have leaders in my linebackers, like a Ray Lewis or Antonio Pierce.

The short shuffle is good indication of agility and is a combine drill that I like. The 40 yard dash is not as bad as some people making it out to be, but I do agree that people extremely overrate players 40 times sometimes, I think it gives an estimate of how fast that player is. The vertical isn't all that important in my opinion because they will not jump that high in pads. I like the bench press and it is good indication of a players strength, but strength will not make or break you that much in the NFL, technique IMO is more important for many positions.

I hope I helped you with my post.

It's used more to determine explosion.

Number 10
11-11-2008, 11:27 PM
I'll give you a few thoughts regarding LBs that I learned from a scouting mentor of mine-

The most important aspect of a LBs game is what he has going on in between the ears. I know we all want to fall in love with measurables and numbers we can see on paper, but the most common denominator within all good LBs is the instincts and reading ability, and then you can go from there.

You can tell how smart/instinctive a LB is by looking at his feet in reaction to the offensive line. Most LBs read interior offensive linemen, sometimes a fullback. If you have the option to watch the play in slow motion, do it. The first LB to flow towards the direction of the ball is often the best one of the group. It is all about beating the blocker to a specific spot and the good ones clog the hole before it opens up. If his steps are short and choppy the whole way through, it is a strong possibility that player is unsure of his reading ability. However a player that diagnoses the intended lane/hole right off the bat can take a longer 3rd of 4th stride and really propel his momentum into the oncoming collision, giving him an obvious advantage to hit and shed. Patrick Willis is a perfect example of this.

When contact is intitially made, try to watch the blocker's helmet. If it receives a jolt backwards and up, the LB puts himself into position to get off the block. However if the blocker's head stays on an even keel and his momentum remains forward, the LB is in a tough spot. He needs to avoid getting locked onto, very important. LBs that struggle to get off blocks (a lot of them do) tend to have high, open chests that make it easy for a blocker to lock onto. If a LB can stay low while maintaining balance and strength, his chances of at least keeping a shoulder free open up. Ideally a blocker doesn't reach the LB if you have a strong defensive line, but when I scout a LB I almost hope he doesn't have that protection because his reaction to linemen is vital. The bad LBs try to use their quickess to run around them while the good ones will intitiate the contact and get the majority of their body into the hole. A good example here would be Ray Lewis.

I graded Curtis Lofton (Oklahoma) as my #2 LB in the 2008 draft class and the #15 overall player, higher than any other place you could possibly find. His route to the hole and ability to recognize and read were as good as it got for a collegiate LB. He used outstanding leverage when engaging with blockers and he was the one doing the physical damage. Along with his underrated athleticism and sure tackling ability, I was sure he would be an outstanding LB in the NFL. Now that we are past the halfway point of the season, Lofton is a legit candidate for the DROY. I still have a ways to go with a few positions in terms of scouting, but I feel LB is my specialty as of right now. Possibly because I played it back in my day, but its something I just have a feel for.

gpngc
11-11-2008, 11:59 PM
Your best bet is to play the sport. Most coaches know the fundamentals pretty well, and the only difference between you and the athletes you are scouting is that they are 100x bigger, faster, and better.

All the great athletes you are scouting have learned basic fundamentals from the same coaches we all learned from (obviously they go on to refine their skills and perfect these fundamentals).

Try covering a friend on a 9 route and feel your hips when you rip your arm to turn and run with him. You know if your backpedal is fluid or not before you turn. Then run a 7 to 5-yard hitch off of the 9 and you'll see how if your hips open up, you need to be able to gather your feet and DRIVE to the ball.

Bump-and-run is also interesting to try because it really is a completely different art than tackling. As a press corner, you are more of a catcher (lunging at a WR is a great way to give up 6 behind you), and that is EXACTLY what you don't want to be as a tackler. Test it out, and see how difficult it is.

Leverage is a term thrown around that means nothing more than staying low and balanced. The term "stout at the point of attack" simply means a guy plays with good leverage/has enough strength to push his man backwards (or to the side in some scenarios).

Learning how to "form tackle" will give you a better idea of who really is a good tackler and who isn't. Experiencing it first hand is the best way to then identify what people are doing wrong (most frequently it's not wrapping up, head down, going up too high).

When you are talking about things so scientific like LT footwork and QB mechanics, it's pretty tough to really "scout" anything. Mastery of the nuances of those positions is required in order to make really any predictions about potential success in the NFL (and even the masters screw up a lot there as we see all the time). With a LT, I think the best thing to look for is quick feet, good balance WITH speed off the ball, and definitely QUICK/STRONG HANDS. People don't realize how important hands are for an OL. If a guy can get a grip on the inside of the defenders shoulder pads, he's usually golden. QB's is a whole different ball game. All you can do is see if they are poised, make good decisions, and how far/hard/accurate they can throw the ball. Everything else is circumstance-driven (play call, type of offense, freedom to audible, teammates around him, level of opposition), and things you really can't quantify which makes scouting QB's ridiculously difficult for even professionals.

gator3guy
11-12-2008, 12:02 AM
I'll give you a few thoughts regarding LBs that I learned from a scouting mentor of mine-

The most important aspect of a LBs game is what he has going on in between the ears. I know we all want to fall in love with measurables and numbers we can see on paper, but the most common denominator within all good LBs is the instincts and reading ability, and then you can go from there.

You can tell how smart/instinctive a LB is by looking at his feet in reaction to the offensive line. Most LBs read interior offensive linemen, sometimes a fullback. If you have the option to watch the play in slow motion, do it. The first LB to flow towards the direction of the ball is often the best one of the group. It is all about beating the blocker to a specific spot and the good ones clog the hole before it opens up. If his steps are short and choppy the whole way through, it is a strong possibility that player is unsure of his reading ability. However a player that diagnoses the intended lane/hole right off the bat can take a longer 3rd of 4th stride and really propel his momentum into the oncoming collision, giving him an obvious advantage to hit and shed. Patrick Willis is a perfect example of this.

When contact is intitially made, try to watch the blocker's helmet. If it receives a jolt backwards and up, the LB puts himself into position to get off the block. However if the blocker's head stays on an even keel and his momentum remains forward, the LB is in a tough spot. He needs to avoid getting locked onto, very important. LBs that struggle to get off blocks (a lot of them do) tend to have high, open chests that make it easy for a blocker to lock onto. If a LB can stay low while maintaining balance and strength, his chances of at least keeping a shoulder free open up. Ideally a blocker doesn't reach the LB if you have a strong defensive line, but when I scout a LB I almost hope he doesn't have that protection because his reaction to linemen is vital. The bad LBs try to use their quickess to run around them while the good ones will intitiate the contact and get the majority of their body into the hole. A good example here would be Ray Lewis.

I graded Curtis Lofton (Oklahoma) as my #2 LB in the 2008 draft class and the #15 overall player, higher than any other place you could possibly find. His route to the hole and ability to recognize and read were as good as it got for a collegiate LB. He used outstanding leverage when engaging with blockers and he was the one doing the physical damage. Along with his underrated athleticism and sure tackling ability, I was sure he would be an outstanding LB in the NFL. Now that we are past the halfway point of the season, Lofton is a legit candidate for the DROY. I still have a ways to go with a few positions in terms of scouting, but I feel LB is my specialty as of right now. Possibly because I played it back in my day, but its something I just have a feel for.

I remember Barrett Ruud a few years ago. He wasn't that gifted physically, but man could he read a play. He sniffed out plays from the snap and hardly missed a tackle. Loved that guy. And he's having some pretty good success in the NFL. Nice points. This is also what I look for in LB's (kinda what you said)- which guy is always around the ball? That is the guy I want.

Mr. Offseason
11-12-2008, 12:38 AM
As far as CB's go, I'd like to know what decides if a guy is better for zone coverage as opposed to man coverage.

I've always assumed it has something to do with speed and agility (getting in and out of cuts to continue to pursuit of the receiver) being better for man2man coverage.

But if that's true, what natural traits do zone coverage CB's need?

i think i can help some with this.

in man coverage speed is usually emphasized much more. largely because you have to stick with your man down the field. being able to turn your head around and locate the ball is very important. for example: chris houston, cb on my atlanta falcons. he has the speed and the coverage ability to be good in man coverage, but until recently he has had problems locating the ball and getting his hands up to deflect or intercept it. so even though he could have blanket coverage the WR could still make a play on the ball, etc. so that is important. obviously good hands are a bonus, but not necessary.

in zone coverage (as another poster said) it can be helpful to be good at pressing the WR at the line. this isnt necessarily for zone coverage though (i dont think they do this that much in tampa-2, correct me if im wrong) since the packers run a man coverage defense and jam as much as anybody. anyways, acceleration and being able to break on the ball is very important as a zone corner. your top speed isnt as important because your initial burst towards the ball/WR is more important because you will be responsible for covering a specific area instead of just tailing one guy. you have to be able to read the QB's eyes and then be able to break and make a play on the ball. having good size and long arms is nice too.

i hope that helped. i kept getting distracted while i was writing that so i hope it wasnt too difficult to read and follow, haha.

-Mr. Offseason

Race for the Heisman
11-12-2008, 12:43 AM
You can tell how smart/instinctive a LB is by looking at his feet in reaction to the offensive line. Most LBs read interior offensive linemen, sometimes a fullback. If you have the option to watch the play in slow motion, do it. The first LB to flow towards the direction of the ball is often the best one of the group. It is all about beating the blocker to a specific spot and the good ones clog the hole before it opens up. If his steps are short and choppy the whole way through, it is a strong possibility that player is unsure of his reading ability. However a player that diagnoses the intended lane/hole right off the bat can take a longer 3rd of 4th stride and really propel his momentum into the oncoming collision, giving him an obvious advantage to hit and shed. Patrick Willis is a perfect example of this.


I just wanted to point out that there are situation where this is incorrect. For example, in a nickle defense with two linebackers who are playing in coverage or playing against an option run, the strongside guy has outside responsibility (the pitch guy) or has to stay deep and cover the pass, while the weakside guy gets to run to the quarterback/ball carrier. Great post overall, just had to nitpick a bit.

Burns336
11-12-2008, 02:18 AM
I'll give you a few thoughts regarding LBs that I learned from a scouting mentor of mine-

The most important aspect of a LBs game is what he has going on in between the ears. I know we all want to fall in love with measurables and numbers we can see on paper, but the most common denominator within all good LBs is the instincts and reading ability, and then you can go from there.

You can tell how smart/instinctive a LB is by looking at his feet in reaction to the offensive line. Most LBs read interior offensive linemen, sometimes a fullback. If you have the option to watch the play in slow motion, do it. The first LB to flow towards the direction of the ball is often the best one of the group. It is all about beating the blocker to a specific spot and the good ones clog the hole before it opens up. If his steps are short and choppy the whole way through, it is a strong possibility that player is unsure of his reading ability. However a player that diagnoses the intended lane/hole right off the bat can take a longer 3rd of 4th stride and really propel his momentum into the oncoming collision, giving him an obvious advantage to hit and shed. Patrick Willis is a perfect example of this.

When contact is intitially made, try to watch the blocker's helmet. If it receives a jolt backwards and up, the LB puts himself into position to get off the block. However if the blocker's head stays on an even keel and his momentum remains forward, the LB is in a tough spot. He needs to avoid getting locked onto, very important. LBs that struggle to get off blocks (a lot of them do) tend to have high, open chests that make it easy for a blocker to lock onto. If a LB can stay low while maintaining balance and strength, his chances of at least keeping a shoulder free open up. Ideally a blocker doesn't reach the LB if you have a strong defensive line, but when I scout a LB I almost hope he doesn't have that protection because his reaction to linemen is vital. The bad LBs try to use their quickess to run around them while the good ones will intitiate the contact and get the majority of their body into the hole. A good example here would be Ray Lewis.

I graded Curtis Lofton (Oklahoma) as my #2 LB in the 2008 draft class and the #15 overall player, higher than any other place you could possibly find. His route to the hole and ability to recognize and read were as good as it got for a collegiate LB. He used outstanding leverage when engaging with blockers and he was the one doing the physical damage. Along with his underrated athleticism and sure tackling ability, I was sure he would be an outstanding LB in the NFL. Now that we are past the halfway point of the season, Lofton is a legit candidate for the DROY. I still have a ways to go with a few positions in terms of scouting, but I feel LB is my specialty as of right now. Possibly because I played it back in my day, but its something I just have a feel for.

exactly what I'm lookin for. thanks a lot.

Can someone talk about D-lineman?

Specifically, I'd like to know how a highly touted prospect such as Marcus Spears could "bust" (not all would say that, but I will) what went wrong with him? Were there any red flags that could have told us this earlier? Or did he seem like an ideal 3-4 DE prospect.

Mr. Offseason
11-12-2008, 01:38 PM
I'll give you a few thoughts regarding LBs that I learned from a scouting mentor of mine-

The most important aspect of a LBs game is what he has going on in between the ears. I know we all want to fall in love with measurables and numbers we can see on paper, but the most common denominator within all good LBs is the instincts and reading ability, and then you can go from there.

You can tell how smart/instinctive a LB is by looking at his feet in reaction to the offensive line. Most LBs read interior offensive linemen, sometimes a fullback. If you have the option to watch the play in slow motion, do it. The first LB to flow towards the direction of the ball is often the best one of the group. It is all about beating the blocker to a specific spot and the good ones clog the hole before it opens up. If his steps are short and choppy the whole way through, it is a strong possibility that player is unsure of his reading ability. However a player that diagnoses the intended lane/hole right off the bat can take a longer 3rd of 4th stride and really propel his momentum into the oncoming collision, giving him an obvious advantage to hit and shed. Patrick Willis is a perfect example of this.

When contact is intitially made, try to watch the blocker's helmet. If it receives a jolt backwards and up, the LB puts himself into position to get off the block. However if the blocker's head stays on an even keel and his momentum remains forward, the LB is in a tough spot. He needs to avoid getting locked onto, very important. LBs that struggle to get off blocks (a lot of them do) tend to have high, open chests that make it easy for a blocker to lock onto. If a LB can stay low while maintaining balance and strength, his chances of at least keeping a shoulder free open up. Ideally a blocker doesn't reach the LB if you have a strong defensive line, but when I scout a LB I almost hope he doesn't have that protection because his reaction to linemen is vital. The bad LBs try to use their quickess to run around them while the good ones will intitiate the contact and get the majority of their body into the hole. A good example here would be Ray Lewis.

I graded Curtis Lofton (Oklahoma) as my #2 LB in the 2008 draft class and the #15 overall player, higher than any other place you could possibly find. His route to the hole and ability to recognize and read were as good as it got for a collegiate LB. He used outstanding leverage when engaging with blockers and he was the one doing the physical damage. Along with his underrated athleticism and sure tackling ability, I was sure he would be an outstanding LB in the NFL. Now that we are past the halfway point of the season, Lofton is a legit candidate for the DROY. I still have a ways to go with a few positions in terms of scouting, but I feel LB is my specialty as of right now. Possibly because I played it back in my day, but its something I just have a feel for.

great read, thanks. im not especially good at scouting linebackers, but i also liked lofton last year. im really glad my falcons ended up with him. :)

im pretty good at scouting QB's, OL, DL and i think CB's. i need some work on RB's, LB's, WR's, TE's and S's. this write-up for linebackers really helps though, thanks very much.

-Mr. Offseason

Mr. Offseason
11-12-2008, 01:40 PM
exactly what I'm lookin for. thanks a lot.

Can someone talk about D-lineman?

Specifically, I'd like to know how a highly touted prospect such as Marcus Spears could "bust" (not all would say that, but I will) what went wrong with him? Were there any red flags that could have told us this earlier? Or did he seem like an ideal 3-4 DE prospect.

hmm well i can talk about dlineman in general or would you rather have me talk about a specific kind of dlineman. i dont know a lot about spears so its hard for me to comment on him specifically. i can talk about 4-3 LE, RE, UT, NT or 3-4 NT, DE, whatever you want.

Thigamahjigee
11-12-2008, 02:05 PM
exactly what I'm lookin for. thanks a lot.

Can someone talk about D-lineman?

Specifically, I'd like to know how a highly touted prospect such as Marcus Spears could "bust" (not all would say that, but I will) what went wrong with him? Were there any red flags that could have told us this earlier? Or did he seem like an ideal 3-4 DE prospect.


To simplify it the best I can

4-3 DE: Constant QB pressure
4-3 DT: Being able to get a push/keeping lineman off backers.

3-4 DE: Unselfish. Hold containment in gaps and can provide a push with a 3 man rush.
3-4 NT: Hold ground on doubles/keep OL held at their position. Being able to get a yard in the backfield to disrupt a play.

Burns336
11-12-2008, 03:35 PM
To simplify it the best I can

4-3 DE: Constant QB pressure
4-3 DT: Being able to get a push/keeping lineman off backers.

3-4 DE: Unselfish. Hold containment in gaps and can provide a push with a 3 man rush.
3-4 NT: Hold ground on doubles/keep OL held at their position. Being able to get a yard in the backfield to disrupt a play.


Ok. Again. I am not ********. I know what the players do. I'm talking about how they are scouted, what people look for in their game, specifics, the things to watch them when they play as far as technique, footwork, balance, power, explosiveness, agility, depending on the position.

Burns336
11-12-2008, 03:36 PM
hmm well i can talk about dlineman in general or would you rather have me talk about a specific kind of dlineman. i dont know a lot about spears so its hard for me to comment on him specifically. i can talk about 4-3 LE, RE, UT, NT or 3-4 NT, DE, whatever you want.

yeah, I'd love to here what you have to say about 3-4 lineman.

thule
11-12-2008, 05:34 PM
It's times like these where I wish I was a mod

Burns336
11-12-2008, 06:44 PM
It's times like these where I wish I was a mod

You should be. Man up and take the job Thule!

Thigamahjigee
11-12-2008, 07:06 PM
Ok. Again. I am not ********. I know what the players do. I'm talking about how they are scouted, what people look for in their game, specifics, the things to watch them when they play as far as technique, footwork, balance, power, explosiveness, agility, depending on the position.


That's what we look for in scouting my man. I don't care about anything else if they can do what I listed. It's all that's really important. Something I love from my pass rushers though is a first step. When they have that lightning quick first step and they're already ahead of the OT, it's beautiful. That's going to effectively wear down an OT more throughout the game more then anything else.

Burns336
11-12-2008, 07:11 PM
That's what we look for in scouting my man. I don't care about anything else if they can do what I listed. It's all that's really important. Something I love from my pass rushers though is a first step. When they have that lightning quick first step and they're already ahead of the OT, it's beautiful. That's going to effectively wear down an OT more throughout the game more then anything else.

Like I've stated numerous time in this thread, No one is looking for "NT needs to command double teams"

This is a technique&combine discussion. Specific things you look for to determine how good a prospect is.

Believe me, I know "RB: Must run ball. Must score td's" --If that's the extent of your "scouting" than feel free not to enlighten me.

Thigamahjigee
11-12-2008, 07:21 PM
Like I've stated numerous time in this thread, No one is looking for "NT needs to command double teams"

This is a technique&combine discussion. Specific things you look for to determine how good a prospect is.

Believe me, I know "RB: Must run ball. Must score td's" --If that's the extent of your "scouting" than feel free not to enlighten me.

It's really that simple though to be honest. If a player gets his job done, he gets it done. Nothing matters at the end of the day. When I'm scouting a player though, the two things I always come back to is explosion and reaction. Why is that? It's because you can't really teach those things. Yes, you can tell a QB how to react to a blitz and all that, I know, but you can never teach how fast it goes on in his head and body. Explosion and reaction are two things that are really inside of every person which seperates the good and the great IMO. Every NFL LB can fit a whole and make a tackle. Who can recognize what's going on, explode out of the stance and to the ball, hit the blocker and make a play. That's the stuff you need to look for, and you aren't going to really find that at the combine. That's something that shows up in the film room.

renegade
11-12-2008, 07:24 PM
Well for me, something that I look for in a DE is the first step off the line, is it good or bad. Guys who can get good pressure always have good first steps. Trent Cole is lightning off the line and has been getting consistant pressure all season because of it.

Burns336
11-12-2008, 07:51 PM
It's really that simple though to be honest. If a player gets his job done, he gets it done. Nothing matters at the end of the day. When I'm scouting a player though, the two things I always come back to is explosion and reaction. Why is that? It's because you can't really teach those things. Yes, you can tell a QB how to react to a blitz and all that, I know, but you can never teach how fast it goes on in his head and body. Explosion and reaction are two things that are really inside of every person which seperates the good and the great IMO. Every NFL LB can fit a whole and make a tackle. Who can recognize what's going on, explode out of the stance and to the ball, hit the blocker and make a play. That's the stuff you need to look for, and you aren't going to really find that at the combine. That's something that shows up in the film room.

If it was that simple Ron Dayne would be god, Mike Wiliiams would be chasing Jerry Rice, Marcus Spears would be eating people for breakfast, and Robert Gallery would be a brick wall.

Mr. Stiller
11-12-2008, 08:12 PM
Dennis Dixon's website isn't up anymore but it gave you a scouts eye view of how they look at quarterbacks.

Thigamahjigee
11-12-2008, 08:23 PM
If it was that simple Ron Dayne would be god, Mike Wiliiams would be chasing Jerry Rice, Marcus Spears would be eating people for breakfast, and Robert Gallery would be a brick wall.


This is my mistake. I thought you were refering to scouting as far as any NFL player goes when I saw you talking about Spears. College prospects is a whole different story. When I look at them, I've got to think

a). How does their game translate?
b). Production? Is it from the scheme or from talent? Can he only do well in certain schemes/roles? Everydown player?
c). Can he fit on my team?
d). Does he have the character/personal quality and work ethic for NFL life?
e). Attacking mentality?
f). Body type translation
g). How quickly does he learn things? Can he process an NFL playbook?
h). Injuries, Risk/Reward

Then for certain positions each team will work it differently on what they are looking for, mainly surrounding the scheme.

Number 10
11-12-2008, 10:57 PM
Burns I'll give you something on DT and DE tomorrow.

Burns336
11-12-2008, 11:20 PM
Burns I'll give you something on DT and DE tomorrow.

Cool. Appreciate it.

Burns336
11-12-2008, 11:21 PM
This is my mistake. I thought you were refering to scouting as far as any NFL player goes when I saw you talking about Spears. College prospects is a whole different story. When I look at them, I've got to think

a). How does their game translate?
b). Production? Is it from the scheme or from talent? Can he only do well in certain schemes/roles? Everydown player?
c). Can he fit on my team?
d). Does he have the character/personal quality and work ethic for NFL life?
e). Attacking mentality?
f). Body type translation
g). How quickly does he learn things? Can he process an NFL playbook?
h). Injuries, Risk/Reward

Then for certain positions each team will work it differently on what they are looking for, mainly surrounding the scheme.

Thanks for the input, but you're still not hearing me.

If you look at the LT vs RT evaluation up above or the LB evaluation those are more of the types of analysis I'm looking for.

Number 10
11-13-2008, 07:27 PM
Alright on to the DTs

Obviously there is a significant difference in what schemes ask out of their interior defensive linemen but I am going to try to keep this as broad as possible. Before I watch a player in action, I look him up and down more so than any other position in football. One thing I know scouts look for in DTs is how big/solid his butt is. Sounds funny, but that is where the power comes from and I'll get into how vital that power is later on. Again, it may seem weird to you but these guys wear skin tight pants and if you can get a good close-up shot of his bottom half, you can really tell how much power he has. Do the legs jiggle or is it clear that they are rock-solid?

Now onto the action...the most important element of DT play is his use of leverage. If you get a guy that stands straight up out of his stance and exposes his numbers to the blocker, there is a good shot he'll be a non-factor. On the contrary, if you see a guy that is consistently playing with lower pads, he will most likely be a handful for anyone to handle. Ideally you want the butt as low as possible along with a locked back and locked arms when engaged. This is where the strong rear end comes into play. When initial contact is made, the strong base really allows the DT to at least hold his ground if proper leverage is being used. You want a DT to keep his feet moving, too many of them will make that initital contact and simply dig their cleats into the ground and try to overpower a blocker. If he can keep his feet chopping at all times, the chances of him getting off his block are increased greatly because offensive linemen generally have difficulty in staying balanced for more than a few seconds.

When it comes to the upper body and its usage, there are different ways to do it. Personally, I like the guys that give the punch and initially lock their arms on the blocker. Hand placement is very important, you want to have inside position. If a DT is playing lower and has inside position, he can virtually control any blocker no matter the weight difference. You want your DTs to have strong secondary pass rush moves as well. You'll notice that many of the pass rushing DTs will lock on with a blocker and then do their swim, rip....etc rather than starting the engagment off with a move like a DE would do.

DT really isn't a tough position to scout in my opinion. All of the technique I discussed however plays a second fiddle to effort and motor. If you have a defensive lineman that is playing as if he has a bees nest in his pants, the chances of him causing the disruption needed in the middle is increased vastly. Too many DTs will take plays off because they are either in poor shape or are overused by a coaching staff. Guys like Sedrick Ellis and Glenn Dorsey were top 10 picks not only because of their talent, but because they played with max-effort play in and play out.

Size wise, I don't have a specific preference. Shorter guys like Kelly Gregg and Casey Hampton have the edge in leverage but those guys tend to have trouble rushing the passer because they don't have long arms to avoid getting locked onto. The reason Albert Haynesworth is by far the best DT in football is no the size or the athleticism. At 6'5, he somehow always wins the leverage battles. When a guy that big and explosive is playing lower than interior linemen that are almost always shorter than him, he is simply impossible to handle.

Any questions I can answer, I'm around tonight.

renegade
11-13-2008, 07:46 PM
I'd like to say that leverage is EXTREMELY important to a DT and guys that know how to use it always turn out to be good. Two guys that use leverage extremely well are Mike Patterson and Kelly Gregg and that is how they are so good despite their lack of size. I know he is a DE but Micheal Strahan had a great understanding of how to use leverage, just as Reggie White did.

Burns336
11-14-2008, 05:24 PM
Thanks Number 10. Would +rep you but I need to spread it around.

Could you also hit 3-4 DE, NT? Or is NT essentially the same as DT, just bigger?

marshallb
11-15-2008, 06:48 PM
I'll give my thoughts on safety.
In scouting safeties, I look for a combination of what I look for in LBs and CBs. How quickly does he get in and out of his backpedal? How quickly does he read run or pass?(I like safeties that can get up and help out in the running game)How well does he turn his hips? How well does he read the quarterbacks eyes? How is he at planting and making a play? Those are probably the biggest questions I ask myself when I am scouting a safety. I like my safeties to be somewhere around 6'1"ish 215ish, but that isn't a big factor, as there are plenty of small safeties in the league ie. Reed, Sanders, Polamalu, etc. For me a safety has to be a sure tackler, as he is the last line of defense. There is also no one specific drill I watch at workouts, either. Is there anything else you would like to know?

giantsfan
11-15-2008, 07:22 PM
exactly what I'm lookin for. thanks a lot.

Can someone talk about D-lineman?

Specifically, I'd like to know how a highly touted prospect such as Marcus Spears could "bust" (not all would say that, but I will) what went wrong with him? Were there any red flags that could have told us this earlier? Or did he seem like an ideal 3-4 DE prospect.

I haven't focused much on marcus because he's a damn cowboy and he's not good enough to worry me. He just plays really tall and gets stood up off the snap whenever we play him so i'm going to guess he wasn't that explosive off the ball coming out, don't really remember wasn't paying too much attention to DTs that year. Now that could be very well be a mental thing or it could just be that he doesn't have that nasty reaction time that some of these great athletes do.

On the line on your standard play running play whoever gets into the neutral zone first and is able to stand the guy opposite them up will win the battle, it's just a matter of not quitting if you can do that consistently.

Now how well you use your hands to keep offensive lineman from locking in your body is also huge because if you can use your arms to prevent the other guy from getting a good grip on you you'll be much more likely to be able to do what you want with the guy. Using your hands well also has to do with how you try and set up the other guy, meaning where you try to push him what position you're trying to get him so that you can then either break off from him to pursue the run, or blast by him to get through the line and make a play.

What I look for in lineman is that initial burst and whether they stay low out of it to get the leverage advantage, and then whether they just try and out beast people or whether they're smart and try and set the guy up and then once they know they have an opening beast through it. Now this is tough to see on a TV angle unless you really focus in and have a big screen or get better angles.

Edit:
This about Dline play in general, edge rushers are very different because they have the whole outside to play with so they can afford to take the play out wide when rushing the passer if their initial move doesn't work, so for them it's not about setting guys up quite as much as it is for guys who play inside of the OT's outside shoulder.

giantsfan
11-15-2008, 07:24 PM
That's what we look for in scouting my man. I don't care about anything else if they can do what I listed. It's all that's really important. Something I love from my pass rushers though is a first step. When they have that lightning quick first step and they're already ahead of the OT, it's beautiful. That's going to effectively wear down an OT more throughout the game more then anything else.

Not if a guy's consistently coming out high and not using his hands to set the lineman up after because he won't beat him to the edge enough to get by every play.

Burns336
11-15-2008, 08:20 PM
When evaluating a DB, how can you tell if they have good hips or not? Is it just something you recognize after being able to see the good and bad over and over again?

marshallb
11-15-2008, 10:17 PM
When evaluating a DB, how can you tell if they have good hips or not? Is it just something you recognize after being able to see the good and bad over and over again?

hmmm...that's kind of a tough one, I can kind of tell, because that is where I play, but one thing to look for is to watch how many steps they take when they make their turn, if they take any unnecesary steps, then that's not good. Another thing is watch how quick their upper body turns, if that turns slow, it is an indicator of bad hips. Hope that helps, it kind of is also a bit of just seeing the good and the bad, it kind of will take time.

junior2430
11-20-2008, 07:38 PM
Watch as much tape as you can find on guys like Champ Bailey or Nnamdi Asamougha. Watch how quick the can flip their hips out of their back pedal. Watch how high they are during the back pedal. You want a guy that will stay low. If he is too high, he loses explosion if he needs to plant and go.
Not an expert by any means, but just a couple of things I look for when watching CB's.

Burns336
11-20-2008, 07:52 PM
thanks. good stuff from everyone.

marshallb
11-20-2008, 09:34 PM
Watch as much tape as you can find on guys like Champ Bailey or Nnamdi Asamougha. Watch how quick the can flip their hips out of their back pedal. Watch how high they are during the back pedal. You want a guy that will stay low. If he is too high, he loses explosion if he needs to plant and go. Not an expert by any means, but just a couple of things I look for when watching CB's.

I can't believe I didn't include that in my part about the hips.

marshallb
11-20-2008, 09:37 PM
thanks. good stuff from everyone.

no problem, do you have any more questions or things that you would like help on?

Mr. Offseason
11-21-2008, 02:53 PM
yeah, I'd love to here what you have to say about 3-4 lineman.

im really sorry i took this long to get around to this, but ive been working on 2 term papers and i have finals coming up, i finally have some free time now that its friday though and im done with class. again, i apologize.

alright, ill do 3-4 DE's first.

as im sure you know 3-4 DE's are usually pretty big (280-300 pounds is usually a common weight) and that is because they have to be good versus the run. now, since they are about the size of a UT in a 4-3 they have similar things they have to do well, and the number one thing for just about any defensive lineman is playing with good leverage. since these guys tend to be pretty big (kind of like DT's) it is very important that they make a bigger effort to do that.

also, since they are responsible for controlling 2 gaps, i think their ability to disengage and engage the ball carrier is very important. to see how good they are at this look at how well they use their hands to keep the OT from controlling them. that may sound kind of generic, but it is kind of hard to explain. some des are strong enough to use a rip move and kind of toss their man to the side and also some guys are good at slapping the ot's hands away and then using quickness to close on the ball carrier. with 3-4 DE's i think it is usually more of a rip move. but with good leverage, good hand usage and good release abilities (from blocks) 3-4 DE's can be very effective versus the run.

as far as pass rushing... the defensive lineman dont have that burden placed on them like DL's in a 4-3 do. the DE's have higher expectations than the NT, but they still arent very high. again, as im sure you know, the burden is placed on the blitzing linebackers to create pressure, but if they come from the outside it is up to the de's to collapse the pocket (kind of like dt's in a 4-3). so it comes back to leverage again. not many of these guys will beat OT's to the outside, so usually they rely on bull-rushing to collapse the pocket. that is all leverage, and then once you think you have a lane they need to be able to rip or use their hands to disengage and close on the QB.

so when i look at 3-4 DE's i really focus on first, how well they play with leverage, 2nd, how good they are at using their hands, and 3rd how well they disengage from blocks. it may sound kind of vague, but once you watch some guys who do these things well i think it will make more sense.

as far as the NT's, i think it is significantly simpler. again, you know they are run stuffers and really have no other purpose than to control the 2 inside gaps. they are one dimensional guys and really have little responsibility for pass rushing. again, this means LEVERAGE is extremely important. big guys like this can be the difference between an average defense and a great defense sometimes, and it has to do with how well they stand up to double teams. if they use good leverage and move their feet well they will be able to stand up to double teams all day long (these guys usually have very impressive strength). since they are very strong the problem usually comes with negating that with poor technique, and letting the OL get under their pads and allowing them to clear them out and make a good hole. so, if they play with good leverage (sorry i know i sound like a broken record but it really is as important as anything when youre talking about run defense) that is a huge plus.

in addition, you need to check out how they do conditioning wise. this is one of terrence cody's main issues and it is common with guys this big. because as the game wears on they will get tired because they are getting doubled and are responsible for so much in the middle of the defense. if they are well conditioned they will continue to play with good technique at the end of the game (assuming they are subbed in and out correctly) just like they did at the beginning. but if they dont have any gas left in the tank they will start to get sloppy technique-wise, and the easiest way to catch this is by seeing them start to play high and (i know, one more time) lose the leverage battle to the interior offensive lineman. so, definately watch for that in 3-4 NT's.

i could talk about pass rushing here, but they really have no responsibilities. they are useful for collapsing the pocket, but rarely do they end up with a sack (look at casey hampton, he rarely gets a sack. that is by design) and that is because they are usually still doubled teamed on pass plays.

so with NT's you need to look at how well they use their leverage to clog the 2 inside gaps and you also need to keep an eye on their conditioning. it can be tough to identify technique with these guys, but once you watch some of the good ones do it it will be easier to identify. it can be hard to explain also.

i feel like that was really vague, and i also apologize for taking so long to do this, but i hope that helped. if you want me to try to elaborate on other things i can do my best to answer your questions.

-Mr. Offseason

Mr. Offseason
11-21-2008, 03:02 PM
thanks for the stuff on DB's guys, that is helpful.

-Mr. Offseason

Iamcanadian
11-22-2008, 12:54 AM
I suggest you buy a draft magazine. They outline very clearly exactly what you look for at each position. Pro Football Writers has already put out an early magazine on this year's prospects, it has been on the stands for some time now. It has an excellent outline for each position but there is no way I'm going to type it all here. Just way too long.

marshallb
11-22-2008, 10:47 AM
I suggest you buy a draft magazine. They outline very clearly exactly what you look for at each position. Pro Football Writers has already put out an early magazine on this year's prospects, it has been on the stands for some time now. It has an excellent outline for each position but there is no way I'm going to type it all here. Just way too long.

What other magazines do that? A lot of the ones I have read don't.