Evaluating prospects for the NFL draft should be a humbling undertaking. You are trying to predict something that by its very nature is unpredictable. You can get everything right in what you are saying at the time and still be wrong because something completely unforeseen happens in the player’s career. Sometimes it’s as simple as a great player going to the wrong team, the wrong scheme or the wrong coaching staff.
Yet despite the constant failures that come with being a draft analyst, there are plenty of people who will try to teach you how to scout. As if there is some formula that works perfectly.
Michael Lombardi is one of those people. Recently Lombardi wrote his seven rules to finding a franchise quarterback on the Ringer. The article primarily focuses on mental attributes and the aesthetics. Most of what Lombardi said sounds great until you realize it can’t actually be used to proactively identify franchise quarterbacks. It relies on catchphrases and tries to examine elements of the person rather than the player.
In the NFL we tend to use winning as evidence for everything. The “winner mentality” or “leadership” monikers are fit retroactively based on how successful each quarterback’s team is. No quarterback who plays on losing teams is considered a great leader because we don’t actually evaluate leadership, we evaluate winning and use it as evidence for leadership. It’s why DeShaun Watson is getting this year’s “great leader” tag.
Aaron Rodgers is a leader. His team always makes the playoffs so he’s a leader. It doesn’t matter that former teammates have called him a bad leader once they had departed Wisconsin. Continue reading
This is a sample chapter from this year’s quarterback catalogue. You can pre-order your pdf copy of the book here.
The draft is a repetitive entity. Every draft process is engulfed in narratives that parallel previous years while teams repeat terms and prospects fall into the same categories. It can become monotonous, especially when it comes to coaches and GMs who transparently push the importance of character or integrity while pushing the Joe Mixons and Tyreek Hills up their boards.
Every once in a while something intriguing comes along. DeShone Kizer fits that description this year.
Kizer was a quarterback at Notre Dame for the past two years. He played in 25 games before leaving for the NFL at 21 years of age. On the whole Kizer’s play in college was uneven. He showed off the level of inconsistency that most college quarterbacks show off, the few exceptions are either star prospects or set up in simplistic offenses that don’t stress their whole skill sets.
Diverging traits are what make Kizer intriguing. Continue reading
This is the time of year when you hear about what a player can be taught. You can’t teach speed, but you can teach route running. You can’t teach size, but you can teach hand placement. You can’t teach arm strength, but you can teach footwork.
Coaches themselves often drive these points home. It’s the kind of confidence that comes from making it to the top positions in your profession. The best coaches continue to develop all players they draft once they become professionals. The best coaches also understand that they can only change so much.
Players generally don’t change that much. You can teach a receiver to run better routes but it’s a rare exception when a guy goes from running mechanical routes and relying on screen passes to a receiver who perfectly times his breaks and deceives defenders with subtle movements. Developing a receiver is a lot easier than developing a quarterback. Even if a receiver isn’t good enough to start he’ll still have a chance to get on the field during the regular season. Unless a quarterback is good enough to start, he’s not getting any real development snaps. Continue reading
On Sunday the 30th of April, the Pre-Snap Reads Quarterback Catalogue 2017 will publish. That is immediately after the NFL draft.
Every quarterback who threw at least 200 passes in the 2016 season was included in the book’s charting. 17,110 passes were charted for the 33 quarterbacks who qualified. Tony Romo, Jimmy Garoppolo and Mike Glennon didn’t have enough pass attempts to qualify for the charting numbers but each player was given his own chapter of analysis ahead of the 2017 season.
Interceptable passes, failed receptions, accuracy percentages and sack analysis all return from last year’s book. Created receptions, play action analysis, depth of throw analysis, screen analysis and YAC analysis have been added.
Accuracy percentage is now broken down to every level of the field and created receptions were added to account for the positive plays receivers made, offsetting the negative sides that come in failed receptions.
The charting results are broken down into season-long numbers and rate stats.
You can pre-order your pdf copy of the book for $19.99 by clicking the link below. Payments are processed through paypal but you do not have to pay with paypal nor do you have to have a paypal account to purchase. The book will be emailed to you immediately on its release.