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Thursday September 15th 2011

Posts Tagged ‘intangibles’

Some Quick Thoughts on the NFL Scouting Combine and Measurables Vs. Intangibles

Cam Newton is currently leading all combine participants in the intangible known as “swagger”

The NFL Scouting Combine has been airing for the past few days on NFL Network. I’m always fascinated by the process of evaluating these college football players who are competing to impress NFL personnel into drafting the player early thereby ensuring a significant payday. After all, it’s dolla dolla bill, y’all. What fascinates me about the combine and also the draft are the same reasons my favorite part of the Madden NFL games is always the offseason portion. It’s building a team through player evaluation that gets my high motor going.

Cliches abound at the draft. It’s what sport, and I guess life, fall back on. Two terms I hear thrown around a lot are measurables and intangibles. I’m not saying there’s no value in those terms because there is. I’m saying they’re cliched because people throw the terms around a lot. Sunday at the combine was the day the quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers were evaluated on the field, and I took special notice of how two wide receivers were being analyzed by the NFL Network crew. On most draft boards the two highest-rated receivers are A.J. Green and Julio Jones. From what I’ve seen on the field and yesterday in the drills I understand why those two are the highest rated. They are both outstanding athletes, although Julio Jones stood way out from Green in the drills yesterday. He “jumped out of the gym” as one NFL Network analyst put it. (I think it was Rich Eisen.) He did jump out of the gym. You saw his natural athletic ability in a measurable and impressive way. To be honest he kind of put Green and the other wide receivers to shame. These guys aren’t compared solely on the basis of who has the fastest 40 yard dash time or who broad jumps the furthest, though. That would be ridiculous. Mike Mayock does a good job of guiding the discussion when the people on set are talking about players. He often says things like, “go back to the tape.” He’s right, because if you drafted players on paper then Julio Jones would be the highest receiver taken, no question. The problem is I still think A.J Green is a better receiver and a better pro prospect. You have to go back to the tape to see the difference in these players, though. (more…)

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