The League

Shawn Zobel
Draft Guru

Shawn Zobel

The founder and editor of Draft Headquarters.com

A piece of the puzzle

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The NFL scouting combine is just one part of what I like to call the NFL draft "process."

Between the season, the Senior Bowl, the combine, and the pro days, each section has its own place in how a team evaluates a player.

When people ask how I evaluate and grade a player, I tell them that I look at it this way:
70% - Film study, watching the player in games
15% - Senior Bowl, evaluating the player against the top competition in the country, and while they are in pads, they are in simulated situations in one-on-one matchups.
10% - Combine, players in spandex performing drills on the field for evaluators to watch. The best way to see a player's athleticism. Instincts, intelligence, and playmaking skills are hard to evaluate in this environment.
5% - Pro Day, typically, I don't use much information from a pro day unless a player wasn't able to perform at the combine (or wasn't invited), or their stats at the pro day are far different from the ones at the combine.

The combine is the most overrated of the four sections of evaluating a player. Some teams value timed speed and athleticism (Oakland) higher than others, and as a result, do not have success (the Raiders own a top-ten pick for the eighth straight year). The key to using the combine grades is to find the perfect equilibrium in combining the evaluations of all four events.

By Shawn Zobel  |  February 25, 2010; 12:05 AM ET  | Category:  Draft , NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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