After reading/hearing about the criticism of the Redskins scouting department from the media about how Mike Shanahan has not made any changes to the team's scouting department since he came in I did a bit of reading about how it can be improved. Now I have no idea how the Redskins scouting department works, their process, structure or any changes made by Mike Shanahan except that he did sign up the team for the scouting cooperative network BLESTO.
I came across an interesting article today based on an ESPN NFL draft confidential special by Bill Parcells in 2011. Ill do a shorter synopsis about what the article talks about as it is a bit long.
(Apologies if this has already been posted)
The article talks about how scouting/drafting college football prospects is an inexact science because the process is undefined leading to poor results. I thought it was pretty interesting how it incorporates and applies best practice methodologies from other industries. The initial concept about a poor scouting process is:
Undefined Processes + Process Variation = Poor Results
The article goes into how an NFL team can improve their scouting department by implementing a good scouting process by following these steps:
- Defines specifically in writing what the team values in players.
- Defines which settings scouts can use to grade players.
- Clearly defines a grading system.
- Uses a system that incorporates all skills and techniques that a team wants to see from its prospects into the grading system.
- Prioritizes the importance of those skills and techniques with a weighted score the contributes to the overall evaluation.
- Scores players as only meeting or not meeting expectations of those scoring criteria rather than using a highly subjective number system.
- Athletic skills (speed, flexibility, strength, agility, etc.)
- Position-specific techniques (pad level, routes, blocking, etc.)
- Conceptual knowledge of the game (vision, pocket presence, etc.)