Non-Playing Things That Can Help/Hurt a NFL Prospect
True in the NFL it is all about can you play the game at a high level and it is about the film and as they always say “the eye in the sky can’t tell a lie” but there are other factors that make up a player draft stock that has nothing to do with your skill as a player. There are a lot of things that are out of players control but there are many that it comes down to choices.
Effort/Hustle – Going 100% on every play doesn’t have anything to do skill. Having a high motor and giving hustle and effort on every play is only a positive and is something that a player can control. Remember scouts and coaches and not just watching highlight tapes, they are watching full games to see what you do on every snap.
Football IQ – Film study, knowledge of your opponent, what are his tendencies, knowledge of your scheme and the purpose of each play, knowledge of the rules, all of these things it doesn’t matter how athletically gifted you are as a player.
Accepting Coaching – Remember scouts are going to talk to coaches about prospects, from the head coach down to the position coaches and one thing coaches are going to is be honest with the scouts because coaches know that they are only as good as their word when it comes to what they tell the scouts. So if the prospect will accept coaching, willing to do what the coaches ask of him are all things that a prospect has control over.
Failed Drug Test – As a player you might not think that this is a big deal but it is something that can hurt you with NFL teams and is something that as player you have control over.
Domestic Violence/ Violence against Women – There are many documented cases that has affected guys draft status including a few years ago with running back Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals). Even with this happening a few years ago many teams took him off their draft board and he dropped a lot further in the draft then many people had him graded on film.
Association – When NFL teams are doing their due diligence investigating player’s back-grounds they are interested in who the player hangs with off the field and do any of these people present red flags. They are wondering if by associating with these people will the player be affected to making some bad decisions?
Social Media – Monitoring and reviewing player’s social media has become a big time in the recent years. Scouts are looking to see what the prospect is posting on these platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram). They are looking for is the player posting about football? Some of the red flags they are looking for is the prospect posting about Guns, Violence, Drugs, Alcohol, etc.?
Work Ethic – As a prospect are you a hard worker in the weight room, on the practice field, in the class room. Thing is one thing that a prospect can control. One of the most important resource to a NFL scout is the weight room coach or the strength and conditioning coach. Scouts are going to ask does this prospect show up for work outs, does he do extra, do you have to push him to give effort? All things that can be controlled.
Medical – This is one that a prospect doesn’t have much control over, in football injuries happen, and they do have an effect on prospect draft grade. What a prospect does have is when the injury does happen how hard to they attack the rehab, also what are you doing as far as injury prevention?