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How do NFL Teams Find the Right Players?

NFL Teams

The draft is one of the most important events in the NFL calendar. Drafting the right players in the right positions can boost a team and make it much more competitive. As well as introducing new talent into the roster, the draft gives teams an opportunity to increase their depth. This gives them plenty of options, especially when injury strikes.

If a team drafts a player in the first round, the chances are that player will have a higher starting percentage than drafts in later rounds and is more likely to stay with the team for longer. Below is a look at how successful NFL teams focus on drafting players and how they analyze prospects and whether the player would be a good fit for the team.

The emphasis on scouting in the NFL

Scouting for an NFL team is a responsible job. To play in the NFL is to play football at the highest level, and scouting is all about determining which players have the skills and the athleticism to succeed in the NFL and to help their side to glory on the gridiron.

Naturally, players can’t (and shouldn’t) just hire any old player who can throw a football, run with it or make a tackle. As well as evaluating a players’ strengths, weaknesses, skill set and how they might fit into the team, scouting entails looking at a player’s work ethic, their character and their leadership skills to determine whether they align with the club’s culture and values.

Scouting in the NFL is as much about game planning as finding compatible players. Scouts will analyze the strengths and weaknesses of opposing teams. They can then relay this valuable insight to coaches, who can then develop teams and strategies to neutralize opponents’ strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

Identifying the right players for the club

As serious as the NFL draft is for clubs, it’s exciting for fans, who are eager to see who could be playing for their favorite team(s) when the new season starts. The NFL draft odds are carefully calculated before the event as analysts aim to work out which players will be a good fit for each team. Just like the NFL teams form a drafting strategy, sports bettors must devise their betting strategy. Taking a look at the NFL draft odds is an important part of that.

But how do scouts find the right players? Here are some of their main strategies.

Analysis of game films

As you might expect, teams must study footage of players, either college or existing pro players, to identify and evaluate their skills, strengths and weaknesses. They also use the footage to evaluate the players’ speed, athleticism, agility and strength.

When it comes to scouting and evaluating talent of players from schools, scouts have quick access to footage because of the digitization of tape. Within a day or two, the NFL can have received the tape from the school and placed it in the hands of teams, who can then introduce it into their own computer system. Scouts can then view it on laptops or tablets.

In-person visits

Although digitization makes it less necessary for scouts to attend games in person, scouts may still go to see what’s out there or to evaluate a player the club is already interested in. While there, they may also speak to coaches and other team staff to gain a picture of a player’s character or work ethic.

Checks on a player don’t just stop at a few words with a coach, though. If a player is a potential draft pick or free agent signing, NFL teams will conduct background checks to form a picture of their character, legal history and general suitability for the team.

Psychological testing

Some teams will conduct psychological tests to gauge whether a player could be a good fit for the team. These tests assess the player’s personality, mental toughness and their ability to cope with pressure. All important for performing at the high level of the NFL.

Data analysis

NFL teams use data analysis to evaluate players’ performance, detect trends and make informed decisions about whether to acquire a player or otherwise. The analysis enables them to spot undervalued positions and to identify any areas where they need reinforcements.

Combine testing

To look for college players who could join the NFL, the organization holds an annual event called the NFL Combine. Players perform mental and physical tests, and teams use the results to analyze players’ athletic ability and see if they might be a good fit for the team.

The NFL draft is a major event in the NFL calendar and gives teams the opportunity to strengthen their roster and their performance in the league. Scouting is a responsible task that helps them to identify players who fit in well with the club as well as perform well on the gridiron.

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