SCOUTURF: HOW WE GRADE

September 9, 2015

 

With College Football having kicked off this week, you will soon start seeing our Draft section of our website ramping up with in-depth scouting reports for draft-eligible players at different position groups. The unique thing about ScouTurf is we give an overall grade for a player based on different facets that comprise what is important to any particular position. You can also check out our Preseason 2016 Big Board, as well as our Preseason 2016 Mock Draft Gallery

 

Below you will see the formulas we use for each position group, and the questions we ask ourselves when assigning a grade for specific attributes when we watch film. The number to the side of the colon for each category is the maximum score that can be given for that specific trait, and please keep in mind that when we are assigning grades, we are comparing the prospect to the very best player at that trait in the NFL, not in college.

 

So for example, when calculating a grade for Football IQ for a QB, we would compare the prospect's Football IQ to a Peyton Manning and not Connor Cook.  Although this will lower their OVR score (you won't be seeing Joey Bosa at a 98 OVR, sorry), it makes it more accurate to forecast where the player will land when inserted into the depth chart of the team that drafted them.

 

QB

BALL PLACEMENT: 20

Does he lead his receivers on slants? Can he accurately place balls outside the numbers? Does he hit his targets on deep balls?

ARM STRENGTH: 15

How fast can he get the ball on a rope from A to B? How tight is his spiral? Is the ball catchable for the receiver? Can he throw at different speeds? Does the ball ever seem to just hang in the air?

POCKET AWARENESS: 10

Does he step up into the pocket? Does he escape clean pockets too early? Does he go through his check downs? Does he stare down receivers? Can he anticipate throws before wide receivers make their breaks?

FOOTBALL IQ: 10

Is he making the correct decisions on which receiver to throw to? Is he mentally tough enough to bounce back from bad plays? Can he mentally “out-duel” the defense with audibles and in-game adjustments? Does he put in extra time in the film room?

RELEASE: 10

How quickly does he get the ball out of his hand? How is his delivery technique? Is the QB taking too many unnecessary sacks? How is the QB’s footwork and mechanics?

BALL SECURITY: 5

Does the QB throw too many interceptions? Is he lax with the ball in the pocket or on the run, leading to fumbles? Will he throw the ball away and live to play another down, or will he force it into double coverage?

LEADERSHIP: 5

Is he a captain? Does he take control of the huddle? When he talks, do the players listen?

MOBILITY: 5

Can the QB escape a pass rush when plays break down? Can he make a defender miss if needed? How good is he at bootlegs and throwing on the run?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Does the QB look the part? Can he see above the offensive lineman? Does he look like Cam Newton or Johnny Manziel?

TOUGHNESS/INJURY: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury?

PRO STYLE?: 5

Can he take snaps from under center? Is he putting up ridiculous numbers from a spread? All or nothing - 0 or 5.

 

RB

SPEED: 10

Can he take it to the house on any given play? Is he gone once he hits the second level? 

ACCELERATION: 10

How fast can he go from 0 to 60? Does he look like he's playing on asphalt or on mud?

POWER: 10

Does the RB relish contact? Can he truck through arm tackles and physically impose his will on the opposition? Does he fight for extra yards after contact?

ELUSIVENESS: 10

Would he be a flag football MVP? Can he make defenders miss with jukes, cuts and spins? Do his teammates and fans call him "the human joystick?"

VISION: 10

Is he finding the right holes? Will he cut it back if something else opens up? Does he run straight into the pile? Is the RB a patient runner? Will he let his blocking develop?

RECEIVING: 10

Can he catch the ball out of the backfield? Is he a dynamic threat with the ball in his hands out in space?

PASS PROTECTION: 10

An increasingly important trait for NFL RBs. Can he pick up pass rushers and protect his QB?

BALL SECURITY: 10

How often does he put the ball on the ground? Will he cover up with both hands when taking contact?

PAD LEVEL: 5

Is he running too high or is he getting the right leverage when hitting the hole? Can he drive for extra yards using his legs?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Is he the first one off the bus? Does he look like Adrian Peterson or Darren Sproles?

TOUGHNESS/INJURY: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

 

WR

CATCHING: 20

Does the WR lack concentration? Does he drop easy balls? Will he try to run before he catches it? How soft are his hands? Is he the player you rely on for a big 3rd down & long conversion?

ROUTE RUNNING: 15 

How extensive is the WR’s route tree? How crisp are his cuts? Do DBs tend to lose track of the WR? Does he just always seem to be open? Can he play the X, Y, and Z positions or does he lack versatility?

SPEED: 10

Can the WR take the top off the defense? Will he take it the distance and outrun tacklers?

ACCELERATION: 10

Is the receiver good out in space? How fast can he go from 0 to 60?

JUMPING: 5

Can he get up and win a 50/50 ball? What is his vertical?

CATCHING IN TRAFFIC: 5

Can the receivers sift through traffic and make the play? Does he get alligator arms going across the middle? Will he catch the ball at all costs?

SPECTACULAR CATCH: 5

Can he make the jaw-dropping play that most humans can only dream of?

RELEASE: 5

Can he get off press coverage? How quickly does he get off the line of scrimmage?

RED ZONE THREAT: 5

Is the WR a TD machine? Is he the guy you go to when you need 6? Can he go up and get the goal line fade? If not, can he catch a quick strike and make a guy miss 1v1 near the goal line?

RUN BLOCKING: 5

Is he willing to get his hands dirty and block on running plays?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Does he look like Megatron or Travis Labhart? Does he have long arms/wide catch radius?

TOUGHNESS/INJURY: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

 

TE

CATCHING: 20

Does the TE lack concentration? Does he drop easy balls? Will he try to run before he catches it? How soft are his hands? Is he the player you rely on for a big 3rd down & long conversion?

RUN BLOCKING: 15

Is he willing to get his hands dirty and block on running plays?

PASS BLOCKING: 15

Is he basically a 6th offensive lineman on the field?

ROUTE RUNNING: 15 

Do LBs or nickel backs tend to lose track of the TE? Does he just always seem to be open? 

SPEED: 10

Is the TE basically like a beefed -up WR? Will he take it the distance and outrun tacklers?

ATHLETICISM: 5

Is the TE just a tall dude who can semi-catch and block, or can he make people miss?

RED ZONE THREAT: 5

Is the TE a TD machine? Is he the guy you go to when you need 6? Can he go up and get the goal line fade?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Does he look like Rob Gronkowski or Jordan Reed? Does he have long arms/wide catch radius?

TOUGHNESS/INJURY: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

 

OL

STRENGTH: 15

Does he drive offensive lineman back? Can he drop an anchor on pass pro? Does he get moved easily? Does he constantly knock defenders on their ass?

ATHLETICISM: 10

Is he just a big guy playing football or is he an athlete playing football? How quickly can he get out into the flat on a screen pass?

PASS BLOCKING: 10

Does he give up a lot of sacks? Is he always getting caught for holds? How is his footwork?

RUN BLOCKING: 10

Does he create running lanes so big a mack truck can drive through? Can he move players off the ball during rushing plays?

MEAN STREAK: 10

Does he have some nasty to his game? Does he want to hit every single thing that moves? Will he drive people into the earth’s mantle?

VS. POWER?: 10

Does the player struggle vs. bull rushes, forklifts, and pure power?

VS. SPEED?: 10

Does the player neutralize speed rushers? Can he draw good “benders” wide of the pocket? Can he counter spin/rip/swim moves with ease?

FOOTBALL IQ: 5

Is the player disciplined? Does he cause a lot of penalties/false starts? Does he stick to his assignments? Will he adjust to his opponent during the game? How well does he work with the other 4 guys on the line passing off rushers?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Does he look like Tyron Smith or Andre Smith? Tall enough? Too heavy? Too light?

TOUGHNESS/INJURY: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

PRO STYLE?: 5

Do they run a spread or run-option offense? Is it difficult to translate his game to the NFL game? All or nothing - 0 or 5.

 

DE/DT/EDGE

STRENGTH: 10 

Can the player push back a 300+ pound body? Is he stout at the point of attack?

ATHLETICISM: 10

Is he just a big guy playing football or is he an athlete playing football? If asked, could the player drop back in coverage or spy a QB? Can he get an occasional interception here or there?

PASS RUSHING: 10

Is the player a sack artist? Is he constantly getting pressures or hits on the QB? Is he always providing penetration in the backfield?

RUN STUFFING: 10

Can the player set the edge on the outside? Does he constantly clog the middle? Does he have a nose to sniff out the ball-carrier? Does he get TFLs regularly?

BLOCK SHEDDING: 10

Can the DL consistently get off his blocks? Can he break through double teams from time to time?

MOTOR: 10

Does he take plays off? Will he chase down a RB 15 yards downfield? Does he quit on plays?

FINESSE MOVES: 5

Can he beat the opposition with speed and "bend?" Does he have an arsenal of spin/rip/swim moves?

POWER MOVES: 5

Can the player win with sheer force? Does he have an arsenal of bull rush/forklift moves?

FOOTBALL IQ: 5

Is the player constantly getting fooled by play action? Is he executing his pre-snap assignment? Is he making in-game adjustments based on the strength of the opposing OL? Is the player scheme diverse (3-4, 4-3 etc).

TACKLING: 5

Does the player wrap up consistently? Exhibit good tackling technique?

HIT POWER: 5

Does the player cause a lot of forced fumbles? Does he use the proverbial “Hit Stick?” Do ball carriers tend to stay down for just an extra few seconds after getting hit?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Is he the first one off the bus? Does he look like JJ Watt or Terrance Knighton?

INJURY/TOUGHNESS: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

 

LB

TACKLING: 15

Does the player wrap up consistently? Demonstrate good tackling technique?

SPEED: 10

How quickly can the linebacker close on the ball-carrier? Can he keep up with even the fastest TEs and slot receivers in coverage?

FOOTBALL IQ: 10

Does he communicate effectively pre-snap and get his teammates in position? Is he tactically aware on the field? Is the player scheme diverse (3-4, 4-3 etc)?

PASS COVERAGE: 10

Could the LB drop back in coverage or spy a QB? Does he get an occasional interception here or there? Can he cover sideline to sideline?

BLITZING: 10

Is the player a sack artist? Is he constantly getting pressures or hits on the QB? Is he always providing penetration in the backfield? How well can he disguise the blitz?

PURSUIT: 10

Does the player take the appropriate angles when tracking down the ballcarrier? Does he shoot the appropriate gaps? Is he constantly getting caught out of position?

HIT POWER: 10

Does the player cause a lot of forced fumbles? Does he use the proverbial “Hit Stick?” Do ball carriers tend to stay down for just an extra few seconds after getting hit?

BLOCK SHEDDING: 5

Can the LB consistently get off his blocks? Can he fight through traffic?

LEADERSHIP: 5

Is the LB a defensive captain? Does he control play-calling? Do his teammates look up to him?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Is he the first one off the bus? Does he look like Patrick Willis or Chris Borland?

INJURY/TOUGHNESS: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

 

CB

Speed: 15

Can he keep toe-to-toe with the fastest receivers? Is he constant getting toasted over the top? Does he have the acceleration to recover if he loses a step?

Man Coverage: 10

Can the player stay with his man in 1 v 1 coverage?

Zone Coverage: 10

Does the player read the game and close on his assignment quickly?

Press Coverage: 10

Can the CB effectively jam the receiver at the line? Is he physical enough to keep up with taller, stronger receivers?

Ballhawking: 10

Does the player consistently generate interceptions or passes defensed? How good are his hands? Could he play WR if given an opportunity?

Football IQ: 10

Does the CB draw a lot of pass interference or defensive holding penalties? Does he turn his head around and find the ball? Is he frequently making mental errors? Is he constantly putting himself in position to make plays?

Hips: 5

How stiff are his hips? Does he turn like a ship or can he flip at a moment’s notice?

Tackling: 5

Is the CB a willing tackler? Can he be an asset in run support? Does he attack the ball when making a tackle?

Blitzing: 5

Can the player blitz from the outside? Will he get an occasional sack or pressure here and there? How well can he disguise the blitz?

Versatility: 5

Does the CB stay and lock down one side of the field, or can he play left, right and slot corner?

Maturity: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

Physical Make-Up: 5

Can he hold up vs. taller, more physical WRs? Does he look like Richard Sherman or Javier Arenas?

Injury/Toughness: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

 

S

SPEED: 15

How quickly can he close on ball-carriers? Can he cover half the field by himself? Does he have the acceleration to recover if he loses a step?

FOOTBALL IQ: 15

How tactically aware is the safety? How quickly can he diagnose plays? Is he constantly putting himself in position to make plays?

TACKLING: 10

Is the S a willing tackler? Can he be an asset on run support? Does he attack the ball when making a tackle?

COVERAGE ABILITY: 10

Can the player pick up the correct WRs in coverage? Is he often responsible for busted coverages that lead to big gains? Can he step up and  “erase” bad plays by his teammates?

BALLHAWKING: 10

Does the player consistently generate interceptions or passes defensed? How good are his hands? 

HIT POWER: 10

Does the player cause a lot of forced fumbles? Does he use the proverbial “Hit Stick?” Do ball carriers tend to stay down for just an extra few seconds after getting hit?

PURSUIT: 10

Does the player take the appropriate angles when tracking down the ballcarrier? Is he constantly getting caught out of position, giving up explosive plays?

BLITZING: 5

Can the player blitz from the outside? Will he get an occasional sack or pressure here and there? How well can he disguise the blitz?

MATURITY: 5

Trouble off the field or model citizen? Does he eat, sleep and breathe football?

PHYSICAL MAKE-UP: 5

Does he look like Jonathan Cyprien or Jimmie Ward?

INJURY/TOUGHNESS: 5

Is the player injury prone? Does he play through injury? History of soft tissue issue?

 

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