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February 20, 2012

What is the biggest thing scouts should use to judge prospects?

Scouts will weigh, measure, test, time and interview 317 draft-eligible prospects in Indianapolis beginning this week. The Scouting Combine, though, is just one factor teams using in drafting players.

Of all the factors, what should be the most important thing scouts look for in a player?

Clarence Hill, writer: Talent, production and character. I believe in the old adage hard work without talent is a dream but talent without hard work is a nightmare. I want a talented player who has produced on every level and is a hard worker. Plenty of guys look like Tarzan and play like Jane. It's not just about the size and speed but what do you do with it. Do they play hard consistently? Do they have a passion for the game? Do they care about their teammates? How have they demonstrated all of the above during their college careers?

Charean Williams, writer: It is about only one thing: Production in college. Potential needs to be drafted in the later rounds. The first three rounds need to be for players who have been there, won that. If they didn't do it in college, no matter the reason, including injuries, it isn't likely they're going to get it done in the NFL. Terrell Davis is perhaps the biggest exception. For quarterbacks, the record means as much as the production. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III have the numbers and the wins. Nothing else should matter much.

Carlos Mendez, writer: Talent is important, but I'm going to assume every player I'm looking at is talented. So what I want to see is drive and discipline. I want a player who wants to be the best player on the field on every play, who doesn't make sloppy mistakes, who has a football IQ and who knows where he fits in on a team. I want everybody I talk to about a player -- his old coach, his former and current teammates -- to tell me that. I guess that's more than one thing I'm looking for, but that's where I start weeding out these guys. Again, assuming talent.

David Humphrey, editor: No. 1 for me is grading how a prospect plays in a game, not practice and not combines. Being good in combine drills is not enough. There have been too many players who run 4.3 seconds in the 40-yard dash who couldn't run a route or catch the ball. There have also been some record-setting bench press performers who get tossed around in the NFL because they have no technique. I would put a heavy emphasis on how they play in games regardless the competition.


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Sorry, but Charean is not learning from history. Vince Young won a National Title, Brady didn't. 'Nuff said about college 'production'.

Scouts shouldn't get lost in the physical stats either. Too often we hear "prototypical" because the guy is 6'5" and 265 with a 4.2 40 time. Who cares? This isn't a beauty contest. Give me 11 guys with Bill Bates mentality and Sean Lee's work ethic, and reasonable skills/size. I'll give you a SB champ.

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I'll put it Charean, Clarence, and Carlos in that order even though all three of you had good points. My take on looking at prospects is to watch film. Watch tapes of the games that that particular player played. We all know good players will put up fantastic numbers against the weak or subpar teams. I want to see what that good player does against the good, elite teams. Give me about 70-75% of your normal production against the good teams that tells me you are a player. Teams do pad players stats against the weak teams. Let me see how you do against the good teams.

I feel for grading a prospect the most important atribute must be the will to get better each and every day.The athlete should strive to get better on a daily basis and accept nothing less.He needs to feel the importance of being faster,stronger,better educated,being a team player and most importantly the never ending desire to win.Win every day, not just Sunday.

If I have to pick one thing as the biggest it would have to be passion to play for sake of playing. Followed by talent, brains, durability, speed and strength. In that order (some positions, like linemen, would require a reshuffle of those, but generally speaking). Discipline is also important but if you have brains you know enough to be discilplined.

@JohnQ - why so quick with the name calling? Relax and chill out, it is only a game....so play the game hard, give it all you have while playing and if the results don't go your way, then pick yourself up, think about what happened and strive to get better! You can also do this with your writing - your mentor Frank!

All the writers make good points and like all of them, I want a player that is motivated and willing to spend the time to become the best in his game. Now having said that, I think that this also Garrett's philosophy, but I wonder how much of it is trumped by Jones?

All of you clowns ain't got a clue. Just go ask Jerry who he's going to pick and do the opposite.

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