My Process: What to Expect
This is my first post at Downtown Sports Network and I couldn’t be more excited to get started. I want to thank Jake for giving me this platform to be able to share my work! I have been learning the art of scouting for over a year now and continue to grow and get better each day. This year, however, is the first year where I truly feel confident at the start of the process. I would like to go through a rundown before I begin posting my reports on my process and how it will play out through the year.
My summer scouting begins with an initial watch of anywhere between 1-3 games for each player (preferably three depending on the availability of cutups). I then take down my notes throughout the watch, grade the player based on 10 factors (different for all positions) which culminate in a preliminary base grade out of 10. These watches only reflect my views on the player from the previous season (unless injury or other circumstance makes tape from another season more viable). Player measurements on the reports are usually taken from team websites. The reports (format is shown below) will be made available on DTSN by position as I finish each player. I will update the articles as much as possible as I finish each report. I try to focus mostly on the senior class as they have the highest chance of being in the draft but I end up doing the juniors and sophomores that I think are relevant to the articles that I will be writing.
Sample Preliminary Report
My grading scale is included below on how I separate the cutoffs for each round grade. At this point, the scale is a work in progress so expect some changes as I continue to refine it. At first, this scale was much harsher than it is now. I’ve already had to make changes to accurately reflect how I feel about a prospect. Last year on Draft Day I had 21 first-round grades, this is the number I expect to hover around based on how my evaluations went last year. Some round grade blocks are smaller than others and not all are uniform. This may be odd to look at but from fine-tuning last year, this is the distribution of round grades I felt comfortable with.
10.000 Perfect Prospect
9.000-9.999 Blue Chip Prospect
7.500-8.999 1st Round
6.500-7.499 2nd Round
6.000-6.499 3rd Round
5.500-5.999 4th Round
5.000-5.499 5th Round
4.750-4.999 6th Round
4.500-4.749 7th Round
During the season my focus will continue to be watching tape as it becomes available. This could be tape from the previous year or the current season. I will try to make my thoughts available as soon as possible and will always try to put smaller blurbs for players on Twitter. Reports may not come as frequently during this period of the season as it is the time between preliminary reports and final reports. Articles will also become a big focus for me unlike in the past. I will be writing mock drafts, player spotlights, breaking news, and so much more as I continue to grow in this area.
Behind the draft, the Combine is my favorite event on the Draft calendar. This means I can begin to wrap up final grades for players and begin to push out final evaluations (more on that later). Relative Athletic Score (or RAS) which comes from the legendary Kent Lee Platte (or @MathBomb on Twitter) will play a role in my evaluation. RAS allows each player to have a number on a scale from 0-10 on how well they performed at the combine compared to their peers. RAS accounts for 10% of each player’s final grade. This allows athleticism to enter my grading scale in a controlled manner.
Finally post-combine my process will begin to come to a close with final reports (Template can be seen below). These final reports will include my watch notes as a whole, final measurables, combine results, RAS score, trait scoring to calculate tape grade, and final grades. The Final Grade is 90% Tape grade and 10% RAS. This way RAS plays a small part in the final grade but enough that it can impact that prospect round grade accurately.
Sample Final Report
I can’t wait to begin sharing this work with you all. Stay Tuned as there is a boatload of content coming your way over the next year (and beyond). As always I appreciate any questions or comments about my process and am open to discuss them!