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How teams build their draft board

Wed, Apr 09, 2014



As Pro Days begin to wrap up, NFL clubs are meeting to put together their final draft board before May's NFL Draft in New York City. In most cases, teams are using these four components to put their board together.

 1. SCOUTS' FALL GRADE                                                                   

This has always been the backbone to your final evaluation. Scouts have been watching these players through the entire regular season, made school visits and watched them at practice. This even includes all-star games like the Reese's Senior Bowl.

2. THE MEASURABLES                                                                        

The raw numbers -- from the NFL Combine to the Pro Day. You're looking for these numbers to confirm what your scouts saw in the fall. 

 3. COACHES' INPUT                                                                           

This is really important for the teams that made coaching changes in the offseason, whether it be the head coach or a coordinator. They are likely putting in new systems on offense and/or defense. So, the scouts have to adjust their thinking when the coaches come in and say, 'this is the type of player we're looking for, this is why this prospect can fit what we're doing.' Now you have to measure what the coaching staff brings to the table.

 4. THE MEDICAL REPORT                                                                  

Last, but certainly not least. You hear a lot about this at the NFL Combine. Players that may have had an issue in Indy in February go back to Indianapolis in April for a re-check. And for the players not invited to the Combine, they are sometimes a part of that 30-player visit that clubs are allowed. Then, you can put him through a physical examination to make sure you are drafting a player that is healthy.

Once you've gone through these four steps, you can make a final grade on a player and put him up on your draft board. Most teams have a horizontal board (by position) and a vertical board (best available regardless of position).

A list of about 120 players is about all you need to get through the seven rounds of the draft.