Do WE Evaluate Players on an Unbalanced Scale?


Pawnee, Skidi Clan
Feb 1, 2012
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Mesa, AZ
This seems like the most Unreliable Time of the year in the NFL. We spend so much time evaluating players to only find out each year that, to some degree, we do an extremely poor job of it. It makes me wonder if the scales we continue to use are balanced properly. In that I mean, maybe we put way too much emphasis on why we like a player and the positive traits of why and how a young player will be successful, rather than the negative traits of why and how he could be a flop.

I say that because after a highly drafted player does bust out, we seem to be able to clearly name the pitfalls and the negative things about his nature, skills, mindset, et al that contributed to him not being the success we imagined. Often these are so blatant it seems improbable that we could have missed or overlooked them. From Ryan Leaf to Josh Rosen, and all the positions and poor selections in between, how did we, and all the so called experts, and professionals that we brought in to evaluate them, get it so wrong?

I can't help but come to the conclusion that we continually fail to give proper weight to their flaws and any negative clues that may be given. A positive trait seems to lower the importance of negative ones, often even erasing evidence of what might contribute to a player's failure.

Possibly a way around this might be to firstly evaluate players solely on their weaknesses, negative traits, and any reasons that hurt their chances. A team's Big Board should begin with this, all players ranked by their flaws and features that will inhibit their progress and future success. You would actually be creating a reverse Board, ranking the worst players by the number and degree of their worst traits. When done flip the Board and then, and only then, begin re-ranking the players by adding in all the positive things you like and how much they will contribute in overcoming and nullifying the negative.

You probably won't like the results as much, and your Board will look quite different from others, but yours may be more objective and accurate in long term results.

Maybe a good exercise in psychology would be to have some staff do it this way, as well as go about creating your Big Board the way you were taught and always did it. Then compare the two, while keeping track of their long term results.


Supporting Member
Jul 11, 2002
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Plainfield, Il.
I think a big reason is the combine sometimes overshadows what a player does on the field.
So and do had 35 reps on the bench press. So and so ran a 4.37. Suddenly the said player moves up a spot or two especially for us fans.

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