Pro days: Important or not? (1 Viewer)

st dude

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I was listening to ESPN radio this morning and the very opinionated Colin Cowherd went on a rant about how meaningless pro days were. He sees no correlation bewteen workout numbers and on field performance. Basically he thought pro days were a waste of time and without benefit to the player evaluation process.

I would have liked to call him and take him to task on his opinion. If his point is that some people put way too much stock in what forty time a player runs, I completely agree. But to say pro days are not beneficial to talent evaluation makes no sense at all to me.

I believe football is much like any business in that the more information you have, the better informed your decision will be. Its hard to compare a defensive back from the University of Texas to a defensive back who plays for McNeese. The level of competition is so different that the film on both players can be deceiving. Its apples to oranges

Pro days, for the most part, allow you to compare apples to apples. A kid listed at 6'1'' in his college program might be 5' 10" at pro day. Pro days give you accurate heights, weights and strength measurements. Forty times are not as easily compared. A kid running a 4.6 forty on a humid day on a slow Miami track might be two tenths of a second faster running on artifical turf on a dry day in Denver. Two tenths of a second in a forty time is the difference between being considered fast or slow in some circles.

For the most part the problem is not with the information one gets at a pro day, its what one does with the information. No doubt some teams, scouts and fans give too much weight to the information from a pro day. I think most teams are more sophisticated than that and use the information as part of a larger puzzle. How does the player do in competition? What is his work ethic? Does he play smart? If a player is a bit slow he might make up more than two tenths of a second with his instincts. Does the player have a knack for being in the right place at the rigth time? Does he seem to make big plays under pressure?

The measureables help for sure. The pro game is for the most part played by big, fast and strong guys. There will be a few smaller and slower guys who can play, but there is some base level of talent usually needed. The fact that Doug Flutie played well doesnt mean that 99% of quaterbacks 5' 9" and under lack the size to play the pro game, regardless of how much game they have.

I think a good example of this is Danny Wuerful. I listened carefully as the pro scouts said he lacked the physical skills to play the pro game. When the Saints drafted him I saw him as the next Joe Montana. He was a great college quaterback with every intangible you could want. He played at a high level at the highest level of collge football.

In his case the scouts were right. Wuerful never was big, fast and strong enough for the pro game. He did not have a big league arm.

My answer to the question posed in the title is that, of course, pro days are important in talent evaluation. Comparable measureables are valuable information and information, in any business, is valuable. Just as in any other business, however, its how you process information that makes a difference. You make a decsion based on all the inforamtion, not just some. Picking one player over another just because he is stronger and faster would be dumb. We all know performance does not directly correlate to physcial measureables. Its dumb to think that. I think its also dumb to assume there is no correlation between performance and measureables.

In the end, most teams have access to the same information on players. Its how they process the information and what relative weight they give to it that separates the good drafters from the bad. Blanket statements that pro days have no mvalue make no sense to me. All information has value. Its how you use it that counts.
 

guillermo

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Besides what you well stated, I think there are important to learn more about the character and personality of the player, as well as a place to make appointments for possible private workouts.

These workouts to me only matter as secondary information, More important is game-tape and private interviews with the player. As Pete Prisco wrote sometime ago, the best way to evaluate the player is just after the season, when you can watch all of the game tape, and the rest is secondary.

Still, if I was in charge, I will be more comfortable making a my choices based on the most information possibly gathered.
 

SaintJ

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I'd have to say that almost all information has value.
 

RockyMtnSaint

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At a pro day, a prospective coach can come in and run a player through a series of drills not only to evaluate his ability but also some intangibles like his willingness to be coached, his drive and his work ethic. This appears to be exactly what Ed Orgeron did to Glenn Dorsey yesterday. It seems to me that this type of thing can help a team evaluate how well a player will transition to the NFL.
 

DeuceMcAllisterFan

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Pro days are just another way to get prospects hyped up going into the draft.
 

BELOWSEALEVEL

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allows you to evaluate the players not invited to the combine.
diamonds in the rough everywhere.
 

IceHot

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I would agree how relevant is college level game film to the NFL. Its not much more releveant then 40 times since there is no consistency in college level athletes. Is Glen Dorsey bull rushing past a sophmore guard at a small school on game field the same as another DLineman trying to get past Jake Long? Even those films are not apples and apples comparisons.

I would agree that what a player does in college is only a small part of what will be asked of him in the NFL. How he responds to work in the offseason between the combine and his pro day is equal to how he played in a game against Ball State.

How he responds to NFL instruction is just as important.

How he moves his weight naturally over his knees as he turns and moves in shuttle and directional transition drills is just as important as his football instincts on film? Why do you think NFL scouts video tape the workout instead of just relying on a stop watch?

I would say the Pro Day is an equal piece to the puzzle.

Furthermore, its a chance for a player to redeem himself if he had a bad combine day.

All in all its a matter of risk assessment as the draft has no sure things. If you were going to take a risk and invest money in a stock would you just look at the price chart or would you gather every little piece of information you could about the company behind the stock?
 

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This is the part where I insert the smart remark about all Pro Day's being important, with the exception of what happens at LSU's pro day.
 

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I was listening to ESPN radio this morning and the very opinionated Colin Cowherd went on a rant about how meaningless pro days were. He sees no correlation bewteen workout numbers and on field performance. Basically he thought pro days were a waste of time and without benefit to the player evaluation process.

I would have liked to call him and take him to task on his opinion. If his point is that some people put way too much stock in what forty time a player runs, I completely agree. But to say pro days are not beneficial to talent evaluation makes no sense at all to me.

I believe football is much like any business in that the more information you have, the better informed your decision will be. Its hard to compare a defensive back from the University of Texas to a defensive back who plays for McNeese. The level of competition is so different that the film on both players can be deceiving. Its apples to oranges

Pro days, for the most part, allow you to compare apples to apples. A kid listed at 6'1'' in his college program might be 5' 10" at pro day. Pro days give you accurate heights, weights and strength measurements. Forty times are not as easily compared. A kid running a 4.6 forty on a humid day on a slow Miami track might be two tenths of a second faster running on artifical turf on a dry day in Denver. Two tenths of a second in a forty time is the difference between being considered fast or slow in some circles.

For the most part the problem is not with the information one gets at a pro day, its what one does with the information. No doubt some teams, scouts and fans give too much weight to the information from a pro day. I think most teams are more sophisticated than that and use the information as part of a larger puzzle. How does the player do in competition? What is his work ethic? Does he play smart? If a player is a bit slow he might make up more than two tenths of a second with his instincts. Does the player have a knack for being in the right place at the rigth time? Does he seem to make big plays under pressure?

The measureables help for sure. The pro game is for the most part played by big, fast and strong guys. There will be a few smaller and slower guys who can play, but there is some base level of talent usually needed. The fact that Doug Flutie played well doesnt mean that 99% of quaterbacks 5' 9" and under lack the size to play the pro game, regardless of how much game they have.

I think a good example of this is Danny Wuerful. I listened carefully as the pro scouts said he lacked the physical skills to play the pro game. When the Saints drafted him I saw him as the next Joe Montana. He was a great college quaterback with every intangible you could want. He played at a high level at the highest level of collge football.

In his case the scouts were right. Wuerful never was big, fast and strong enough for the pro game. He did not have a big league arm.

My answer to the question posed in the title is that, of course, pro days are important in talent evaluation. Comparable measureables are valuable information and information, in any business, is valuable. Just as in any other business, however, its how you process information that makes a difference. You make a decsion based on all the inforamtion, not just some. Picking one player over another just because he is stronger and faster would be dumb. We all know performance does not directly correlate to physcial measureables. Its dumb to think that. I think its also dumb to assume there is no correlation between performance and measureables.

In the end, most teams have access to the same information on players. Its how they process the information and what relative weight they give to it that separates the good drafters from the bad. Blanket statements that pro days have no mvalue make no sense to me. All information has value. Its how you use it that counts.


I will agree with the main point of your post, but in fairness you completely left out Colin Cowherds point when it comes to the Pro Days...which was they should make the Pro Days more like game situations. Cowherd always overexaggerates everything, but I thought he made a great point about what you can take from a College Pro Day. And, as you mention that scouts should take advantage of getting to know the players personalities, he echoed and made that exact point, so you are on the same page as far as that.

If you heard the entire broadcast, basically Cowherd said it's pointless to judge DT's by 40 times, it's pointless to judge QB's when they're throwing balls to slow WR's with no one guarding them all the while the QB is sitting back there with no one rushing him and he's in shorts and a T-Shirt. All of which I completely agree. He never said Pro days needed to go completely. He said certain aspects of Pro Days need to go depending on position and that we, the public, need to stop paying so much attention to it and get a life -- which I refuse to do.:hihi:

Pro Days are important, but I think they'd be less busts if GM's focused more on game film and interviews and less on measureables. The guy that rises after the College season is done is usually the guy that tanks it. Why do they rise, becuase of said drills that do not translate t real football.
 

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