With the NFL Combine in the rear-view mirror, College Pro Day’s wrapping up and the private workouts starting.  All thirty-two teams will begin their smoke screens and rumors working to create a level of deception sending a message to their opponents wondering and second guessing what each will do not only in the draft when it comes to possible trades but roster analysis and much more.

We are thirty days out until the 2016 NFL Draft.  Agents are working to steal prospects from one another, while guarding those under contract like a Brinks Truck!  The possibilities of trade scenarios are endless and trying to figure it out might drive you crazy.

Within in the top 20 picks of the NFL draft, I consider it a high-stakes poker game with a lot of bluffs, while maintaining a true poker face working to fool everyone inside and outside of the organizations, by leaking information to get an advantage through confusion and the game of deception is about to begin.

Every head coach, general manager, along with assistant coaches and scouts will soon find themselves locked in their war rooms, combing over prospect data and fine tuning the front and back boards so they could draft next week if they had too.

The NIC/NFL combine, Pro Days and Private workouts are a huge part of the overall evaluation process.  It allows teams to continue to dig into the players from several different platforms which include talking to prospects head coaches, coordinators, assistant coaches and strength coaches.  They will meet with the head trainer on medical history (checking for missed playing time due to surgical procedures, concussions, chronic soft-tissue injuries, back and joint problems and inherited diseases). Scouts and coaches will talk with Academic Advisors on a player’s mental capacity, their degree or course of studies and scholastic work ethics, an area of concern.  Teams will learn quickly if there are learning deficiencies in the way of reading, comprehension, and the ability to process and regurgitate football information.

Today the new wave of technology continues to grow as every NFL team now supplying I-Pads to their players.  All rookies must have the smarts and knowledge to sift through and digest 20 pages of the playbook on a nightly basis and study practice and game film that are down loaded on the I-Pad, giving the players a head start.  This helps eliminate mental errors or assignment bust.  It is critical teams make sure that players don’t have issues like dyslexia (reading, spelling, language, and memory deficits). If teams have evaluated a Blue player (playmaker/difference maker) with issues of learning and retaining football information, organizations must find out how best he learns, whether it be on film, blackboard, reps on the field or both blackboard and on-field reps.

During my 15 years in the league teams leaked injury information on a player, poor test scores and failed drug test, hoping their opponents drop them down the board.  Scouts will also continue to investigate the prospect’s background, from parental and sibling information; do they have any kids and if so with the same woman or multiple partners.

How many sports did they letter in high school, the more sports the better; this shows the prospect’s love for sports, athletic skill set and their competitive nature.  All clubs will continue to gather and confirm character background information, which includes arrests, fights, positive drug tests, immaturity issues on and off campus (multiple parking tickets, problems with the law in the area of disturbing the peace, etc).

All 32 teams will crisscross the United States to continue the draft process of evaluating talent and learning more about these prospects and those that were not invited to the 2016 Combine.  Keep in mind the smoke screens will intensify in April, while teams send coaches, scouts and a large contingent to certain Private workouts, with zero interest in those players, just to throw the other teams off the trail of truth. It is the game they play in order to gain the advantage while working to create an uneven playing field through the element of deception. Here comes the smoke!