In every NFL war room, the final touches are being applied to the front board where the draftable players are assembled from highest to lowest grades. The back boards are where the priority and non-priority free agents are settled.
The room is crowded with coaches and scouts, the general manager and head coach along with support staff. The meetings begin at 7 a.m. with a break for lunch and dinner and work continues into the night or until the head coach decides that is enough for the day.
After the long sessions, the general manager will ask the vice president of player personnel, college director and the scouts to hang around for a short meeting. This meeting is to give input on the day’s session, scouting reports, pace of meeting and a directive of information needed for the next day.
During these final readings on all the front-board players, the area scout begins, followed by the cross-check scout, position coach, coordinator, college director and the vice president of player personnel. The general manager always has input on the top 150 prospects, while the head coach asks the final questions and will ultimately make the decision with the general manager on the final grade of the prospect.
If there is a discrepancy among coaches and scouts, then multiple college game films are viewed. It is recommended that the film sessions are watched as a group (coaches/scouts), which settles any and all separation in grade. Other films viewed include combine workouts, spring workouts and combine interview tapes.
Once all front-board prospects have been read, the college director will direct everyone’s attention to the back board while asking the coaching staff if there are any players of interest on the back board based off their film study assignments.
Below are samples of board magnets that are used to display any and all information on a prospect. The following data is used:
Top Row: Prospect’s name – Final Grade
Second Row: Height – Weight – Speed – Test score – Date of Birth
Third Row: University – Prospect number – Class rank – Position
Fourth Row: Medical grade – Alert section
Color codes: Yellow/Character, Red/Medical, Green/Juniors, Orange/Mental, Purple/Return Specialist
Alerts shown: C=Character, RS=Return specialist, M=Mental/Learning Issues, JR=Underclassmen