Those of you that have read my recent reports might notice a bit of a change “up top” at several positions. Being in the industry since 1968, I have been a “proud daddy” seeing scouts that worked for me over the years going on to bigger and better things in the league. I have a very good scouting department with more than 70 personnel that I utilize, sort of a great feeding ground for information.
Over the years, as those scouts moved on, I have given youngsters an opportunity to learn. I love the way they have developed, but when I sit in a room with X-Box types that never heard of “Pong” or “Space Invaders,” or think that ALF is some sort of government project, it makes me realize my age.
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However, as Lou Albano of WWE fame would say, it is still the “matabala metubala” that makes us all tick. When reviewing the grades compiled by my scouts, I feel democracy is in order, but with these “youngsters” in the scouting field having just recent players to make comparisons to, I felt it was time to go “old school” on my staff.
With that in mind, I tweaked the grades provided so far. I have what I feel is an 8.5-grade cutoff point. Unless a player is a total knockout, destined for Canton, the type that I would buy a ticket to see, no one will reach that level of grade, as long as I am breathing.
When I saw the 9.0 mark on Andrew Luck, I had to step in. Since the 1968 draft, only Bo Jackson, John Elway and Peyton Manning have received that mark from me. Luck is not Jackson, Elway or Manning. So, with that in mind, and I may get crucified for this, there is a Tide ball-carrier that I have upgraded to that level. Prior to the draft, I will provide a complete multipage scouting report on Trent Richardson to justify that grade.
I hope this change of grade does not confuse you, but there comes a time that this “old dog” has to remind my great young staff that I am still the honcho that signs the paychecks. I submit for your view, changes made to the quarterback, wide receiver and tailback positions. Thank you for understanding my “madness” in doing so, but as my favorite childhood character, Popeye, would say, “ I yam what I yam.”
Dave-Te Thomas has more than 40 years of experience scouting for the NFL. With the NFL Draft Report, Thomas handles a staff that evaluates and tests college players before the draft and prepares the NFL's official Draft Packet, which is distributed to all 32 teams prior to the draft.