John Dorsey Q&A on NFL draft

John Dorsey oversees the college side of Green Bay's scouting operations and also is involved in pro personnel. The former Packers linebacker (1983-88) was promoted when Mike Sherman was named general manager in the off-season of 2001. Dorsey recently took time to offer his input on the Packers and the NFL draft to Packer Report managing editor Todd Korth:<p>

Q: About how many players do the Packers college scouting department evaluate from the beginning of the college season up until the time of the NFL draft?

Dorsey: "I would say that we look at anywhere between 1,000 and 1,600 players. It's spread out geographically. That's why it's important to have a good scouting staff. You have to break it down regionally. One person cannot cover the entire country."

Q: How do the scouts go about conducting individual workouts with prospects?

Dorsey: "What you'd like to do after the (college) season starts is get some small school prospects and attempt to work them out before the all-star games take place. A recent trend that has taken place in the last 10 years is to have the guys work out at the start of the new calendar year.

"In the spring, you want to make sure you know everything about those guys to ensure accuracy and knowledge of that specific position and player. We'd like to say that we cover every single player that's on our draft board."

Q: When do the Packers begin to narrow the list of their collegiate prospects?

Dorsey: "We set up our meetings early in the year right after the Super Bowl and before the combine. What we like to do is have a fresh perspective so when in fact we go to the (National Football League) Combine (in Indianapolis) we know exactly what we're looking for. We're going in there with an educated look. We know these players as opposed to going in there completely cold."

Q: How many players make the Packers' draft board?

Dorsey: "We deal in quality not quantity. I'd say a couple hundred."

Q: How does a prospect make the Packers' draft board. Is there a consensus of opinion amongst the personnel staff, or a vote?

Dorsey: "We all work for the Green Bay Packers. We collectively have healthy discussions regarding each player that is brought up. We come to a consensus vote on how everybody sees it. Ultimately, Mike Sherman will have the final decision with regards to that particular player."

Q: What are the most important elements that a prospect has to possess, physically and mentally, to be considered by the Packers?

Dorsey: "To do justice for your team, once you understand what the specific criteria are to achieve a high-level of success at a given position, I think it's very important that the personnel department is on the same page as the coaching staff.

"Before we even start meeting, what I like to do is visit with each coordinator for about an hour to two hours and just have the coordinators go over the specific positions. That way the coach and the scouts will reinforce with the scouting department on what it takes to achieve a high level of success once those criteria have been set. Then everybody understands what it takes. Then that particular fall you go out there and those are the types of players you identify. It also is important for the coaches to understand what the scouts go through, too. We meet in training camp and right before we do the winter meetings."

Q: What are some of the "red flags" that you look for in a college prospect?

Dorsey: "Character. Once you determine the physical characteristics that it takes to play a position, it's pretty simple. Is football important? Do they enjoy what they're doing? Are they productive on the field? Once you see all those elements in a player, that's a certain trait or characteristic that is associated with success.

"It's important to meet the person, to see who this guy is because they're going to have to live in this community for a few years. Ultimately what are they? They're like you and I. They just happen to be a high caliber athlete that has chosen football as their endeavor."

Q: What are the strongest areas of this year's NFL draft?

Dorsey: "It's loaded again with receivers, I would say receivers kind of like last year. I would say tight ends look pretty good this year. Early on it's top-heavy on defense. I think there's some ‘corners' this year, some corners and some safeties."

Q: What are the weaker areas of this year's NFL draft?

Dorsey: "Probably linebacker and offensive tackle."


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