Pro Player Rating Categories

With free agency just a round the corner, former NFL Scout Tom Marino, gives the readers a look at the type of ranking system that professional clubs employ when evaluating the 2009 grouping of NFL Unrestricted Free Agents.


9.00 – 8.51 Difference Maker BLUE

Players in this category have rare ability and the ability to changes the outcome of a football game with his playing skills. He has rare athletic skills and has the ability to dominate at the highest level of play. Players in this category must possess exceptional critical factors, competitiveness and playing production. In many cases Blue players have the ability to dominate in their rookie season.

8.50 – 8.00 Top Starter GOLD

Players in this category have outstanding play skills and exhibit consistent playing production. He has the ability to play as a regular for every club within the league (except quarterback) and without question upgrades his team with his outstanding playing tools at some point in his rookie season. He possesses outstanding critical factors and production. Make a strong contribution to winning football games.

7.90 – 7.00
Eventual Top Starter RED

Players in this category are generally first or second year player with ascending skills. Red players have a chance to develop into a top starter or difference maker in the right setting quickly. Has very good production, competitiveness and flashes special type ability. Player lacks consistency due to his youth and or inexperience, but possesses very good to excellent skills in all critical factors. Can helps a club win football games.

6.90 – 6.00
Starter GREEN

Players in this category are generally solid NFL starting player. May have a deficiency in one or possibly two areas of his game, but plays with a high level of consistency and are productive. Although some Green players may have physical limitations, they almost always overcome them with excellent position skills, top competitor effort, intelligence and playing instincts. Can and will help a club win football games.

5.90 - 5.80
Role Starter PURPLE
5.70 - 5.60
Winning Back Up PURPLE
Core Special Teams PURPLE

Players in this category are both starter and or back ups, depending upon the individual clubs roster make-up. May fill a starting role but has limitations limitations. Player generally have good to above average critical factors, but has possible limitations in one or two specific factors. Purple players must have at least above average production and good to very good competitiveness. Player can be young veterans who are playing up to their ability, overachiever, young ascending player, or veteran role player with an acceptable level of production. Player with hardcore special team's production may be marginal back up at their position.

5.40 – 5.30

Players in this category are generally core back up types and over achievers who do enough things well to contribute. Must exhibit at least adequate playing production and critical factors, but at the same time he must be a top competitor. Do not want this player to start and eventually it will become necessary to replace this player in order to upgrade roster.

5.20 – 5.10
Back-up ORANGE

Players in this category are generally former starter who are in decline due to age, injuries, diminishing athletic and or playing skills. Can finish a game and start in an emergency for a short period of time, but are generally mismatched when playing against difference maker or top starters. Much of the successes of Orange players are do in part to their playing experience, toughness, know how and playing instincts. Although their skill level may have diminished, they still possess enough value to have a role on a teams established 53 man roster. A descending short time player.

5.3 – 5.0
Developmental BLACK

Players in this category generally have one or more critical factors or position specifics which are adequate and are competitive. Black players have a chance to make the roster, practice squad or contribute at some stage because they do one or more things well (i.e. - speed, AA). Player may not be ready to play immediately, but deserves further opportunity and needs to be kept alive.

4.90 – 4.00
Suspect YELLOW

Players in this category are in most cases playing by default. Yellow players may lack a combination of athletic ability, speed and size, but must be both highly competitive and intelligent. Yellow players are primarily short term players with virtually no playing skills and or upside. In all cases, player needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

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