In this, the third and final installment covering my conversation with Mark Clagett, of aspiringnflscout.com, we discuss the investigations NFL teams run on the backgrounds of potential draft picks, tips for getting your game NFL-ready, and more.
Alvin: Switching gears a little bit… Especially for guys projected to go in the higher rounds… Share with us how thoroughly scouts and teams dig into guys’ backgrounds.
Mark: I couldn’t even begin to tell you. The scouts are going to be talking to all your coaches in trainer in college, and maybe even in high school.
But beyond that, they will find out everything about you. Every single NFL team employs at least one former FBI or CIA agent whose job it is to go and investigate potential draft picks.
Alvin: Is that the NFL Security?
Mark: Yep. Every single team has a guy like that. They will go back to grade school if you got in trouble back then.
Mark: Yeah, it’s ridiculous. And again, it goes back to the trust thing. They need to know you’re going to come out… I mean they’re
giving you millions of dollars; they need to trust that you’re going to be worth the investment, because it’s a lot of money.
Alvin: Sometimes I break down on the website info on what scouts are looking for when it comes to certain positions. In my opinion, knowing what scouts are looking for makes sense, I mean, at least you can know what they’re looking for and work on those things, instead of just hoping you’re getting it right. What’s your opinion on that frame of mind?
Mark: Well, the biggest thing scouts are going to look for is probably your technique. It’s not just what you do; it’s how you do it. I mean, it’s as simple as watching how the pro’s do it.
One of the things I think college coaches fail at from time-to-time to some degree… I mean, granted, that’s their job, to win games, but you look at someone like Tim Tebow, who’s got that funky throwing motion, and you say “how, throughout high school, college… how did he go that long without someone correcting that?”
Mark: And now he’s in the NFL… its stuff like that that you already do well. Wide receivers, running crisp routes… I mean, they’re all good athletes. When it comes to getting to the league, it’s more than just stats, it’s about doing things the right way, with the right technique.
Alvin: As we begin to close, if someone’s reading this interview, and wanted to ask you as someone in the scouting industry, what they’d need to do to give them the best opportunity to play in the NFL, what would you tell them?
Mark: Obviously, the key is working hard. But the best advice I could give them would be to pick the best guy at your position in the NFL, and just watch everything they do. I mean, I know it sounds kind of obvious, but if you’re a quarterback, watch Manning or Brady. They’re doing every little thing perfectly, or better than everyone else.
If you’re a receiver, you should be watching film of Jerry Rice. I mean, it’s not just the better guys on your own team at the college level. You need to watch guys that are where you want to be, and copy what they do.
Alvin: Wow, that’s funny, because in a past life, we lived by a saying that, “if you want to be successful, find someone who’s where you want to be, and do exactly what they do over-and-over until you get the same results.” I guess that goes to show that the fundamentals to being successful are pretty universal.
Alvin: So as we close up, if someone wanted to learn more about you, or contact you, where should they go?
Mark: You can always go to the website, www.aspiringnflscout.com. My email address is on there, email@example.com. Or on twitter, at @markclagett
Alvin: Anything else you’d like to say before we close?
Mark: Uhhh, no, other than it’s been great talking to you, especially finally in-person. And also, if anyone wants to hire me, they can call me (laughs)
Alvin: (laughs) Absolutely. Well I’ve learned a lot from this conversation, definitely. Thanks for your time, and I look forward to talking to you again here soon.
Mark: You got it.
Did you learn anything new from the information Mark shared? Disagree with anything that was said? Leave a comment below!
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