Greg Gabriel, former Director of Scouting for the Chicago Bears put together yet another gem of an article last year that I want to elaborate on.
His article is all about the bad information that’s “purposefully” put out there by NFL teams every year we approach the NFL draft.
Unfortunately, players tend to believe a lot of this mess, so I wanted to set some things straight.
Let’s get to it.
Lesson #1: Don’t Pay Attention to What You Hear
As Gabriel mentioned, there’s more lies than truth put out by NFL teams, as the draft approaches:
…in the two months from the combine to the draft there is more misinformation than information put out… the last thing a team wants out is how they feel about certain players… this time of the year there is more lying going on than truth telling and it’s done by everyone in the business… you want to find out as much information as you can and give out as little as possible.
Mr. Gabriel has over 30 years experience being in and around the NFL, spending several years in the scouting departments of the Bills, Giants, and Bears, so he knows what he’s talking about.
But what does this mean for you?
Let everything you hear about where you could land, who’s going to pick you, etc., go in one ear, and out the other.
There’s no way to know what’s real and what’s not, so why even waste time listening to it?
Don’t Believe the Hype
And whatever you do, don’t even get excited just because a team flies you in for a workout at their facility.
It could mean they want you, but then again, it could be a smokescreen, to fool other teams into thinking they want you.
Teams do that all the time.
Don’t believe me? Check out what Gabriel himself said about flying players in for workouts leading up to the draft:
One year I may bring in for visits many of the players we were interested in and the next year not bring in any and then the next year only guys we may want as potential free agents. Of course then there were some years when you would bring in the big “smoke screen” candidate only to let other clubs “think” we were interested in that player.
Believe me now?
Lesson #2: Teams Don’t Set Their Draft Boards ‘Till Right Before the Draft
Well, a lot of them don’t, at least.
NFL Visits Doesn’t Mean You’re Necessarily Getting Picked-Up
Here’s what I see way too often: college players get cocky, thinking they’re a “lock” for landing on an NFL squad, just because a bunch of teams came out to visit them throughout the fall.
All that meant, was that you were on their radar, and they came to get a closer look at you.
By no means does it mean that they’re going to be interested in picking you up come draft time.
In Bet You Didn’t Know NFL Scouts Look for Some of this Stuff we learned that each of the regional scouts that work for NFL teams can look at nearly 500 prospects over the course of the fall.
Look, as Gabriel said, teams don’t even have their draft boards set until a week or so before the draft.
If that’s the case, teams themselves haven’t even decided on who they want until then.
So regardless of how many conversations you’ve had, or how many teams you saw at practice during the fall, it doesn’t mean those teams are going to pick you up.
Again, just focus on what you can control, which is staying in shape, and getting prepared mentally.
No use worrying about something that’s out of your control.
Share this with anyone you know that expects to get drafted, or picked up as an undrafted free agent in the near future.
Click the link below for part two:
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Seeking the Truth Between Now and the Draft (via nationalfootballpost.com)