Draft Blog: Summer Scouting


The Purpose Of Summer Scouting

After the draft is over, evaluators turn their attention to the next crop of prospects that will be coming out of the college ranks. One of the most unheralded parts of solid evaluation is scouting the prospects during the summer before their cumulative year in college.

One of the biggest mistakes that some analysts make is that they come up with concrete ideas about prospects that are incredibly hard to change no matter what that prospect does in his final year.

One great example of this is Randy Gregory while he was at Nebraska. During his sophomore campaign, Gregory put up good numbers, but he failed to perform a lot of the tasks that he would be asked to do in the NFL. His hand use was abysmal and he failed to utilize his physical traits to his maximum ability. This cause a lot of evaluators to write him off going into his junior years by saying that he was an overrated and overhyped prospect.

Nevertheless, Gregory made a huge leap from his sophomore to junior years as he significantly improved his hand use, which allowed everyone to see his physical traits at their best.

The summer is best used to get a baseline on a player and to see his growth from one season to the next.

Offensive Rookie Of The Year: Ezekiel Elliott

It would be great to be able to throw out a different player who could win the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year for the 2016 season, but Ezekiel Elliott is the obvious choice. Elliott was already the best offensive skill player in this draft class and he was drafted to a team who is devoted to the running game while having the best offensive line in football.

The ex-Buckeye is a magnificent talent who excels in every aspect of playing running back. He is a physical presence who can wear down a defense. He has the speed to hit the home run and gouge a defense. he has the vision to find the open hole. He is a great receiver out of the backfield, and he is an incredible pass protector.

Elliott’s skill set will be maximized in Dallas as they will consistently open up holes and get him to the second level. It wouldn’t be out of the question for Elliot to rush for 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns in his rookie campaign, which is certainly enough to win this award.

Defensive Rookie Of The Year: Myles Jack

One of the most surprising storylines of the 2016 NFL draft was how Myles Jack fell all the way to the second round. The Jacksonville Jaguars were able to capitalize and get one of the best talents in this draft. The reason why Jack fell was because of concerns over the longevity of knee, which was deemed degenerative. Nevertheless,

Nevertheless, that knee condition will affect him down the road and not this season. Jack will likely be close to his peak athletically and his instincts should be the same, which should allow him to make a ton of plays with the Jaguars.

Jacksonville’s underrated defensive line should be able to keep Jack clean, which will allow him to flow to the ball and make a ton of plays. Furthermore, Jack’s coverage ability should lead to him making a ton of plays that most rookies wouldn’t, which should give him enough separation to win the coveted award.

About John Owning

John Owning

John Owning is a NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has years of experience covering the NFL, NFL draft and NCAA football. John's work has been featured on the Bleacher Report and