Here is a great look at how a NFL team grades NFL prospects and everything that goes into the players grade.
Right now here is the schedule for the 2021 College Football All-Star Game Calendar – As we all know subject to change due to Covid-19
With the majority of college football being canceled for the 2020 fall season due to COVID-19 concerns many players with the hope to play in the NFL should be looking to the 2022 NFL Draft not the 2021 NFL Draft, here is why.
- NCAA Council recommends eligibility relief for athletes who opt out and that would allow football players to retain their eligibility. So a prospect could opt out of the spring football schedule if school goes ahead with it and then have their eligibility for fall of 2021.
- With the SEC, Big 12, ACC, AAC, C-USA & Sun Belt all moving forward with a fall season the NFL will not move the NFL Draft and keep it in April 2021. Also with that being said if the NFL Draft keeps it schedule then most likely the NFL Combine keeps it schedule in late February.
- 80% of NFL Grade is based on film and if a prospect 2019 film had him a high draftable prospect the player most likely would have declared if he could have. Now the top graded players who where sophomore last year and not eligible will declare for the 2020 NFL Draft and should. The two scouting services the NFL uses (BLETSO & National) still did give out spring grades this spring.
- No benefit of playing in the Spring if prospect would burn eligible and the NFL keeps it draft in April of 2021. Also prospects shouldn’t want to play in the spring risk injury or just beating up body and then turn around and play in the fall of 2021.
- Prospect can use this full year to get bigger, stronger, faster and better at his skill set. Prospect can also lock in on school finish up and then have nothing to worry about but football in fall of 2021.
Yes each prospects situation is different but the prospect should want to do whatever gives him the best chance to be successful and get the best opportunity for the NFL Draft.
Check out the Pod Cast Interview with College2Pro.com Owner & Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL) Scout Bo Marchionte to learn more about the NFL Draft process and the CFL Scouting Process.
Here is the breakdown for the 2020 NFL Draft between Senior and Underclassmen drafted.
Round by Round:
1st round (32 picks) – Seniors: 9 (28.1%) – Underclassmen: 23 (71.8%)
2nd round (32 picks) – Seniors: 15 (46.8%) – Underclassmen: 17 (53.2%)
3rd round (42 picks) – Seniors: 34 (80.9%) – Underclassmen: 8 (19.0%)
4th round (40 picks) – Seniors: 28 (70.0%) – Underclassmen: 12 (30.0%)
5th round (33 picks) – Seniors: 26 (78.7%) – Underclassmen: 7 (21.2%)
6th round (35 picks) – Seniors: 31 (88.5%) – Underclassmen: 4 (11.4%)
7th round (41 picks) – Seniors: 37 (90.2%) – Underclassmen: 4 (9.7%)
Top 25 Picks: Seniors: 6 (28.0%) – Underclassmen: 19 (72.0%)
Top 50 Picks: Seniors: 15 (42.0%) – Underclassmen: 35 (58.0%)
Top 100 Picks: Seniors: 51 (50.0%) – Underclassmen: 49 (50.0%)
Top 150 Picks: Seniors: 94 (62.6%) – Underclassmen: 56 (37.3%)
In the football business one of the closely guarded secrets before the official list is released is who is getting invited to the NFL Combine. The NFL Combine is run by National Scouting and has become a televised event by the NFL Network. For more information about how the NFL Combine invites work you can check out my article from a year ago: NFL Draft: NFL Combine just part of the process.
Now that the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books we can look at the results. This year there were 337 players invited to the NFL Combine and there were 23 players that were drafted that did NOT go to the NFL Combine. Break down as far as rounds go:
1st round – 0
2nd round – 0
3rd round – 0
4th round – 1 player
5th round – 3 players
6th round – 6 players
7th round – 13 players
So 105 players that were invited to this year’s NFL Combine were not drafted. So the percentage of players that were drafted that were invited to the NFL Combine was 68.8%, so it is far from a guarantee if you are invited that you will get selected in the NFL Draft.
One thing that goes on in the spring that NFL fans don’t pay to much attention to is NFL scouts from the two NFL scouting services, BLETSO and National Football Scouting go on college campuses and doing what is called “junior days”. “Junior Days” are where scouts will get the players height, weight, some schools will allow guys to run 40s and the scouts will grade the film of the players that will be Seniors in the fall and give them what is called a “Spring Grade”.
Then around Memorial Day the two Scouting Services and all the NFL scouts that subscribed to either of those services will get together for a long weekend normally in Florida and read the spring reports and go over the “Spring Grades”. These grades become the road map of the scouts in the summer and fall to evaluate the next class of NFL prospects for the following spring draft.
Because of what is going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, many “juniors days” won’t happen so scouts won’t have information on those prospects leaving information need to make up “spring grades” unavailable.
Talking with multiple scouts the “Spring Grades” for the 2021 NFL Draft will either just not happen or be delayed and it will affect how the NFL teams do their business this upcoming fall and leading into next years NFL Draft. The reason why “Spring Grades” play such a big role is because of the two scouting services that the NFL uses, National Football Scouting (NFS) is the company that actually runs the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. They take their “spring grades” as the starting point for the invites to the NFL Combine that following January.
Even though “spring grades” are not made public and are suppose to remain proprietary the grades get out and agents, trainers, financial advisors, all-star games all try to get their hands on them to be able to make best decision on who to go after.
Yes the COVID-19 pandemic is going to effect the 2020 NFL Draft with Pro Days, Top-30 Visits and work-outs canceled but is already effecting the 2021 Draft as well.
True, there is much bigger problems with the COVID-19 pandemic but just something else that it is impacting.
When NFL scouts from the two scouting services BLETSO and National Football Scouting (NFS) go into a school to do their junior evaluation in February/March they are looking to grade the NFL draft prospects for the next year’s draft but also to eliminate players as guys who can’t play in the NFL. Scouts give draftable grades, undrafted free-agent grades and “reject” grades (Not a prospect at this time). The scouts give those players “reject” grades so scout in the fall don’t have to spend time on players who are deemed not NFL players.
The scouting services grade over 13,000 senior college football players each year at all levels of football and normally there are around 600 with draft able or free-agent grades. True do players with “reject” grades get draft? Yes but it is few and far between.
BLETSO and National have their spring meeting to go over grades around Labor Day time in May to be able to help set the scouts schedule for training camps visits in the summer. Prospects are not told what their spring grade is by the two scouting services, but normally in the summer the grades get out and agents, financial advisors, media members and all-star games get their hands on them.
What goes into a spring grade:
- Junior Film
- Height/Weight/Speed – The scouts either get that information when on campus when the measure and weigh the prospect as well as get hand size and arm length. Some school will allow the prospects to run the 40 for the scouts but that is very few and mainly smaller schools. Some schools don’t allow scouts to do height/weight so the scout will just have to estimate the prospect height/weight/40 time.
- Background – Scouts will try to get information on prospect past both off the field and medical.
Spring grades are important for a number of reasons:
1. It is a road map for NFL scouts in the fall to where they should spend their most time.
2. National Football Scouting (NFS) runs the NFL Combine so if a player has a good spring grade he is more likely to get invited then if he doesn’t.
3. All-Star games try to get their hands on these grades and use them when they start to invite players to their games.
True as a Senior what you do on the field is most import to your final NFL draft grade, but it doesn’t hurt to start with a good spring grade going into your Senior season.
This years on-field drills will be televised in prime time so the schedule has been moved around accordingly.