interview a bunch of different draftniks and team experts to get a good feel ..."/> interview a bunch of different draftniks and team experts to get a good feel ..."/>

Interview with New Era Scouting: Thoughts On Cam Newton, Mike Pouncey, and more.


One thing I decided to do this year was interview a bunch of different draftniks and team experts to get a good feel for what other peoples thoughs and opinions were as well as to get a better insight into the teams in the league. I feel like it’s been insightful, to you the readers, and I hope I’m right. Leave a comment if you have anything to add.

Up next is New Era Scouting.

1). Tell us a little bit about how the site got started?

I have been working in the NFL draft industry since my junior year of high school, actually. Way back in the year 2000 I was the 49ers columnist for NFL Draft Blitz. From there I worked my way up to lead writer, then vice president and eventually president of what was at the time the largest NFL draft website in existance. 

From there myself and a few awesome writers decided to do our own thing and really focus on football scouting. That’s where New Era Scouting got it’s start.

Since then I have worked in the NFL, CFL and Arena League as a scout and three times won a league championship as a semi-pro football coach.

2). What’s your evaluation process?

I have tried to evolve each year in this aspect. In preparing for the 2011 NFL draft I sat down last June and made a database of 1,000 seniors and 250 juniors I wanted to keep an eye on and “scout”. I attend games and practices as my schedule allows, beg schools for film and then DVR as many televised games as possible. I also rely on former co-workers who still work in the NFL as scouts, personnel men and general managers for notes.

3). You can’t talk draft without talking about Cam Newton…what are your thoughts on Cam Newton?

CNewton is the most polarizing player in this draft, but that’s nothing new. Every year there is one player, at least, that brings on this amount of hype and criticism. I believe in Newton’s potential. I have graded him out higher than Vince Young and Tim Tebow, considerably. To me he is a solid top 10 pick. His arm strength is great, his accuracy can be improved with the right mechanics and you have to love his athleticism. I see a lot of Josh Freeman in his ability.

4).  What’s your draft philosophy about taking running backs in the first round?

Unless the running back is a once in a decade type player, I would not use a first-round pick on a running back. Look at what Reggie Bush has done compared to Jamaal Charles? Charles was a 3rd Round pick. The position is too deep each year to waste a high pick, and huge salary, on a position where you can rotate players in.

5).Do you think Danny Watskins age will effect his draft stock? (on a similar note do you know what’s the oldest player ever drafted in the first round?)

I do think his age will be an issue. At 27 years old you can realistically expect his career to last 8-10 years. He’s a very good player, but I want to draft a guy who has 10-15 years ahead of him.

6). What’s the group of players that provides the best value in the middle round?

I would say running backs and receivers here. As mentioned above, running backs can be found after the first round. Receivers are always expected to contribute too much in round one, and they fall down the draft board for crazy reasons. If a receiver can make plays in college, he’s most likely going to be able to make plays in the NFL. Too many people over-think it.

7). Who are some of your overrated and underrated prospects in this draft?

Overrated- Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett, Mark Ingram, Nate Solder, Aaron Williams
Underrated- Andy Dalton, Mikel Leshoure, Titus Young, Gabe Carimi, Ricky Elmore

 (I’m on board with most of those, except Ingram as I’ve made it been known multiple times).
8). What are your thoughts on Mike Pouncey?

Mike Pouncey is a guard. Having watched him struggle as a center all season it’s insane to think he believes he is an NFL center. Mike Pouncey is not his brother. I would spend an early second-round pick on him.

9). A lot of talk has been made about how poor the safety class is, but what about the 4-3 linebacker class? Is it much better? Are there any real 4-3 linebacker prospects for the first round?

Akeem Ayers is right there at the end of the first round and he grades out as a first-rounder. In round two I really like Bruce Carter for the 4-3. The safety class is weak as well, but mostly because there is no elite player. Rahim Moore is solid, as is Quinton Carter, in round two.
10). Looking at your big board one player I like that you have high is Jamie Harper what do you see from him?
I like Harper’s abilities all around. He has great size at 5’11” and 233lbs, but he backs that up with low 4.5 speed. I prefer running backs like Rashard Mendenhall and Peyton Hillis. Harper fits that mold.

11). Players you think are most likely to fall out of the first round that people think are a lock for the first round.

This is a fun question every year. Jake Locker, Mike Pouncey, Torrey Smith, Brooks Reed.

12) Plug time: Tell our readers about your site and why they should come visit?

I actually have two sites to plug here. At I am the lead scout. We are also putting out a draft guide this year that is crazy loaded with analysis for just $5.00.

At I am the featured NFL Draft columnist, writing 3-5 articles per week and leading their draft content

While we’re plugging:

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