Scouting the NFL Draft is a continuously evolving process

2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images) /

Scouting the NFL Draft is a continuous loop of growing, developing, and changing with the times.

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, and many analysts are grinding through summer scouting to get ready for 2021, including us here at NFL Mocks. When looking at the 2020 draft, we got another year of data regarding general managers, coaches, scouts, and the organization’s overall tendencies when it comes to draft prospects.

It’s important to note what they value, in terms of upper versus underclassmen, athletic testing, and interviews, and finding what combination matters the most.

During the time of summer scouting, before the NFL Draft talk really ramps up, it’s important to look inward as a scout and identify where you can improve from the previous year to the next. So much goes into scouting at every position, and like everyone else, we aren’t perfect with our rankings and will never be. But, it’s important to find a way to figure out what translates the best at every position and minimize your mistakes.

The difficult part is that while you as a scout are trying to improve and get a handle on what traits, production, and testing to include in your grading, things will change. The NFL is always evolving, as it has shown since the turn of the 21st century. Passing is the name of the game now, but running backs are making a comeback in certain instances.

Not to mention, pass coverage, analytically speaking, might be more valuable than pass rush. Eventually, things will cycle around and teams will zig while others zag.

So, let’s go over some things that have changed in the past several years in terms of scouting the NFL Draft.