2017 Senior Bowl, Scouting, and Requirements

This year I had the opportunity to get down to Mobile, AL for Senior Bowl practice week where I spoke with many scouts, player personnel staff, scouting directors, general managers, and a few other NFL front office executives. I learned a lot about how the NFL develops, evaluates, and analyzes the talent that they may be looking to add to their rosters for the upcoming season.

All the scouts that I spoke with had a “scouting guide” that contained info much like the images contained in this write up (Click on any of the image thumbnails for a full-size rendering). The scouting guide provides the scouts with the parameters, constraints and characteristics that the General Manager is looking for at each position. This guide serves as a reminder to the scouts what to look for when evaluating talent. The idea is that if the organization can find the most elite athletes at each position that meet those characteristics, then they have identified the candidate player pool that they would want to target in the NFL Draft and or Free Agency.

I asked a few scouts if they knew what their team’s scouting requirements were and they all pointed me back to their scouting guides. The scouts further explained that most if not all the “scouting requirements” were contained in their scouting guides. If you look inside these guides, you can see things like “ability to learn the playbook” or “good at reading and reacting” identified as requirements that an athlete must have to be successful in the NFL or more directly for that team.

The problem here is that the things described in each of the scouting guides that I got to see really are not “requirements” instead what I saw was desired characteristics. In product development and process optimization, a requirement is a singular documented physical and functional need that a particular design, product or process must be able to perform. It is most commonly used in a formal sense in systems engineering, software engineering, or enterprise engineering. The definition of a characteristic is a distinguishing feature of a person or thing. An example of characteristic is the high levels of intelligence of a valedictorian. noun. Characteristic is defined as a quality or trait. An example of characteristic is intelligence.

The key to building anything correctly is having very good requirements. You need to know what is needed first then you identify the desired characteristics.

Eye-Scout has developed and patented a system, method, and process for evaluation that builds a repeatable architectural framework centered around requirements.

What does Eye-Scout do? Eye-scout works with their customers to develop the organization specific requirements and the characteristics or traits needed to satisfy those requirements. Eye-Scout captures organizational information and definitions into the E-FACE (Eye-Scout Football Architecture Capability Enterprise) Framework. E-FACE is an Eye-Scout proprietary and patented architecture framework that was derived from the DoDAF (Department of Defense Architecture Framework). E-FACE is composed of 7 architectural areas: Architecture Description, Capability, Organizational, Business, Assignment, Resources, and Foundation and 25 architectural viewpoints that together make up the overall enterprise level view of the organization. Once you have this enterprise level view then you can begin to derive the exact requirements that are needed to correctly identify the candidate player pool that should be considered for your organization. Additionally, once you have everything documented in an integrated architecture it becomes reusable, tailorable and provides the necessary data and information for your analytics team to provide very detailed analysis for the key decision makers of the organization.


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