Posted on behalf of JScott.
A recent article from Buccaneers.com chronicles Director of College Scouting Dennis Hickey and his staffs daily routine leading up to April’s NFL Draft. It’s basically what you would envision it to be, 20 or so scouts stuffed in a room making their case for the talent they’ve scouted. Raheem Morris and Mark Dominik also sit in on these meetings. Here’s an interesting excerpt from Hickey:
"What we're doing now is just going down the prospects, we're reading reports, the reports are done off [what is seen on] tape. We want to make sure we emphasize what they've done on tape, on the football field. In addition to that, we're also talking about injuries, talking about statistics, and also going over character. Obviously, there are going to be differing opinions about the guy's makeup as well as the prospect himself, the evaluation. We're trying to be as critical as we can at this juncture because we want to know everything about the guy. Then at the end we'll watch a cut-up of the guy, maybe his all-star games where we can kind of hone in on him a little bit visually." - Dennis Hickey, Buccaneers Director of College Scouting per Buccaneers.com
I have to admit I’m pretty envious of the job Hickey and his staff gets to endure day in and day out. I would love to sit in a war room type atmosphere and petition or sell my potential draft selections to the powers that be. I don’t know about all the leg work it would take going to University to University to get the information needed to make a compelling case for my prospects, but the meetings leading up to the NFL Draft, those appear to be exciting events to be a part of. The entire process can get a bit overwhelming if you take a step back and look at it. They are researching and breaking down over 2000 available players, of which only 252 players will be selected and furthermore the Bucs will only select between 6-8 prospects considering the potential for Draft Day trades, etc. All of that work has to be pretty frustrating when your G.M. (then Bruce Allen) chooses to draft a guy with the intention of redshirting him… Sorry I couldn’t resist.
The other interesting piece from this article deals with the teams ‘Draft Board’:
"We come to a point where we line them up and kind of stack guys initially, kind of a starting point," said Hickey. "Coach Morris and Mark are also in there and we answer any questions they may have. I have a little more knowledge of the individual players; I've written reports on all these guys. They may have some other questions so we just kind of talk through guys and come to an initial point at this juncture. You do as much as you can, but you do at some point have to start funneling towards your targeted guys." - Dennis Hickey, Buccaneers Director of College Scouting per Buccaneers.com
From the quotes above you get the sense that Dennis and his staff do exhaustive research prior to and leading up to the Draft. For purposes of this site I think we should look to develop our own Draft Board for Draft Day. The Draft Board is synonymous with NFL teams, with players names attached to magnetic cards. Teams generally list the positions across the top of the board and then have descending numerical grade levels going down the board. We could select our positions of need and start from there ranking the players we feel are worthy of being on our Draft Board…
Let’s discuss the Bucs Draft needs in the comments section with the intention of collectively agreeing on a Draft Order. Here’s where I think we stand in order of need: DT, DE, WR, QB, RB, CB, LB, OL.