Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast Ep.53: The Secret Sauce of the RSP

In this week’s RSP Cast, Matt Waldman discusses the secret sauce of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio and uses Kyle Van Noy’s recent anecdote about the Lions’ coaching staff as an example to why it’s often missing in the NFL. 

Imagine shortly after a company hires you that your boss tells you that you don’t fit the needs of his team. When you tell him that he hired you, he confesses that his management did the hiring and they didn’t understand what he needed.

This was Kyle Van Noy’s experience in Detroit.  Ryan Riddle and I studied Van Noy before the draft and concluded he could become a future NFL star:

“Some things in football cannot be coached. When it comes to play making instincts, you either have it or you don’t,” says Riddle about Van Noy’s play-making abilities that he describes as “off the charts.”

“I like to compare him to a linebacker version of Tyrann Mathieu in terms of his ability to be incredibly disruptive by knowing exactly how and when to take chances.”

According to Riddle, Van Noy, who Football Outsiders projects as a first or early second-day pick, is earning mid-round grades. He explains that a player with good instincts can be often be characterized as product of a good system –- even lucky. Worse yet, a coach can sometimes mishandle a player with good instincts because the process isn’t by the book.

The reason this disconnect between a drafted player and coaching staff exists often lies with the scouting department and front office. It’s not that these entities don’t care what the coaching staff wants or needs, they lack the essential foundation to properly identify and communicate these demands.

This week’s RSP Cast discusses the cultivation and round-the-year care of defined scouting criteria and why the NFL remains behind the curve. I also explain how the effort to define criteria encourages evaluators to not only see the specific skills of a player but also see the prospect on a broader level.

Learning to balance important details with a broader perspective that will reduce the potential of getting into the weeds about the wrong things and overlooking exceptional players like Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, and Patrick Mahomes.

If football scouting or analysis is your passion, this podcast is one you don’t want to miss.

For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), get the 2019  Rookie Scouting Portfolio. If you’re a fantasy owner the Post-Draft Add-on comes with the 2012 – 2018 RSPs at no additional charge.

Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is donated to Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse. You can purchase past editions of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio for just $9.95 each. You can pre-order the 2019 RSP now (available for download April 1). 

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