Nine years ago, Matt Waldman began the Rookie Scouting Portfolio (RSP) website. It’s about time he has a page to welcome readers and explain what’s going on around here.
Welcome to my site and thank you for visiting. If you’re new to the site or wondered about the invisible thread that runs through the work you’re reading, listening, and watching here, I recommend you read this post and check out the links at the end.
I consider this work important to the RSP’s philosophy. Much of it is evergreen material. Some of it we’ve learned more since we wrote the pieces, but they are markers along our journey as students of the game.
I make my living as an independent scout and football analyst.
I used to resist using the term ‘scout’ because I wanted to respect those plying this craft in professional leagues. Thanks to the feedback of professionals who’ve read my work—players, scouts, analytics professionals, and coaches— I’ve come to accept that I am a scout despite taking an unconventional journey to get here.
Creating a successful business is difficult. It’s even crazier to start one in an industry where most of your peers played, coached, or scouted at the highest levels of the game and the last time you donned pads or participated in practice was a Pop Warner league.
Back then, I joked with my friends about seemingly being at a complete disadvantage in this field.
I may not have the street cred or football experience, but I have something most of them don’t.
My friends, family, and colleagues didn’t think it was funny. Some of them looked afraid when I described what I was doing.
Despite my unfortunate experiential and financial disadvantages, there were some things that I had in abundance. I was a successful operations manager of large teams where I worked in demanding and stressful environments. Later on, I became a director of quality management, and I earned training in best-practices in performance evaluation.
Years later, an experienced NFL employee in the player-personnel arena reached out to me. He had been an RSP subscriber for several years, and one of the things that he valued most about my work was how clearly I saw the operations and business side of teams as it relates to player personnel.
He also had a deep appreciation for the backbone of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio’s (RSP) evaluation process that’s in-depth, defined in great detail, and transparent. As a result, the design is built for continuous improvement and evolution.
Since the annual scouting publication’s debut on April 1, 2006, the RSP has come a long way over the course of 15 years. ‘The RSP’ now refers to several things:
- A pre-draft publication.
- A post-draft publication.
- A monthly newsletter for publication subscribers that runs May through December.
- A YouTube channel.
- A podcast.
- A website.
This growth includes the past and present contributions of several fine analysts. Mark Schofield who splits his time among several regional and national sites continues doing work here.
Dwain McFarland is about to show Pro Football Focus how it’s done. We still find time to hang at the RSP Cast.
J. Moyer is getting the chance to do what he always wanted–help run his own shop at FF Astronauts. I’m sure we’ll find a chance to do a podcast between his ever-growing family.
Although the RSP has evolved greatly, the underlying thread of the work remains the same: Go Deep.
Be it a play, a series, a player, a scheme, a technique, a concept, a strategy, or a perspective held about the craft of player evaluation, whatever we’re analyzing about the game, the RSP goes deep.
We do this here because we’re students of the game. While we have much to share, we recognize that we always have even more to learn.
Whether you’re new to the RSP or a long-time repeat customer, we’ve reached a place with this site where sharing notable milestones of lessons we’ve learned that serve as the foundation for new adventures into the body, mind, and soul of the game.
The Craft And Processes of Scouting, Team-Building, And Football Analysis
- Losing Your Football Innocence: How to watch football with a more critical eye
- My Age of Experience: Lessons Since Losing My Football Innocence
- Evaluating the Evaluator
- Deny Emotion And You Only See A Fraction of the Game
- “I am Smarter Than ‘Phillip’ Rivers: Taking Down the Wonderlic”
- How I Learned to Stop Measuring Hand Sizes And Love the Measurement
- My Expansion Franchise: An exercise in building a personnel department
- A Game of Inches: The Talent Gap By The Numbers
- Why Scouting Gets a Bum Rap: A Front Office Overhaul
- The Hidden Advantage of Being a High NFL Draft Pick
- How to Project NFL Offenses
On-Field Player Evaluation
- How I Evaluate August Football
- What is an Integrated Skill Set?
- Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, Prince, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix And The Difficulty of [Player] Comparisons
- Boycotting the Corner Store: A Lesson for RBs
- But Can He Make Music? (Why team setting and scheme matter greatly for quarterback development)
- Marcus Mariota: The Task-Oriented QB (An illustration of two spectrums of quarterback behavior)
- Kirk Cousins—Baker or Chef (Another way of thinking about quarterback behaviors)
- RSP Film Room: Chad Kelly and Why Football is Not a Corporate Boardroom
- Patrick Mahomes: Matt Waldman’s Pre-Draft Scouting Report
- Making Sense of Dak Prescott And How it Will Change the Future of the RSP
- Nick Chubb: Matt Waldman’s Pre-Draft Scouting Report And A Dose of Perspective on RB Evaluation
- Matt Waldman’s Quarterback to Defend the Planet
- RSP Cast: Football As a Performance Craft
- Quarterback Decision-Making Is Intuitive
- Randy Moss And Exceptions to the Rule
Evaluating Off-Field Behavior
- Talent And Production: The Great Emotional Divide
- Character, Media, And the NFL Draft: A Sour Cocktail
- RSP Cast: Evaluating Off-Field Behavior
For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), pre-order the 2020 Rookie Scouting Portfolio for a discounted price of $19.95 during the early-bird period of Thursday, December 5th through Friday, December 27th.
If you’re a fantasy owner and interested in purchasing past publications for $9.95 each, the 2012-2019 RSPs also have a Post-Draft Add-on that’s included at no additional charge.
Best, yet, 10 percent of every sale is set aside until the RSP has reached its annual goal of donating $5,000 Darkness to Light to combat sexual abuse.