Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast: Ep.6 of Scout Talk with Russ Lande

In episode six of Matt Waldman’s RSP Scout Talk with Russ Lande, Russ and Matt discuss player leadership styles, the challenge of evaluating leadership ability pre-draft, the characteristics of successful long-term scouts, and common misconceptions about the profession of scouting.

Whether he’s a vocal leader, a leader by example, a coach on the field, or the glue of the locker room, anywhere there are draft media with a microphone or a tape recorder, there’s a prospect telling them that he’s a leader. This week, Russ Lande and I discuss what makes a player a good leader, keys to identifying leadership skills as a scout, and why every football player shouldn’t be a leader.

Later, we talk about scouts with decades of tenure and why they’ve been successful and touch upon the common misconceptions about the profession of scouting. This includes the short-sightedness of management cleaning house and firing scouts en masse after draft picks fail as well as an in-depth conversation about the Patriots’ failures at picking wide receivers that is less of an issue with scouts than you may think.

We finish the show with thoughts about four prospects who’ve caught our eyes this week, including the compelling story of UAB linebacker Fitzgerald Mofor.

If you love the NFL Draft and player evaluation, you’ll find these conversations fascinating and enjoyable. You can follow Russ on Twitter @RussLande and read more of his content at

For the most in-depth analysis of offensive skill players available (QB, RB, WR, and TE), pre-order the 2020  Rookie Scouting Portfolio for $21.95 available for download April 1.  

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. 

3 responses to “Matt Waldman’s RSP Cast: Ep.6 of Scout Talk with Russ Lande”

  1. Matt, I posted this comment a few weeks ago (and the comment shows up on the page). But on the previous “Pods page.” It doesn’t show there being any comments to that podcast.

    I’ll repost the comment here:

    I have a notion rattling around inside my head, and I would love to hear you (and your co-hosts) discuss it.

    I don’t think Jalen Hurts is a viable starting QB in the NFL based on downfield velocity and accuracy, his penchant for running (rather than keeping his eyes downfield), and potential health–based concerns because of Hurts’s running style. Further, I think his pre-ingrained style is to trust his legs over his arm, in the event that the play breaks down. However, I think he is the absolute ideal Wildcat / Goalline / situational short-yardage QB. I watched the Texas, Texas Tech, and UCLA games. In those games, I see him consistently converting in pressure, short-yardage situations (both running and throwing). I feel like keeping him in this role would maximize his running ability, short-area throwing ability, and his intangibles, while also minimizing his injury risk.

    Whether you agree with this assessment (or not), I have a couple questions:

    (1) What is the maximum draft value that a team should place on such a “limited” QB?
    (2) What coach (current, historic, or future probable) in the NFL would be most likely to adopt a two QB system?
    (3) How would NFL QBs (and their agents) in a two QB system be valued monetarily in the NFL?

    • Hey Adam,

      Short answers:

      1. I am not going to answer in terms of Hurts = limited. I have my own process and am not going to make those assumptions until I arrive at my own final point of view. As for players that I think are limited, the answer is very little value because there are too many layers of skills and concepts that are already ingrained in QB play to expect significant growth. At the same time, there are players that the general public thinks are limited but actually, their skills have wide distribution than strictly pocket passing and it’s the offensive systems that are limited. I think there’s a chance we’ll see more teams fashion offenses around the option game. Even so, we’ll eventually see a cycle back to pocket passing if this takes the league by storm for a longer period of time.
      2. I don’t think you’ll see teams adapt to a two-QB system because it likely leads to predictability of gameplan and QB/WRs require a lot of rapport with receivers and getting into the flow of the game to make adjustments to what they see from defenses to switch them in and out with any more frequency than what you see in New Orleans.
      3. I’m more on the talent evaluation side of the equation and the fiscal issues don’t really interest me much. That said, I think you have to expect a great devaluation of QB contracts IF such a two-QB practice became widespread. If only a handful of teams used it, you’d probably see some contract disputes where the player side would lose a lot more often than the team side.

      • I appreciate the response. I definitely didn’t want to impose on your process or to encourage you to follow my personal conclusions about any player! I’ve heard you talk enough about your desire to stay away from other’s conclusions–especially at this stage in the “draft cycle”–and I completely respect that you don’t want to talk about a given player.

        All that to say, (1) I appreciate your taking the time to give a response, and (2) I appreciate the work you are doing. Can’t wait to get my copy of the 2020 RSP!

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