Matt Waldman’s RSP Twitter Vids: WR Justin Jefferson’s Feel for the Game (Starry Night)

Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio shares four clips from LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson’s work against Auburn that illustrates how intangibles like Jefferson’s can be quantified in an evaluation. 

Justin Jefferson has feel for the game. This sentence is the out-dated way of describing one of the underlying traits of a football player’s work because ‘feel’ is seen as an intangible and intangibles are undefinable, untrackable information.

However, if you define the information clear enough that you can track it, it’s now quantifiable. Feel for the game shows up in many processes. If you define those processes well enough, you can not only track whether the player performs the process but also create tiers that define how well the player executes it.

The videos of Jefferson’s work against Auburn are good examples. Five receivers could do similar things as seen below in these four videos:

  1. Run the basic movement of Jefferson’s route.
  2. Make the same changes of direction during the scramble drill.
  3. Earn the initial position and shoot their hands into a defender.
  4. See the pursuing linebacker and attempt to elude him in the final example.

However, those five receivers might lack the awareness of what’s happening around them and the breadth and depth of knowledge of their bodies, the position techniques, the unrehearsed timing or flair to add small details that up the effectiveness of a process, or the emotional toughness to execute these items below as artfully as Jefferson in each of these situations.

It’s one thing to paint a starry night…

it’s a whole other thing to paint The Starry Night.

Jefferson’s ability to put himself and teammates in positions to make positive plays with or without the ball is a valuable asset. When developing an evaluation process, the more you can define these artful details, the easier it becomes to spot players with what we used to call ‘intangibles.’


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Categories: 2020 NFL Draft, Matt Waldman, Players, RSP Twitter Vids, Wide ReceiverTags: , , , , , , , ,


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