The NFL Lens


“What advice can you give me about scouting football?”

Be it books and videos on strategy and technique, recommended writers and websites, or some super-secret nugget of wisdom that a few think I must possess, I’m often asked some form of the question “What advice can you give me about scouting football?”

Far and away, the best thing that you can do to develop a better eye for projecting college talent to the NFL game is to know the NFL game. If you’re not making an ongoing effort to do this, you need to do make it your first priority.

This ongoing series of posts will help. I’m fortunate that one of my jobs is to study professional football. While the end product that the public sees is for fantasy consumption, there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface. I’m reviewing old and learning new things every day (photo above) and it means there are a lot of things I note while studying the week’s games that I don’t use for Footballguys columns.

This page will serve as an ongoing series of posts I’m calling The NFL Lens: items from the professional game that help me apply a constructive template over what I’m witnessing in the college game.

Broader Themes

Quiet Plays: David Johnson

Reading Blocks (And People): David Johnson

Hips: LeGarrette Blount


Mechanics of a Pump Fake: Derek Carr’s TD throw to Amari Cooper

Vertical Accuracy: Feet and Mindset w/Jameis Winston and Alex Smith

The FBI of Plays Gone Awry: Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz

Anticipation and Touch (and Perspectives on QB Analysis): Drew Brees

Manipulation, Maneuvering The Pocket, and Throwing From a Good Base: Tom Brady

Running Backs

Hips: LeGarrette Blount

Ball Security: Damien Williams

Balance: Jay Ajayi

Quiet Plays: David Johnson

Reading Blocks (And People): David Johnson

Wide Receivers 

Fingertips Technique: Mike Evans and Jarvis Landry

Pad Level: Jarvis Landry

Tight Coverage: T.Y. Hilton

Route Creativity: Travis Benjamin

Variation of Pace: Amari Cooper

Fade Route Boundary Depth: Michael Crabtree 

Separation: Marvin Jones

Tight Ends

Suspending Disbelief, Details, and Tension-Release: Rob Gronkowski and Quentin Tarantino

Hard Breaks:Jordan Reed

Defensive Line

Economy of Movement: Michael Bennett

Explosive Movement: Aaron Donald


“One Arm Is Longer Than Two:” Justin Houston Rushing the Edge

Timing the Dynamite: Lawrence Timmons at the goal line 

Pass Drops And Valuing Details: Albert McClellan

Defensive Backs

Perimeter Tackling: T.J. Ward Is The Outfielder, Tarik Cohen’s Knee Is The Ball

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