By recommendation of Comrade Bienemy, I have been reading an incredibly interesting (and way above my head) book called The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. In it he talks about something called silent evidence, which is the result of the human tendency to consider only the facts presented, while ignoring other relevant facts that are less apparent, or that take more energy to uncover.
This concept made me think of the NFL college talent scouting process, and how scouts are charged with not only analyzing the apparent facts of potential draft picks, but by going several layers deeper into the player's history and personality traits in order to determine their compatibility with the team's philosophy. The silent evidence in this case would not just be a quick search of a player's criminal history, which would only include the times they got caught. Besides, this information is gathered by the league office, making it widely available to every NFL team. The silent evidence would be the kind of things players have done in the past WITHOUT getting caught, or simply the character flaws that the college coach of a player isn't going to give away to a scout that he does not know.
What I have been told by an anonymous Comrade who has an in depth knowledge of the NFL scouting process is that aside from
Take, for example, a tale of two different scouts. Bobby McGee is the west coast college talent scout for the Raiders. He travels from college to college, spending a few hours at each to analyze what he sees in the players. He cannot spend much more time at each because the Raiders scouting staff is overstretched and underpaid. In his visits, all of the head coaches that he talks to play up the abilities of their players because the more players they have that go on to play on Sundays, the better off their program will be.
On the other hand you've got Jack Bauer who is the scout for the Broncos. This guy has a lot smaller territory to cover, and he spends a lot more time with each college team getting to know the head coaches and even more importantly the assistant coaches. Hell, Jack is personal friends with most of these coaches, and even goes over to their houses for dinner sometimes. He is constantly in touch with these guys, and is able to build relationships that earn trust, in addition to very valuable bits of information on these college players.
Now, take a potential 4th round pick offensive tackle from Boise State who is working out for scouts inside the stadium and not many NFL teams have someone there because Boise State had a light senior class meaning not many of them have a chance to play on Sundays. The Raiders and Broncos need a tackle, so both scouts are on the field timing his 40 yard dash time and seeing what he bench presses on a cold March day. If Bobby invites the OL coach to lunch and Jack invites him to golf after practice tomorrow, who do you think he’s going to accept? Even if he’s busy, and Jack gets a chance to walk with him to the car after practice, he just might say, “Jack, this kid is a bad apple and he just knocked up his ex girlfriend so he’s been a nightmare to be around. He was bad in the clubhouse this year and he never goes to class, and even if you could get him in the 5th round, you probably should stay away.”
Whereas, Bobby sees the same coach tomorrow, he might say, “Bob, this kid has missed a few classes over the years, but you just watched his brute strength and his burst of speed…I expect to see him succeed on Sundays.”