Bill Smith’s College Player Rating System

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By Bill Smith

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We all like to evaluate how badly our favorite teams have screwed up the draft. I though you might like to see how I evaluate players. I will be doing a draft rap up here on the Browns and other teams after the draft.

This outlines the system I have used for more than 40 years in evaluating college players for the NFL draft. The system is based on a point system. A number of years ago, I was in Indy the week of the Combine. I ran into a couple of Colt scouts in the hotel lobby. I suggested that they look at a C that I really liked but would probably not be drafted. He wasn’t drafted but the Colts signed him as a rookie undrafted free agent. The player was Jeff Saturday. All he has done is become an all pro for many years and the captain of the O line for Payton Manning. I found him using this system.

To use it, there are a few rules that must be followed.

Rules:

Only use the first half of games except for all star games. That eliminates players taking quarters off or taking unnecessary risks from a blowout.

The point system is used. A single play can generate no more than 5 points for any player.

It is impossible to effectively grade O and D line live. Slow motion is necessary to evaluate plays in these areas.

To get a reliable grade for a player, you must see at least 8 quarters of play. With 4 quarters you can get a good idea but to be sure the more games the better. That also balances the quality of opponents.

Only grade the seniors and probable juniors entering the draft. It is almost impossible to evaluate all 22 players on every play unless you have no life what so ever. Most seasons I wait until the under classmen have declared to do my detailed study of players.

Only award positive or negative numbers for above (or below) average plays. An average player is expected to make average plays regularly. This is one subjective area of the evaluation. However, if you are consistent with your grading, you can compare players in the same position on different teams.

Up to 2 pluses or minuses can be awarded for a play. For example a 5 yard penalty is -1 (pn-) while anything more than 5 yards is -2 (pn=). These are still within the 5 point rule.

Credit the player that deserves credit. An interception that bounces off a players hands and is picked is charged to the receiver not the passer. The D player that forces a QB into the arms of another gets half a sack as does the tackler.

Scoring:

OL 1 point each—p-Pass block r-Run block (lineman pulls or blocks down field and makes the block) d-Drive block NOTE: If a lineman pulls and misses the block he gets 0 on the play not a -.

Scoring for “skill” players (includes the above plus the following):

QB 1 point each as am al (accuracy in short, medium and long passes) tou (touch) xr (avoid rush) r(run)

QB 2 points each aw (awareness/looking off the safety) rd (reading D finding open receiver)

QB -3 points each x(interception) fl (fumble)

RB/WR 1 point each c (catch) r (run) v (vision) add a + for each tackle broken b (block) a (attempted catch of a bad ball) o (get open) d- (drop)

RB/WR 2 points each yac (yards after catch/contact) e (effort) aw (awareness) fl (fumble) fr (fumble of another recovered)

Miscellaneous (Defense or offense)

1 point each t (tackle) ms mm ml (man coverage short, med, long) z (zone) pb (pass blocked) pd (pass defended down field) r (run d) p (pass rush)

2 points each h (hurry QB to inc. pass) aw rd (read play) s (sack) fr (fumble recovered)

3 points each x (interception) xc (interception caused by rush or tipped ball) fc (fumble caused) bkp (blocked punt) bkk (blocked kick)

Only for those that are really into evaluating DBs: If a sack occurs after 4 seconds of the snap, each DB gets a G (group sack) worth one point to each.

In addition, the pn is a minus as described above but if a player causes a penalty he gets a pc (penalty caused) worth one point for a 5 yard and 2 pts for more than 5 yards.

Now I am sure that everyone wants to know what is a good score and what is a bad one. That like beauty is in the eye of the evaluator. O line and D players should average more than 8 points in a half. QB and RBs should get 12+ to be considered very good. WR vary a lot depending on how many times they are thrown to. Those are scores according to my evaluations. Yours may well differ depending on what you call an above average play. It is a tool to rank different players in the same position. However, if you see a player that is not well thought of that scores very high in all games seen, he is probably going to be a steal in the draft.

One last thing. The scores for each player should be listed in order that the games were played. A good player that shows consistent improvement from 5 to 7 to 9 to 11 points during the season moves ahead of a player that is level or moves down from early to late. When you have players with different numbers of games evaluated, use the average score per game for each.

This is a lot of work and not many will want to do it. However, it also works for evaluating pro players but their scores should be a little higher to be considered above average. I hope you at least try this system and would love to know what you think after you have.

This system is copyrighted by W.E. Smith. It is posted here for the private use of our readers and may not be reproduced in any other forum, form or on the net without the written permission of the author.

Please join me for the best Sports Talk anywhere on the Internet and hear his sports show Monday-Friday 8-10 EST on http://www.cleveland.com/dsn/index.ssf/2010/11/dsn_video_live_stream.html

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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Coach Del Rio's chair is more uncomfortable than a 110 degree Florida day in August

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The pressure is on Jack Del Rio to win or find a good real estate agent. Jacksonville has the bad luck of playing in the same division with two perennial powerhouse teams in the AFC South. But the time for excuses is over. Win now or …

The offense has struggled for the last several years and the off season moves have not helped. QB David Garrard has to produce this season to improve the record and get into the playoffs. He has to win to keep his job as well. Garrard has lost more weapons that he got in return in the off season. Fred Taylor is gone along with his top 3 receivers from last years team. For the OTA’s, Del Rio bought three cases of “Hello My name is” labels.

Garrard was a 80-83 passer rating QB throwing about as many TDs as picks until 2007. That year he burned up defenses with a rating of 102.2 with 18 TDs and only 3 picks. After getting back from an injury in week 11 he threw 12 TDs in 6 games but was out again week 17. There was great anticipation for his 08 season but the golden coach turned back into a pumpkin and he ended up with a rating of 81.1 with 15 TDs and 11 picks.

His familiar targets are gone. Former 1st round picks Matt Jones and Reggie Williams were busts and ex Brown Dennis Northcutt had a breakout season and left as a FA. His new receivers will include Torry Holt, who has to trim his beard so he won’t trip over it, and a bunch of no names. That list includes the significantly underachiever Troy Williamson and Mike Walker, Mike Thomas, Jarett Dillard, Tiquan Underwood, Nate Hughes, Maurice Dupree, and Todd Peterson. Garrard will have to depend on TE Marcedes Lewis because I see a lot of drops in the list of WRs.

The running game is totally in the hands of Maurice Jones-Drew. The super-sub is going to have to prove he can carry the big load. But as he has gotten more carries in his three years, his average has gone from 5.7 in 06 to 4.6 in 07 to 4.2 in 08 with 197 carries. At 5-7 208, you have to wonder if he can take the pounding from a 275 carry season. He is an above average receiver. The ex-RB now FB Greg Jones will use his 254 lbs to clear the way for MJD and will get more than the 2 carries he got last year.

The Offensive line last year was—well offensive. The starters will be totally different this year. There is talent there and it had better come together quickly. Both projected starting guards Maurice Williams and Vince Manuwai are coming back from injuries that cost them the entire 08 season. They are both talented but have to prove they are ready to contribute again. Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton were the teams first 2 picks. Monroe should start at LT with Britton being a key reserve. C Brad Meester is excellent but RT Tony Pashos will be pushed by ex-Eagle UFA Tra Thomas.

Everyone on the D line is going to have to step it up. The group of DEs Derrick Harvey and Reggie Hayward and DTs John Henderson and Derek Landri are projected to start. Henderson was outstanding when his running mate was Marcus Stroud and gets a lot more double teams without him. Hayward is coming off a season ending injury. The line must generate more sacks and pressures if the D is going to get back to the top of the league. Chances are they will not.

The linebacking is shaky at best and there is no quality depth. Daryl Smith will play outside this season and Justin Durant will be in the middle. Both are changes from last year. The jury is out on how this configuration will perform.

The D backfield will undergo another shakeup this season after a below average 08. CB Rashean Mathis is the only proven player and was not as good last season as in 07. SS FA Sean Considine has a lock on the position but I think he is over rated. FS Reggie Nelson is athletic but very inconsistent. The rest are just the rest and nothing special.

OVERALL: Jacksonville will at best be 3rd in the division and unfortunately have a new coach in 2010.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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