Nov. 21, 2019

This email is directed at any NFLPA-certified contract advisor interested in how the NFL draft works as well as the months leading up to the draft. Note: We are not endorsed, sponsored, or otherwise affiliated with the NFLPA.
Discussion: Scouts vs. Designers
As we work with lots of scouts and travel in that community pretty regularly, it's always been puzzling why so many evaluators have had trouble moving into college football during times of unemployment. We've  seen it happen at times, and perhaps  the biggest name in college personnel is a former NFL scout , but there hasn't been a consistent pipeline from the pros to the college ranks. I wondered how (or if) schools value NFL evaluators, so I asked this question: If you had a chance to hire the very best graphic designer you've ever seen, or a former NFL scout to help you with personnel, and could only hire one, which do you take? 
We got a few responses, but they said virtually the same thing. 
  • "I have actually found the evaluation portion is not a great part of what we do. You'll get more bang for your buck from the graphic designer. The NFL background is almost a strike against them. It's just such a small part of what we do. They can evaluate but not recruit."
  • "I would take the very best graphic designer without much hesitation. They're so hard to come by. Finding one who is skilled with the work ethic of a football coach/scout/ops guy is incredibly difficult. You're essentially looking for a unicorn. A scout could help more with professional development of staff and find you great talent but ultimately the best graphic designer out there could save me hours a week. The image you portray to kids on social media is so crucially important yet often overlooked by the bigger decision makers when it comes to time and money. Coaches and recruiting staffs (excluding an already established designer) can find talent. Coaches and recruiting staffs more often than not can't create graphics."
  • "I would hire the best graphics person, (with) the reason being they would take a lot off my plate from a brand standpoint (Twitter, Instagram, Photoshop, etc.)." 
Their responses were really educational to me, and a little damning to people in NFL scouting when they're between jobs. It's also a slightly cautionary tale to those people aspiring to work in the pros. It's a volatile employment environment, and sometimes, coming back down is as hard as making it upward. 
Don't forget our salary survey:  Our first salary survey for the college football community i s off to a good start, but if you haven't responded yet, we'd greatly appreciate it if you would. Many salaries are public record and easily searchable, but we're hoping to gather info from private schools, as well. As always, all responses are completely anonymous and it will take you five minutes to complete. Also, please don't share the survey link with anyone outside the college personnel/recruiting/ops/analytics field. 
Also:  Don't forget about our upcoming symposium . We think it's a unique opportunity to grow and network.

Inside The League is the consulting service for the football industry. We work with the contract advisors for about two-thirds of active NFL players as well as the combine trainers, financial planners, scouts, coaches and other pro league organizers that make up the game. Cost is $29.95/month, and you can cancel at any time. To register, click here. Also check out our new free blog, Succeed in Football. Copyright Neil Stratton and ITL.

Sincerely, Neil Stratton
Inside the League

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