Unorthodox draft scouting reports you can't miss

Print
  • By Emma Sauerwein NFL.com
More Columns >

The End Around sincerely apologizes to the reader for its utter lack of pre-draft coverage this spring. Thankfully, we have veteran part-time scout, full-time Phys. Ed. instructor Skip McDowell, who was determined -- almost aggressively so -- to turn over his in-depth reports on three of the hottest college prospects.

Tony Romo. Tom Brady. Kurt Warner. Dak Prescott. What do these superstars have in common? You guessed it, they were passed on and blatantly disrespected by the scouting community. As a proclaimed and acclaimed "unconventional" talent evaluator, it is my mission to supplement the generic reporting garnered by my colleagues with a deep dive into what really makes these young men tick. Recognizing the draft's life-changing impact, I'm devoted to providing all 32 organizations with the most relevant talent assessments, as it is also how I earn my primary source of income and I need to capitalize on this short window of opportunity. Despite having no official affiliation with the league, my accolades speak for themselves. I will travel anywhere within the continental U.S. to lay my eyes on these prospects, though to pull back the curtain here, I will need to be compensated in cash, as my credit card has been maxed out due to unapproved expense reports and a wife with an affinity for Neiman Marcus.

Anyway, in this league, it's about time we all start paying more attention to the intangibles in addition to the tangibles. These players' fates rest on my shoulders and I refuse to pigeonhole them solely based on their proven on-the-field expertise. Unlike most, I'm also willing to endure the most boring personal anecdotes from both parents and grandparents on the sidelines if it means I get to sit down for 10 minutes. To the GMs and coaches utilizing this information, you're welcome, and please give me a call if you're hoping to learn more about these athletes. Though, to be honest, I did write everything I know and I wouldn't want you to waste any cell phone data.


Deshaun Watson


NAME: WATSON, DESHAUN
COLLEGE: CLEMSON
POSITION: QUARTERBACK
SEASON: WINTER
HANDS: GOOD/2
HRS OF SLEEP: 7.5

STRENGTHS: Consistent 3-point shooter, air-bending, punctuality, emotional halftime pep talks, working the color orange

WEAKNESSES: Fear of roller coasters, short-yardage gathering, playing against the wind, Hail Mary completions, 5-foot-4

COMPARISON: An old-fashioned ball slinger, Watson's shifty offensive swagger and distinct nose for trouble most closely compare him to a snow leopard, native of South Asia. The very rare lone wolf in a wild feline's body.

SCHEME FIT: His impressive spiral ball-throwing ability and desire to reach intended ball-catchers make Watson a solid fit on any triangle offense with at least one backup on the roster. Familiarity with the pro style 6-3 zone will allow him to be the only player on the team with such knowledge. 7/10.

SUMMARY: A leader on and off the court, Deshaun Watson's physical intelligence will impress even the crankiest of volunteer staff and his ball skills are undeniable. Not only did he win the jumping jacks competition in practice, but he also ran the 40-yard dash. If my timer hadn't crapped out, I'd be able to elaborate on the result of that exercise. Also, side note, pack plenty of sunscreen while visiting South Carolina, the Tigers don't have any available and I wouldn't want any other scouts to suffer. We talk a lot about tight windows when it comes to the QB position and Deshaun is no different. His clear eyes and full-heart mentality are solely responsible for the limited amount of losses he accumulated in high school. Give this man a head start and I promise you he'll outrun anyone on your roster. Using the force in offside alignments allows him to wrap the edge against any defense, perfect for teams intending to punt on every other possession. Eats a sensible breakfast comprised of Raisin Bran or sometimes Honey Nut Cheerios, which leads me to believe Watson has his priorities in order and was clearly raised in a loving environment. His surprising command of the huddle will provide serious competition at the QB position in either New England or Green Bay. 83 percent.


Corey Davis


NAME: DAVIS, COREY
COLLEGE: WESTERN MICHIGAN
POSITION: WIDE RECEIVER
MOXIE: A LOT
MUSIC: LIKES IT
PRANKSTER: NO, AVOID

SKILLS: Zipping the line, separating from the bench, placekicking when asked, avoiding jet lag on international flights, trigonometry

WEAKNESSES: Marathon running, puppies, staying inbounds, long division, catching passes, tipping delivery guys, getting in the zone

PRO COMPARISON: A young player with a great head of hair, his focus shifting and continued shallow threat on special teams most closely resembles Odell Beckham Jr. without the one-handed catch but with the boys' trip to Miami. Level 3/5. Green light.

SCHEME FIT: Can be a huge assist on a slow-style offense with a history of clock mismanagement and lack of depth on the anterior side of the ball. Teams with an extensive collection of trick plays will benefit from Davis' experience as a part-time magician and should plan accordingly.

SUMMARY: Single-purpose WR with an otherworldly wingspan and habit of being tackled on the goal line. With over three touchdowns and twice as many completions in his college career, Corey has proven that it's not how you start the race but also how you don't finish it that counts. I overheard another scout's conversation with Mr. Davis, and from what I could make out, he seems like a good guy. A gym rat with a workhorse's appetite, Corey completely cut out doughnuts and Oreo cookies from his diet and I have to give my utmost respect to anyone with that level of discipline. He's known to post on Instagram several times in a row, but it's only annoying if you choose to follow him. Corey constantly pulls his teammates up by their own bootstraps when the going gets tough, which is often, as his team went 1-14 last year. Having been the understudy for the role of "Danny" in Western Michigan's production of Grease, Corey understands what it means to be a backup and how to gracefully endure the spotlight being on someone better. A quick note for the next round of scouts visiting WMU: If you find a white Apple iPhone charger, please don't hesitate to give me a call, as I lost mine at the combine and have been searching for it ever since.


Leonard Fournette


NAME: FOURNETTE, LEONARD
COLLEGE: LSU
POSITION: RUNNING BACK
EYES: 20/20
HANDSHAKE: FIRM
LACTOSE INTOLERANCE? YES***

BEST: Resistance twisting, vortex shifting, cleanliness, half-steps, movement skills, parallel parking

WORST: Multiple ball juggling, two broken legs, impatience at amusement parks, anticipating the groove, double-texter

PROJECTION: A football player with a quiet over-aggression and attractive posterior mechanics that will thrive in a systematic scheme led by a man's man. Needs a solution to his awful nightly snoring but will ultimately sprint through hoops for the right organization.

SCHEME FIT: Can maximize production on a high-energy, low-budget group that needs a burst of fire in the preseason before returning to the bench. Six stars. Makes ample space for himself when heavily supported by a noted offensive line. Do not overlook.

SUMMARY: Fast ball-running specialist who prefers not to block but deserves above average legroom on airplanes and perhaps small sports utility vehicles. I spoke to this young man's mother and she had nothing but nice things to say about him. Having poise for days, Leonard is a check-in, check-up, all-downs RB who curls any way you could possibly imagine. He identifies with "Ross" on Friends, so admittedly that is a little suspect. Once he gets into a rhythm, his lateral stop, drop and roll philosophy is very difficult to catch on film. Has a real sweet tooth so be careful when eating Skittles around him at practice. He also seems in good spirits for someone who has been injured most of his life and is looking at several more months of rehab. His frequent fumbling can definitely be an issue if you see it that way, otherwise it shouldn't be a major problem. I once spilled a whole box of Cheez-Its on the locker room floor and Fournette was the first one to grab a mop. Little did he know I was testing him on both his attention to detail and compassion. His teammates call him the "Bulldozer," which now seems slightly misleading after seeing him play, but don't let this influence you too much in Cleveland or San Francisco.

Print

Fan Discussion