Shane Alexander’s 2017 NFL Draft Scouting Glossary and Methodology


  • Dominant – Difference Maker – All Pro Type
  • ImpactPro Bowl Player
  • High EndPotential Pro Bowl Player
  • StarterSolid, Dependable, Productive
  • RotationalNon Starter, Situational Contributor
  • UpsideFlashes Potential Starter Skills, Needs Work and Right Scheme
  • DevelopmentalCould Develop into a Role Player

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Traits Grades

  • RarePerforms mentally and physically at an elite level and has little to no weakness or lapses in performance.
  • ExcellentPerforms mentally and physically at an extremely high level with only minute weaknesses or lapses in performance.
  • Very GoodPerforms mentally and physically at a very high level with occasional weaknesses or lapses in performance.
  • GoodPerforms mentally and physically at a consistent level. Does have weaknesses and mental lapses, but consistently a starter.
  • SolidMental and physical capabilities are present and can keep player from performing consistently at the standard of an every down player.
  • AdequateCan play at the NFL level in the proper situation and scheme but mental and physical traits severely lack.
  • MarginalMentally and physically not capable of maintaining a spot on the 53 man roster; potentially a future role player in the right situation or scheme.

[ Both “Projection” and Traits Grades” were derived from ITP’s processes, highlighted in our 2017 NFL Draft Guide. These two ways of “tagging” prospects adds nuance and are a derivative of  ways NFL teams add layers to their prospect evaluations. ]

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Player Grading

  • Each position is weighted differently. Thresholds physically and athletically are applied to each position to identify superior and inferior prospects, which is in term cross-checked with the grade based off of tape.

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Quarterback Methodology

  • 1-Yr. Projection – Best case scenario for a player in year 1 of their NFL tenure.
  • 3-Yr. PotentialWhat a player could become by year 3 given proper opportunity and in the right system and scheme.
  • SEMTEXSystem developed by Ethan Young used to categorize quarterbacks into three categories where GOLD is the best tier to be in when projecting NFL success, SILVER is for capable players who have a distinguishable trait: Arm strength, mental processing, athleticism, etc., and BRONZE is used as an eliminator when projecting quarterbacks from college to the NFL.
  • Age Week 1My standard for age is 23 years old by week 1 of a player’s rookie season. 24 or older is an automatic deduction.
  • Career StartsOptimal experience is a personal preference of mine. I’ve settled on the number of 22 for the baseline on necessary college starts for a quarterback. Anything less than that or including JUCO has to be overcome with exceptional qualities for a high projection.
  • Completion Percentage60% is the baseline I look for in a quarterback
  • Yard / Attempt and Adjusted Yards / Attempt: 8 is the baseline I look for in a quarterback.
  • Height & Weight: 6’0’’ and 220 pounds are the baseline I look for but are not unflinchingly rigid.
  • Ball Velocity: 54 mph is the threshold. Anything under that eliminates a quarterback from 1st round consideration.
  • Hand Size: 9 ⅛’ is the threshold. Anything under that eliminates a quarterback from 1st round consideration unless the deficiency is overcome by other measurements and traits.

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Edge and Defensive Line Position Explanation

Edge Rusher – Player who lines up outside the offensive tackle either along the defensive line or standing up. These players are defensive ends in a base 4-3 scheme or outside linebackers in a base 3-4 scheme. Two examples of these include Minnesota’s Danielle Hunter and Kansas City’s Justin Houston.

Defensive Line – Players who likes up between the 0 and 5 techniques along the defensive line, or from head-up on the center to head-up on the offensive tackle. These defenders are responsible for the A-to-C gaps in any front. 3-4 Defensive Ends and players who are a bit of a “tweener” fall into this this category. Two examples of these include Houston’s J.J. Watt and Atlanta’s Dontari Poe.