Insight into NFL scouts’ lives proves enlightening

Before you build a Super Bowl-winning team, you need to find the right players and a catalyst to ignite the fire in a team. The National Football League Films series “Finding Giants” on NFL Network emphasizes this; zeroing in on what happens behind the scenes in teams’ front offices. The New York Giants are the focus of the show, and the first episode premiered on Tuesday Sept. 30 as the first installment of a four-part miniseries that runs every Tuesday at 9 p.m. through Oct. 21.

To have a Super Bowl-ready team, you need unified players. They need to not only be talented, but mentally focused on the common goal of winning a championship. That is the job of the scouts—they go out and find talent and report back on who may be a big contribution to the team.

The Giants specifically said on several occasions throughout the premiere that they travel throughout the country visiting colleges and high schools, looking for who could be the next big-name athlete.

The Giants typically do three visits throughout the year from three different scouts––they compare each report for talent and progression at the end of the season. If a player is lucky enough to be picked by the scouts, they are then given a player evaluation. General manager Jerry Reese, the position coach and head coach Tom Coughlin then receive that report to see if they should be given draft consideration.

Vice president of player evaluation Marc Ross oversees all the scouts. He has a map of the entire United States densely filled with pins—red pins as “A” schools (high possibility of talent) and blue pins as “B” schools (lower possibility). This can change year to year depending on the prospects and number of students in school, according to Ross.

The Giants definitely make sure they have their bases covered, having scouts in the Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, Southeast and the West with approximately two scouts per region at any given time.

With all the prospective football players in colleges across America, the Giants can really only focus on potential prospects in their upperclassmen years. This is why there is an independent scouting organization called BLESTO that focuses on underclassmen and reports back to the teams on who may be of interest. They can help significantly in making the pool of prospects more manageable.

After watching the episode, you could really get a sense of the everyday life of an NFL scout—not just for the Giants, but for any team. They are constantly traveling and their decisions can affect a team for years to come. I encourage any NFL fan to watch this series, as I truly enjoyed watching it and the new insight it gave me.