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How Well Have Packers Scouted Draft Prospects?

The following information will surprise and perhaps befuddle many of you.

An outfit called Walter Football publishes info on visits that NFL teams have with draft prospects. This list covers private visits of a player with a team, of which 30 are allowed per team. Additionally, it includes various other meetings: at the NFL Combine, Pro Day and campus meetings and workouts, Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine Game meetings, and other assorted meetings or workouts. Below are the number of such scouting operations, from most to least, which teams have made as the 2018 draft nears.

Busiest Scouting Operations — New York Giants, 80; Philadelphia, 79; New Orleans, 66; San Francisco, 60.

Busy Scouting Operations — Dallas, 59; Detroit, 53; L.A. Chargers, 52; Minnesota, 51; Miami, 46; Houston, 44; Tampa Bay, 44; Tennessee, 43; Denver, 42; New England, 42.

Average Scouting Operations — Washington, 37; Buffalo, 35; Carolina, 34; Arizona, 34; Atlanta, 33; Chicago, 32; New York Jets, 31; Pittsburgh, 31; Oakland, 30.

Limited Scouting Operations — Kansas City, 27; Cleveland, 26; Indianapolis, 26; Jacksonville, 25; Baltimore, 24; Cincinnati, 23; Seattle, 20; L.A. Rams, 18.

Very Limited Scouting Operations — Green Bay, 14.

Green Bay Scouting Contacts

Pro Day visits with: Hawaii G Dejon Allen, USC C Nicholas Falah, Hawaii S Trayvon Henderson, and Villanova S Trey Johnson.

Private visits with: Wisconsin LB Jack Cichy, Central Florida CB Mike Hughes, LSU CB Dante Jackson, Florida State S Derwin James, Wisconsin FB Austin Ramesh, and Washington DT Vita Vea.

NFL Combine visits with: Georgia LB/EDGE Lorenzo Carter, Wisconsin TE Troy Fumagalli, and Notre Dame G Quenton Nelson.

Senior Bowl visit with Ohio State DE Tyquan Lewis.

Comments

The Packers customarily have concentrated on visits with expected late round or undrafted players, and the above efforts under the command of Brian Gutekunst tend to continue this trend.

Exceptions to the above are these potential top round selections: Quenton Nelson (Top 10); Derwin James, Mike Hughes, and Vita Vea (Round 1); Donte Jackson (Rds. 1-2); and Lorenzo Carter (Rds. 2-3).

The Pro Day visit to Hawaii looks like a paid vacation, as prospects for those two players are bleak.

Why has Green Bay put so little effort into one-to-one meetings and workouts? Perhaps they are waiting until the final days before the draft, when players and their likely draft positions get more sorted out. Perhaps they feel observing players go through combine tests and drills is sufficient.

Or perhaps Brian Gutekunst and his scout team are not thoroughly doing their homework.

Tags:
Rob Born

Due to Aaron Rodgers’ reckless ways, I’m officially launching the Campaign for GM Gutekunst to Acquire the Best Available (Veteran) Backup Quarterback – NOW.

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16 Comments

  1. Cheese April 8, 2018

    “The Packers customarily have concentrated on visits with expected late round or undrafted players, and the above efforts under the command of Brian Gutekunst tend to continue this trend.”

    Lol, sweet… Just what they need, more 7th rounders and UDFA’s. Of the very few players that they have met with, I see one of them is a fullback. Another position of dire need. Can’t wait for those multiple fullback sets!

    1. Empacador April 9, 2018

      Saw the FB and had same thought as you Cheese. What a waste.

  2. PF4L April 8, 2018

    Fear not Packer Nation, why fix what isn’t broke? It’s the way it’s been done and we’ve been a winning successful Franchise for a decade because of Thompson and Murphy. Don’t mess with success.

    Breathe easy knowing that Ted is on the scene advising our new GM so he doesn’t make any missteps. I am so confident in this regime, that i would lay down my hard earned cash betting anyone that this team finishes at least at .500 or better.

    The draft is right around the corner, it’s all good. Lets do this.

  3. Carl DeLuca April 8, 2018

    Or perhaps Rob just found something else to complain about. It’s ridiculous to think the Packers are not doing their homework for the draft.

    1. Cheese April 8, 2018

      They do have a lack of manpower to do homework because several people left and were never replaced.

  4. KILLER April 8, 2018

    Observations:

    * Look at the 3 teams nearly as bad as the Packers in this process. The Rams have no 1st or 2nd round pick. Basically means they are doing a half-assed draft anyway no matter what. Less time invested for lesser likely returns. They don’t need visits from 1st and 2nd round prospects where you often invest half your private visits. The Seahawks are similar with no 2nd or 3rd round picks. Meanwhile the Bengals are renowned as being cheap and bare bones about scouting. That is the company the Packers org is in except they don’t even do it as well.

    * Is this meaningless? Let’s use logic. All the teams do it. Would they do it if it had no value? It costs money and time. Do you spend money and time on something that has no value? There you go. Logic dictates this is a worthwhile part of the pre-draft process. And the Packers fail at it. The Packers are the worst at it.

    * A few moments thought reveals all sorts of things you can learn about players that will make them more or less draftable or even show where other teams may draft them thus impacting your strategy and knowledge of where and when to trade up or down and get the player at the correct value. What are their favorite and least favorite on-field plays and tasks, etc. What do they view as a weakness subject to improvement? It is very easy to come off one way in a 15 minute interview and much more difficult across a full day. The real guy comes out. If you and your cohorts spend a day with a player it is hard to imagine NOT learning some new stuff about them. For those you end up drafting it is also a time to bond and build rapport and loyalty.

    * I think, though, it is all a 2-way street. As you get to know the players they get to know you. Is the Packers failure in this endeavor just laziness or is it telling as to their character insecurity?

    1. Savage57 April 9, 2018

      It’s no secret why it’s a life-or-death deal for the Vikings to have to vet the shit out of prospects.

      Questions 1- 23: “You like boats?”

      1. Ferris April 9, 2018

        I didn’t read his comment, but your reply is funny.

  5. Sanguine camper April 9, 2018

    Pre draft visits can’t evaluate talent if its just a meet and greet. Almost all you need to know can be found on the tapes of games and the combine workout. If you haven’t set your draft board by now you haven’t properly prepared for the draft. Can’t see how meet and greet changes that. Looks like Born is pissed that TT isn’t the GM anymore and is focused on trivialities to discredit Gute.

    1. KILLER April 9, 2018

      Sanguien Camper, be sure to share tour wisdom with all 32 teams. Contact them and let them know all these years they’ve been wasting their time and money.

      They all do it. They have reason for that. There is value. I read about teams that in the pre-draft visit process who learned players had drinking problems, were rude, could not show up on time, could not pay attention, etc. They learned these things the easy way instead of wasting a draft pick on them and messing up coaching and team chemistry. There are all sorts of things you can learn outside of game tapes and combine workouts.

      These are valuable opportunities that the Packers are failing at.

      I’m betting Born was happy when TT was no longer GM but a bit dismayed when Gute the Bad replaced him and made a series of bad moves.

      In his short time as GM Gute the Bad has…
      1. Signed an elderly TE with bad hands to a huge contract, the biggest TE contract in the entire league.
      2. Made a horrendous trade that got rid of the Packers best CB and actually DOWNGRADED the back up QB in return for zero extra draft picks, just slight upgrades in two mid round positions that likely will not impact who the Packers actually take.
      3. Got rid of the team’s best WR, a team legend, in nearly abusive fashion. The move was an embarrassment to the organization and alienated many fans. Sent a team disheartening message of no team loyalty no matter what you do for the team and community.
      4. Alienated the star QB.
      5. Helped the Bears, a division rival, sign their CB to a great team-friendly contract they could easily match and were ecstatic to do so because it helped them get Fuller cheaper for longer than they ever thought possible.
      6. And now shows a uncaring laziness when it comes to the draft.

      Gute the Bad.

      Yeah, how DARE Rob be concerned or, heaven forbid, OBSERVANT.

      Here you are crying “FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!”

      I actually have a short video clip of you talking about this matter!

  6. cz April 9, 2018

    Prior to reading this story, I have been impressed by the drafts of New Orleans and San Fran and KC.

    Two of those are near the top.

    Also at the Walter list top, Philly’ just won the SB and looks poised to keep winning. They have depth. Plus Wentz was the right pick of the two qbs that yr.

    I would agree that more communication and meetings with players pays off, not just on draft day, but days and yrs down the line.

    See Taysom Hill. When Pack stupidly cut him and kept Hundley, the Saints (due to probably predraft notetaking and meets) were able to confidently swoop in.

    Yes, sometimes “less is more”.
    Sometimes, not usually.

  7. MM²SUCK April 9, 2018

    That is right! do not use that money to go and “meet” these prospects! Why would you waste precious monies on that! Use those monies to hire another architect for the next phase of the “sled hill” . . . .

  8. Howard April 9, 2018

    You can not believe anything from NFL teams around draft time. A lot of smoke and mirrors. Also a lot of clandestine inspection of players. I think most teams know what they need about prospects football physical abilities from regional scouts, tape, combine, and pro days.

    With that said I do believe you should meet with the players to see if they understand the Xs and Os of the game and your system. I would put those visits off until later in the process to see if prospect(s) are getting to comfortable with the process and not paying attention to what got them were they are, hard work. I think the meetings later in the process might amplify any changes in a prospect from what your regional scouts saw or you saw at the combine, if there are any issues.

  9. Mitch Anthony April 9, 2018

    These “visits” should be more clandestine. Let’s go the surprise and unannounced route of maybe having a scout dress up as a pizza delivery guy and go knuckle on the door of a prospect’s apartment at an unexpected time. Then when the door gets answered by the dude with the blunt in one hand and the wireless video game controller in the other hand,…we’ll know. At least we’ll get a pretty good idea anyway.

    Let’s have a meeting set up and tell the prospect that instead of us sending a car for him, he is supposed to pick the scout up. No Uber either. Jump in the car with them and see how they drive. Can they manage to keep it under 80 at the right times and not get pulled over, cause that would be a big plus.

    Just like someone mentioned the boating question for Viking prospects, we wanna know some things to. Is the young man getting up early to go bow hunting, or sleeping in a little and then twisting a fatty for breakfast? Cause, well, predictive behavior..

  10. Ferris April 9, 2018

    I guess there is nothing else to write about. Some 3rd party that everyone now believes to be 100% accurate. I guess Walter is lurking in the bushes to log every contact made by every team.
    Save your venom for after the draft….
    Detroit and Minnesota 104 combined pre draft contacts…..WOW….0 combined Super Bowls.

  11. Deepsky April 10, 2018

    I’d be interested in knowing if this has been the case for a long time with the Packers or if this is just something new. It would not shock me if this is something new as I have my doubts about this scouting staff.