Four Elements of a Draft Grade

By Jerry Angelo
February 12, 2013

Former general manager Jerry Angelo opens up on how he grades NFL draft prospects.

Here are the four grades that every player had to pass in order to draftable when I was GM. Each area will have a major influence on whether or not he’ll have a career at the next level.  Remember that the consideration when drafting a player isn’t “can he make my team," it’s “can I win with him and can I count on him.”

How We Graded Draft Prospects

With the exception of our “Athletic Ability and Game Tape” score, we would give a simple A-B-C-D-F for their grades with the ability to give a + or - after each letter grade. We graded all categories this way.

1. Athletic Ability And Game Tape

This is graded numerically. This score is determined by how he plays the game based on talent and production. We will also factor in his combine and personal workout results.

2. Football Character

Football IQ: This must be factored in because it will be counted on to learn his assignments and make game day adjustments.

His Work Ethic: The player does everything he can whether supervised or unsupervised to be the best he can be year round.

Passion For The Game: The player should love football and wouldn’t do anything that would jeopardize his chance to play. We are looking for a player who wants to play as long as he can.

Competitive Nature: There should never be a doubt about the player’s desire to win. He plays hard and with aggression on every snap. A “glass eater."

3. Citizenship

We are looking at what the player does within the community and how he spends his free time. We look at who he associates with and whether or not he is a guy to be counted on. Is he trustworthy and honest?

4. Durability

We will look at his game and practice history. Does he have a consistent record of games started? How rarely does he miss practice or off-season workouts?

This is the general guideline. There are times that you might compromise those rules, but not unit the the 4th round and later. Those first three picks have to be guys you can count on to win with.