Chargers Director of College Scouting Jimmy Raye is tasked with overseeing and coordinating the Chargers' scouting efforts. Essentially, it is Raye's job to delegate the best schools to each of his scouts spread throughout the country. Raye then visits all the top players in each of his scout's areas, in order see the top 150 players up close in person.
Raye's area scouts write reports on a player, that is then cross-checked with another scout's report. Raye will then write his own report on the player and act as a tiebraker if a consensus opinion isn't reached between his scouts. The information Raye and his scouts gather help General Manager A.J. Smith make a decision come draft day.
I recently conducted an interview Jimmy Raye, who was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions I had...
Some programs gain a reputation for putting out good players at certain positions. Schools like Virginia and Boston College have produced great offensive line prospects in recent years. USC seems to always have good linebackers. How much stock do you put into that? And on the flip side, what about schools that have stigmas attached to them, like Florida's wide receiver prospects failing to make much of an impact?
"We focus on each player and what he has done and what we think he can do. His school is little or no factor in our evaluation."
When you rank players on your board, do you also take into account the value of the position that they play? Without going into much detail, do some positions have more or less value than others? Will you elevate certain players based on the position they play?
"A player's position does not affect how we rank him on our board. We rank players strictly by the grades they receive from our scouting staff."
Do scouts stay awake at night trying to get a read on the underclassmen that come out? Is there more risk involved going with a younger guy because there is less tape on him? The one-year-wonder types have to make your job more difficult, right?
"Once an underclassmen declares for the draft, we have plenty of time to go back and look at his tape and see him workout in person if necessary."
Do you also have to look at the value they present you by coming out early; some of these juniors, had they went back and had great senior years, might go a lot higher the following year at a spot where you'd have no shot at taking them.
"We take everything into account, such as a player's age and experience. However, a player's production on the field is always our number-one criteria."
Every draft has it's share of "sleepers." Are there any players in particular, either on the San Diego Chargers or elsewhere, that you scouted as mid-round prospects that you felt would have a bright future in the pros and who have gone on to live up to those expectations?
"We don't believe in sleepers. We rank players on our board and pretty much stick to our board throughout the draft. Thus, we always draft players where we think they should be drafted."
The second round of each draft year is always an interesting one because there are so many quality players still on the board. What does the second round represent to you? Why do players fall into this round?
"Again, we always put the players on our board by their rank and draft accordingly. There are plenty of good football players out there to be found in every round."
Finish this sentence: With the 16th pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select...
"You'll have to tune in to find out."
Thanks Jimmy and Bill for doing this interview, we appreciate it!
Labels: Player Interviews
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