Every Play Tells a Story: The Danger of Logic

I’ve said before that the draft is hard because it forces us to use both linear and non-linear thinking styles.

Linear thinking is important because it’s efficient, process-driven, and based around deductive reasoning. As the quote above says, linear thinking can also be limiting because it can only follow the path laid out by the starting point. In terms of the draft, I think it’s particularly helpful in identifying physical traits, as those things are observable, measurable, testable, and verifiable (and this goes for both the film and metrics sides of the spectrum).

Non-linear thinking is important because understanding physical traits is only part of the player evaluation puzzle. The other side of the coin is trying to understand the context of a player’s decision-making on the field. And trying to understand someone’s thought-process is tough. It’s even tougher when we think linearly and anchor ourselves to the starting point of our conclusion. That sounds paradoxical, but it’s often how this works: “This play is good/bad or shows this trait (starting point) because of X, Y, Z (observable information).”

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A Conversation on Andrus Peat

An email conversation with my friend Alec on thoughts of his own about Peat, the state of tackle play, scouting quirks, and NFL Draft philosophies that I’ve kept locked away until this post.

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Conversion Program: OT TJ Clemmings

My first exposure to T.J. Clemmings came from listening to Josh Norris’ podcast Process the Process. He and Lance Zierlein discussed the Pitt offensive tackle – a defensive line convert with arms that are over 35” long – and go into tremendous detail about his strengths and weaknesses in pass protection.

If you’ve watched Lance in the RSP Film Room series, you know that his insight on offensive line prospects is tremendous, so be sure to check out that episode of Process the Process if you enjoyed Lance’s Brandon Scherff breakdown.

Josh and Lance both agreed that Clemmings’ needed some work in pass protection, and that some of his flaws were magnified at the Senior Bowl. However, they also agreed that he had the lateral agility, athletic ability, and length to play offensive tackle.

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