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).”