Every year during the time of the NFL Draft, we have a staff exercise where each coach is sent an alphabetical list of our returning players and asked to return the list with each player in the order they would draft them. In draft terms, each coach is asked to create their own “Best Available” list.
Then we put all the drafts in a shared drive so that we can see how each coach’s list compares to the others and mine. If I have done a good job in communicating the shared vision of our team, the lists should not be all that different. Then we combine all the lists to have a final staff draft list of our team. This is the first step in seeing that we put the “Best 11” on the field going into summer workouts.
When Anthony Richardson, the QB from Florida, was drafted, he stated that God blessed him with abilities. I can only assume he was referencing his physical abilities which are unparalleled at the position. But when I draft our team, I focus on other abilities first: coachability, accountability, reliability, and dependability. In high school football, the 5’8″ 175lbs player who is “All In”, is of greater value to his team than the more talented 6’2″ 225lbs player whose commitment to the team is lukewarm at best. According to my son, who was an athletic trainer this past season with the Gators, Anthony checks all of those ability boxes as well.
Lastly, our coaches should know to make evidence-based decisions in creating their lists. They should list players based on the behaviors they have witnessed from the player on the field, in the weight room, in the classroom, and in our community. They should not base their evaluation on what they think, feel, or believe. This is where the Anthony Richardson pick is interesting. As Tim Hasselbeck stated at the draft, “there is very little evidence that Richardson can play the position at a high level.” Yet he was the number 4 pick.
How would you draft your team? Who are your most valuable players and how do you measure that value?
Coach Rich Alercio is available to discuss coaching philosophy, X’s & O’s, or teach his O-Line “techniques in the trenches.” Contact Coach at email@example.com and share http://www.olineskills.com with your colleagues and friends. Thanks for supporting this blog and joining our conversations, and as always, thanks for your time!