Check the Report: Daniel Kelly Scouts WR Kenny Golladay
This past season, I had the chance to do an advance scouting report on the Detroit Lions.
An advance scouting report is something I learned how to put together during my four seasons in the pro scouting department with the New York Jets.
Pro scouts focus on the pro side of things, while college scouts focus on college prospects.
The advance scouting report is a comprehensive look at an upcoming opponent, and it generally is between 50 and 70 pages long.
It provides a deep look philosophically into a team’s offense, defense and special teams.
The report also includes a clean, paragraph summary on each player on the roster.
In essence, every player summary is a painting, using words which tell coaches who and what the player is and most importantly, what to expect in matchups during the course of the game.
An advance scouting report takes a scout anywhere between 60 and 80 hours a week to complete.
In a pro scouting department in the NFL, each team will generally assign an AFC and NFC scout or at the very least, alternate between the pro director and a seasoned conference scout.
It’s a lot for one scout to do this load of work, week in and week out by themselves. But, that is what I did the last half of last season.
I did a different team every week for the last eight games of the season, and one of those teams was the Lions.
Typically, scouts watch five-six complete games, enough to feel comfortable and confident that they know what they are seeing.
Each team that is advanced requires a notebook. There is a lot of notetaking.
After all the games are watched and all the notes are taken, it’s time to piece it altogether into report form.
The purpose of the advance scouting report is to aid the coaching staff in its game-planning preparations.
However, the evaluations also come in useful during free agency or for an impromptu player acquisition. Scouting directors will ask, “Do we have a report on him?”
I’ve developed a color-coded grading system that provides a quick look at the player’s ability level and in addition, provides a big-picture look at where the offense, defense and special teams' strengths and weaknesses are.
If you know where the weaknesses are in the opponent, the coaching staff knows where to attack.
In addition to that, I have provided a letter grade, much like in school, to indicate my pro grade associated with the player:
- A (Blue-chip player and elite)
- B (Good player, but not elite; he's good enough to win with)
- C (average; nothing special about the player)
- D (below average)
- F (reject; he's going to get the Lions beat)
This week, I’m sharing my report on wide receiver Kenny Golladay.
He’s got good size to him, and I evaluated him during the following games in 2019: 9/8 vs. AZ, 9/15 vs. LAC, 9/22 vs. PHI, 10/14 vs. GB, 10/27 vs. NYG, 11/3 vs. OAK, 11/10 vs. CHI and 11/17 vs. DAL.
WR #19 Kenny Golladay - 6-foot-4, 214 pounds (starter)
Big-play receiver with inconsistent hands and above-average speed and athletic ability. Works at all the route levels. Can stretch the field. Deep threat. Can often get enough separation deep and on the underneath routes. Solid job at getting inside or outside leverage and gaining body positioning. Just not always a clutch receiver in clutch situations. Sometimes catches with hands. Sometimes body catches. Can’t always adjust to the ball. At times, seems to lack concentration and focus. Receiving didn’t seem to come natural to him. Seems like he has all the natural athletic tools, but he’s had to work at becoming a receiver.
As of Week 11, he had been targeted 71 times, and had 38 receptions. When he’s on, he’s on. But, when he’s off, he’s off. No question he can flash play-making ability and he does. Just not consistent enough for my tastes. Despite production and stats, it leaves me feeling like he is missing something to be an elite-level receiver.