Former Titans Scout Felt 'Almost Obligated' to Aid Draft Prospects
Former Tennessee Titans scout Blake Beddingfield has done what he could to help more than 30 prospects present themselves to NFL scouts and personnel directors ahead of the draft.
Now it is up to the teams to use the information he provided, if they choose.
In his latest MMQB offering, now on SI.com, senior NFL reporter Albert Breer detailed the two days of pro day-style events that Beddingfield conducted recently in Nashville. In the column, Breer also looks at the significant contributions two NFL owners have made to COVID-19 relief efforts, a breakdown of the top 2020 NFL Draft prospects and how NFL teams assign medical grades to draft prospects among other things.
Beddingfield, who worked for the Titans from 1999 through 2016 and spent his final four years as their director of college scouting, conducted a session in the outfield of Belmont University’s baseball stadium on March 25 and at a local private high school, Montgomery Bell Academy the next day.
As part of its response to the spread of COVID-19, the NFL canceled all pro days from March 13 forward. The players who worked with Beddingfield were among those who lost their regular chance to showcase themselves for NFL personnel.
According to the report, several other former scouts, including another who worked for the Titans, Richard Shelton, conducted similar efforts in South Florida, Dallas and Washington D.C.
Beddingfield was given one large group of 26, sent to him by trainer Jordan Luallen from Boost Performance, and then had a list of five others that needed help. They came from programs as big as Notre Dame and Michigan State, and small as Ferris State and Missouri S&T, and all with the same goal of making the best of a bad situation. And the truth is, if they wanted teams to trust the results, they needed an NFL scouting type to run the show as a way of verifying them, which is where Beddingfield came in.
He sent the players’ measurements and test results to all 32 teams and logged the video, which is available for review if clubs ask. Beddingfield said roughly two-thirds of the NFL’s 32 franchises followed up with him.
“You feel almost obligated to do it,” Beddingfield told Breer. “So many kids trained so hard for this. They’ve been training since their seasons ended at these facilities for pro days that’ll never happen. There are hundreds of kids like these, that would love to set it up anywhere, even in someone’s back yard. I felt bad for the trainers, the kids, the agents, so I was very happy to do it. I wish we could do more, but I’m not sure how that’ll happen now.”
The 2020 NFL Draft is set for April 23-25. League officials currently are working with clubs on the logistics of what is expected to be a “virtual draft.”