The perception is that after the June mini-camp is over, that’s pretty much it for the NFL until players report in late July. However, I didn’t know for sure that that was true, so I reached out to several scouts and other friends in executive-level positions.
Most area scouts I spoke to said their teams give them the summer off, for the most part. “I drink beer, go to concerts and (baseball) games,” said one scout. “Re-charge and do my fall schedule. I work for a team that values family time.”
Another agreed that it’s basically off time for the summer. “Post-draft is usually the first chance scouts get to somewhat relax,” he said. “To me the best course of action is to take time and decompress.”
Of course, other teams see the summer as catch-up time. “Some teams have their scouts immediately begin watching tape and having all the future draftable players in next year’s draft written up by July 1,” one scout said. “I’ve had where I watched tape the entire summer, but you’re worn out already on tape by time camp begins.”
Watching tape is part of the summer activities for several scouts I polled. “I like to watch at least a few games of every prospect I will see in the fall,” one scout told me. “If I spread it out correctly, the workload isn’t too much and it helps me get ahead for the fall.”
The one thing that seems to be universal during the summer, at least for area scouts, is that they begin to decide when and where they’ll hit the various schools they’re scheduled to scout that fall. I was under the impression this was all mapped out by the Director of College Scouting, but this does not seem to be the case.
As for GMs, it’s an entirely different proposition. At the executive level, there’s a lot more work getting done. One source’s list included:
- Set-up early boards for the next fall college evals.
- Seniors and juniors to watch for.
- Watch previous seasons tape on aforementioned.
- Tag players that scouts had as draftable or PFA’s (priority free agents) that didn’t get to sign or make it thru OTAs (excluding injuries).
- Evaluate the players that have finished two seasons to grade scouts.
- Reach out to college tree on who they like in their conference as real guys – not their own teams.
- Early prep on upcoming unrestricted free agents. Make sure who is in the last year, along with potential cap cuts, contract voidable, etc.
- Potential trades and looking at excess on other teams’ rosters.
- Thin spots by team.
- Media comments on camp/OTA performances.
I guess the bottom line is that schedules vary, but even workaholics need a little time to reset so their brains don’t turn to mush.