By now, you know the questions and you know the direction of this week’s series. Today, we present the thoughts of Harrison Ritcher, who was let go in the Browns’ pre-draft purge this year. Harrison has also worked in the personnel department at Florida State and played fullback at N.C. State
- What is the one thing NFL draft fans don’t understand about the evaluation process, and about how NFL teams scout players, that they should know?
“How extensive the process is. There’s a lot more that goes into it other than, ‘is he a good player?’ What might be a great player for the Miami Dolphins might not be the best player for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It’s about understanding the fit. It’s not just about how good a player is, it’s how does he fit in the culture? Does he fit in our scheme? Questions like that, you have to answer.
- We all know the best advice for a young man hoping to play in the NFL is to play his best football this fall. However, as a former scout, what would you tell a young man’s parents?
“Be supportive. The process is long and drawn out. Your son is going to be poked and prodded a thousand different ways. Just be as supportive as you can. Worry about the things under his control. Don’t overthink it. Take it one day at a time. Just worry about your kid playing ball and focusing on school.”
- If a young person asked you how to break into the scouting business, what advice would you have for him?
“Make sure you have some background in football. Maybe you were a player or worked with some of the colleges. Scouting is evolving. With analytics, you don’t necessarily have to take the traditional route of starting in football. With analytics, some guys have made their way up through the charting process into a building. It is evolving that way, but the rule of thumb is you have a background in football. Your network is pivotal when you are trying to break in. Knowing someone who can get your resume from someone else to (speak) on your behalf. All of these teams get thousands of emails every year and I don’t know if they look at them all, but most of the time it’s knowing someone who can put your name in front of someone who can look at your resume and give you an interview.”