We wrap up our conversations with scouts today with a conversation with former Browns scout Scott Aligo, who’s pretty wise for a young scout. Scott worked with us during the ’16 draft helping connect agents and their clients with teams, and his work really made a difference. I knew he’d be willing to help out on this project, and I knew he’d have good things to say.
From here, I’ll turn it over to Scott and Mark.
- 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?
“The biggest misconception is (that creating a scouting profile for a prospect is not) a 2-3 year process, instead of just the hot name. The time that is invested . . . no one really has a concept of (and) how much digging we have to do on that. Fans are usually like, “how did you not know that?” It’s about building relationships at the schools and getting to know the players without doing illegal activity. It’s underlooked.”
- 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?
“The agent is not the most important deal. The scout and the agent are going to be embedded with each other, no matter what anyone wants to say. There’s a lot of (agents) who say, “we hate scouts,” and there’s a lot of scouts who say, “we hate agents,” but no matter what, they will always be embedded together. And whether they admit it or not, it’s a beneficial relationship. I think the parents need to know that the evaluation on the field is probably the most important thing. All the other fluff, when it comes down to it, is, can he play?”
- If a young person asked you how to break into the scouting business, what advice would you have for him?
“Quick advice is, you better have thick skin and you better look up the word ‘sacrifice,’ because if you are going to be in this business, you are going to have to sacrifice a lot. Be patient. Everybody says they want to be the GM by 30, and you have to be patient and embrace the grind of it. You might make ($17,000) for five years while all of your other buddies are making $70-80,000 going to happy hour three times a week. Well, you might get to go once a month or you only get one month a year to do stuff. The young group needs to embrace the whole ‘grind’ aspect of it and know that they have to be 100 percent patient and that it is not going to be a quick-and-easy process. You are going to sacrifice everything. Family. Friends. Girlfriends. Where you live. Everything.”