One of the best things about working with people in the game is that you get to ask them questions that demystify one of the most intriguing jobs in the game of football, at least in my opinion. When you ask about things that go a lot deeper than the superficial questions normally asked by members of the sports media, you can get some interesting answers.

This week, with the scouting carousel slowing down and scouts mostly getting back into their normal routine and either returning from the BLESTO meetings or readying to go to National Football Scouting’s meetings next week, we asked several scouts this question:

Do you think it’s harder (more schools to cover, entitled players, troublesome agents, greater media involvement) or easier (digital age, easier communications, better medical data, pro days more efficient) to be a scout than it was 10 years ago?

About a dozen scouts, some on the area level and some higher-ups, responded. We’ve included the respondents of the ‘scouting is easier today’ opinion in today’s post. They’re below.

  • “I wouldn’t say it is easier or harder, but it is different. Fans are more knowledgeable about the process and media coverage is more intense, but instant access to video, social media, and more advanced draft studies are among the changes for the better.”
  • “Easier mostly due to video – VHS tapes, then DVDs, now all digital. We’d have to wait for tapes or DVDs from NFL video, then team video, always late.  Now we can access any game the next week, all on a (Microsoft) Surface. Also, background info on Internet is easier.”
  • “Digital age made it easy to watch the game tape and write reports, but you still have to watch the tape and write the reports to have a great draft!”
  • “Tough to say, but I would (say) it was harder travel-wise 10 years ago because I’m sure there was less communication, marginal GPS services and specified roles in colleges.”
  • “Easier because the Internet allows you to get background info or stats instantly.  That can also be a negative if you have lazy scouts. Fifteen years ago, a scout would actually have to make a school visit to watch film. Now you get it on your iPad or computer immediately.”

Equally interesting, if you’re like me (and if you read this, you probably are), were the responses of those who said it’s harder now than it used to be. We’ve included those responses in our weekly email newsletter, the Friday Wrap.

If you don’t already receive it, join the 4,000 scouts, agents, financial advisors, trainers, coaches, parents of players, active NFL players, draft prospects, former players and others across the football business who do. It comes out late afternoon/early evening every Friday. It’s free, and I promise, you won’t be sorry. Click here to register.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend, and don’t forget why we celebrate it.