I never met Kevin McCabe, but boy, judging from what my friends say about him, I really wish I did.
Ever bump into two different people, who live states apart, who both called a recently deceased person their best friend? I had that experience Wednesday, when I (and most of the NFL scouting community) found out about the passing of McCabe, who had fought a long, tough battle with leukemia.
Here are a few things to know about McCabe, who surveyed West Coast schools for prospects for the Rams and Vikings since the late 90s.
He was loved by members of the scouting community: We are blessed to have lots of current and former NFL scouts who follow us on Twitter, and we’ve tweeted about scouts’ deaths before, but I’ve never seen the buzz McCabe’s passing created. Getting 285 likes and 61 RTs (as of 11 a.m. CT) is just not something that happens for this kind of tweet. Twenty-seven comments is crazy, too. That tweet might have generated the most attention of any tweet I’ve ever sent. I got the same vibe from scouts I reached out to. “Great guy! Always willing to help you out if you need anything. He has a calm approach to his scouting style,” said one NFC scout. An AFC evaluator told me McCabe was “my best friend and mentor. I’m a much better husband, dad and scout because of all the time I got to spend with Kevin. . . (he) was a living example of how we should treat each other.”
He was loved by agents, too: Until an agent really makes it, contract advisors are half nuisance, half necessary evil to most NFL evaluators, but McCabe got plenty of posthumous praise yesterday. James Krenis of Accel Sports said, “Kevin was kind to me when I started in this business, and that isn’t common.” That comment was representative of what I heard from other agents, as well.
He was one of the select few scouts who take position groups around at the combine: This is a really cool story about McCabe’s work leading the running backs in Indianapolis each year. The story indicates that he volunteered for the job, but it wound up being a pretty valuable tool for gaining more insights. The team actually drafted two rushers, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook and Boise State’s Alex Mattison, after first sourcing McCabe’s take on them post-Indy.
Our prayers go out to his friends and family across the game. To read more about the industry that McCabe was such a big part of, check out our weekly newsletter, which comes out Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET. You can register for it here.