Great Interview of Brian Xanders on DenverBroncos.com. He really got into some nice details about the scouting process and what the Broncos were thinking approaching the draft. No other teams actions dictated what the Broncos did. They did not panic because of Buffalo like Ralph Wilson said. They planned all along to move back. They had pre-set up a scenario with Ozzie Newsome to move in the first round in case Dez Bryant was gone so they could move up and nab Tebow. D. Thomas and Tebow were two players the coveted immediately after Xanders and McDaniels took a little trip together to Florida and Georgia. More on the scouting process after the jump.
I found the scouting process very interesting. Basically the training of the Broncos scouts starts in May and June when everyone is trained to get on the same page of a basic grading scale. Then scouts start to watch film of future prospects from the previous year and thus begins the preparation for next years draft.
There are six basic categories that all draft prospects are rated on
2. Playing Speed
3. Playing Strength
4. Competitiveness (I am sure Tebow recieved the highest score ever)
5. Football Intelligence
6. Production (Again I am sure Tebow was quite high on this one)
Then there are individual position categories but Xanders did not go into too much detail here. The final factors Xanders termed as Football Character, and Personal Character. Football Character, my guess would be how a guy interacts and leads his teammates. Outside character would be I imagine all the off field stuff. Which is why Demaryius Thomas would have recieved a higher grade than Dez Bryant, all other things being about equal.
Here are my rankings for our first round draft choices. using a 1-10 scale on Xanders 8 categories outlined. (I don't know what grading scale he uses, this is my own conjecture)
Athleticism-9 Scored highest in most QB measurables at the combine.
Playing Strength-9 Tim Tebow was a bulldozer in college. Excellent in goal line situations. Maybe strongest QB ever coming into the draft.
Playing Speed-7 Not always looked like the fastest but he will be able to move around, scramble and make great plays.
Competitiveness-10 I don't know how someone could be more competitive.
Football Intelligence-6 Recent reports have said that in a day of meetings with Coach McDaniels Tim Tebow began to use the offensive terminology. Still he isn't a natural at reading defenses ala Peyton Manning.
Production-10 Two nat'l championships, one of the most EFFICIENT QB's every. SEC record for rushing touchdowns. 88td passes compared to only 15 int. That's a first half of INT's for Cutler (Okay Cheapshot, I am sorry to Jay, his family and all of his fans)
Football Character-8 Great character and great teammate. Although I could see his personality rubbing some teammates the wrong way.
Personal Character- 10 One of the most charasmatic, honest, genuine people. Is true to his word. If I had a daughter, I'd want her to marry Tim Tebow.
Athleticism-9 Thomas is athletically gifted enough to run fast and can also make a great play on the ball when it is up for grabs. He also has been blessed with great size. Combinations of his size and speed are a rarity in the NFL.
Playing Speed-8 This one is tough category for me to adjudicate. Other than to say on film, Thomas looked like the fastest man on the field.
Playing Strength -5 Thomas will need to get strong to keep corners from jamming him off the line.
Competitiveness-6 One thing that did alarm me is that Thomas always thought he'd be 1st round draft choice-in basketball. He may not love football like others love football. Granted, that's a big leap off of one comment.
Football Intelligence-9 This score may surprise but I believe this helped seperate him from Dez Bryant. He was able to learn 3 wr positions in the Broncos offense in the course of 1 meeting with McDaniels.
Production-4 For the offense he played in, Thomas was very productive. Great YAC and Average Yards Per Catch stats. Biggest concern is the offense he played in.
Football Character-7 D. Thomas will fit in well with the Broncos. He will learn from the veterans and be quietly confident in his abilities.
Personal Character-10 I have a soft spot for someone who saw his mom in jail and said "That will not be me" He gets it that lots of people are good people that hang out with the wrong crowd, so he made a conscious decision to not hang with the wrong crowd. This was B. Marshall's biggest problem. Marshall seems like a nice and caring man but always had bad company.
From this work it is clear to me that while many people think that Tebow and Thomas were specifically character over talent picks. I believe that character is what separated these two from the pack. In fact, it was TALENT and CHARACTER that ruled the day at Dove Valley.