NFL Network analyst and former Redskins general manager Charley Casserly does not put a ton of stock in the underwear Olympics.
Casserly told ESPN 980’s “The Sports Fix” he determined “80 to 90 percent” of his draft grades from the film room and generally dismisses workouts once he leaves an event.
The value in the NFL Scouting Combine and Pro Days is to “fine tune” nuances and test players for specific skills.
“What you do in a workout, whether it’s in Indy or a school, is really athletic ability, skills or technique work,” Casserly said Wednesday.
“For example, you got a corner who doesn’t play off, and all he does is press. And you’re working with him on technique to play off. Okay, do you think this guy can grasp it mentally or physically? Okay, so, you’re trying to fine tune your grade here. For example,the Alabama tackle, the left tackle there. You know I’m watching him on tape. He doesn’t seem – his feet seem adequate enough. Maybe he should be a right tackle. And you watch him down there, and boy, this guy doesn’t look good at all now that you’ve got him athletically moving. I don’t know if this guy’s going to have trouble with the speed rush. So you can downgrade him for that, so you go back in the spring and work him out again to see if he had a bad game or if this is him. So you’re fine tuning certain specifics of a workout in a position. You’re not reinventing the grade.
“I don’t put a tremendous weight on times and testing results at Indy, because these players are trained for it. So I’m not so sure how much of this is artificial. You try to balance what you see on the tape and what the guy runs, okay. Does Jadeveon Clowney play at 4.50 on tape? Sometimes, but not always. But you don’t have to be 4.50 to be a good defensive end. I see short term explosion out of him. Whatever he ran, it wasn’t going to be relative, because you see the ability of the guy to be fast enough on tape.”
Do general managers pay attention to mock drafts?
Casserly said when he was general manager, he would ignore all mock drafts until a week before the NFL Draft because until then, teams were still figuring out their draft boards.
He said he had no way of knowing if the draftniks had actually talked to teams, but he had one or two people – he wouldn’t say whom – he trusted to exchange information as the big day neared.
Most importantly for the Redskins in 2014, Casserly said he would use the mock drafts to get a common consensus of the top 32 picks.
“That was a value if you were picking at the beginning in the beginning of the second round, you could really just concentrate on a group of guys to fine tune in. That worked.”
Washington holds the No. 34 overall choice in the 2014 NFL draft.
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