Analytics sure has moved to the forefront of the discussion when it comes to player scouting in the NFL, at least with the fans. But has it reached that point in NFL front offices? Though analytics are seemingly taken more and more seriously in professional sports every year. When it comes to the Detroit Lions‘ new regime … it sounds like it’s still the last thing they’re worried about.
I don’t believe their views are a rarity in the NFL, either. I would be absolutely floored if even one team put more credence into analytics than tape. But, just how dismissive both general manager Brad Holmes and head coach Dan Campbell have been when discussing analytics and its part of their process has been a little refreshing, to be honest.
To be clear, I think they’re 100% right. A football game isn’t a track and field meet. There are so many more important traits that go into being a successful football player in the NFL than having elite athleticism. What exactly did they say, you ask?
New head coach Dan Campbell talked with 96.7 ‘The Ticket’ in Dallas’ and let us in on how he, Holmes, and their former teams approached analytics when it comes to scouting.
“Both of us kind of came from the same school. Different ways in regards to some of the things we did and yet – if you look at what the Rams have done throughout the last almost eight to ten years. They’ve really drafted well. Now they haven’t had first-round picks, but, they believe in a certain way to scout.”
The Rams haven’t had a first-round pick in four years and (as we stand now) won’t have one for another three years after trading for Matthew Stafford. They believe in their scouting so much that they believe they’re not losing as much value as the trade market says they are.