What anonymous NFL scouts said about the Detroit Lions’ 2023 draft picks

What anonymous NFL scouts said about the Detroit Lions' 2023 draft picks

The NFL draft season is full of nonsense. We make mocks and big boards that work with just a small fraction of the knowledge required to properly scout players. We’re obsessed with cable routing, testing speeds and arm lengths.

One of the more interesting aspects of the preliminary draft process is when NFL scouts almost always speak anonymously to the media. While there are some scouts who are likely to use this opportunity to change public perceptions of a prospect they like or dislike for their own benefit, scouts can often voice their true thoughts about a player without a filter.

For years — 39, to be exact — Bob McGinn, a former Packers beat writer, has anonymously received these scouts’ thoughts on draft classes. Now with Go Long, McGinn has continued that tradition, providing a fantastic database for those watching how scouts view their team’s new draft picks.

So let’s take a look at what some of these scouts are saying about the Detroit Lions draft class.

Note: Because this content is behind a paywall, I will only provide some of the information provided. If you want to see the full thoughts, Consider subscribing to Go Long’s substack.

RB Jahmyr Gibbs

Link to McGinn’s article on the RB class

While most scouts had Texas running back Bijan Robinson as the best in that year’s class, according to McGinn’s sources, Gibbs was by far the second best in that class. But there was one scout who actually had Gibbs on Robinson.

“Very, very like Kamara,” said this scout. “That smooth kind of movement and balance. All-rounder, catches, runs. He’s got it all, man. His skills will play well in the league. You could make that comparison (to Aaron Jones), but Aaron is a little straight forward. This guy has a little more movement.”

According to another scout, he also checks the character box.

“Runs hard. get vision. Can get the corner. He’s been through a lot in his life. Raised pretty rough…really overcome a lot. Really, really a good kid.”

LB Jack Campbell

Link to McGinn’s article on the LB class

Contrary to some major bodies, McGinn’s sources had Campbell as the top linebacker prospect in this year’s class. His article has one ton of really good tidbits on Campbell. Here are a few snippets from various anonymous sources;

In meetings guys will say, “Well, I don’t know if he’s athletic enough?” If you look at Jack Campbell, we all tend to say, “Well, he’s going to be a two-down guy.” This guy was a very good athlete. A damn good footballer.”

“What sets him apart is his feel for the game. He has great instincts and he does plays. It’s a (green dot) in a second.”

“He’ll be playing for a long time. The speed surprised me; I thought he would run like a 4.8. But he’s a footballer. In the 1970s he would have been (great). I don’t think he’s more than a two down player because he doesn’t run well enough in space.

“I think concerns would be matchup situations in the passing game but I think you can cover him up somehow so he’s not exposed for that long. He is athletic. He tested well. He ran fast enough. I wish he would just attack the line of scrimmage and be more in the backfield for a guy that big.”

TE Sam LaPorta

Link to McGinn’s article on the WR/TE class

LaPorta ranked only fifth among tight ends, according to McGinn’s sources, while he was the second tight end from the board during draft week. But at least one scout had LaPorta as his favorite tight end in a deep class.

“He has very good hands. He needs to get better as a blocker, but as a blocker he’s more than willing. He had a crappy quarterback. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up being one of the better tight ends, if not the best, in this class.”

There are concerns about its size and blocking mechanics, but its advantages in receiving play overshadow those concerns.

“Runs excellent distances and has excellent hands. great feeling Will be a playful tight end. That offense was terrible but you can tell he’s a good athlete. He’s definitely a starter based on what’s being played in the league.

DB Brian Branch

Link to McGinn’s article on DBs

Branch was considered by far the top safety in that class, but according to McGinn’s sources, contrary to public perception of him, he was a long shot to get drafted in the first round.

“Is he too slow for nickel and can he communicate as security?” said a scout. “That must be the key. He’s a great soccer player, but he has a few warts on him. He can’t cover (from the slot) for very long.”

Many brought up Branch’s average athletic numbers, but another scout said that doesn’t show up on the field.

“He doesn’t fit the profile of a top athlete because his numbers are pretty boring. But what sets him apart are just his instincts. His movements are much more crucial when he’s on the field. He sees things faster.”

QB Hendon Hooker

Link to McGinn’s article on QBs

The fifth-best quarterback, according to McGinn’s sources, Hooker was widely praised for his smarts, and at least one source believed he was a first-round talent.

“Should be drafted in the first round. The reason you would call him up first year is to get the fifth year option, which is smart because he’s injured. Throws a precise pass. He can throw the deep ball. Really good decision maker. Great kid.”

Another considers himself a solid starter in this league at the level of Teddy Bridgewater.

“Just ready, get orders. He is accurate, has touch. His arm is good. He’s a good athlete. A little awkward the way he walks. He can get out of trouble. He’s better than them (Richardson, Levis). He’s a better football mind than Stroud. No way is this guy a franchisee. He will be a solid starter.”

The biggest concern, as many have said, is projecting how he’ll turn out when he gets out of an all-too-simple offense in Tennessee.

“This offensive is difficult to project players out. There will be a big learning curve in terms of reading progress.”

DT Brodric Martin

Link to McGinn’s article on DLs

Martin didn’t make McGinn’s list of top 15 defender tackles. However, he did receive an honorable mention in the Unsung Hero category. One Boy Scout said, “He’s a sleeper. He’s tough and he’s athletic.”

Note: Lions fifth-round pick OL Colby Sorsdal and seventh-round pick WR Antoine Green did not make McGinn’s lists.

#anonymous #NFL #scouts #Detroit #Lions #draft #picks

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