For those unfamiliar with Phil Savage, he followed the Nick Caserio route under Bill Belichick in Cleveland. Initially hired as a defensive assistant, Savage made the move to the scouting team and had a strong run with the franchise. He stuck through the transition to Baltimore and helped them win their Super Bowl.
So as a branch of the Belichick tree, it's always interesting to read their input. Belichick has admitted a strong influence by coaching great Bill Walsh so to see Savage place their connection on a scouting level is always interesting.
Savage isn't really presenting anything new so much as he's just posting a reminder for the draft season: Players aren't given first or second round grades. They're given projections in the NFL and teams will pick them according to their expected impact.
Too much of the NFL draft conversation centers on "when/where" prospects will get picked rather than how they will "play", big distinction.— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 6, 2014
Most GM's and HC's don't want their scouts to "predict" what round a prospect will be selected, but rather how he will project into the NFL.— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 6, 2014
Bill Walsh paraphrase, "don't tell me what a player can't do, tell me what he does well and how he will fit into our system". #positives— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 6, 2014
The scout's job is to assess the prospect's NFL potential for his organization, upper management's job is to determine the round "value".— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 6, 2014
Under Bill Belichick in early 90's, he did not feel an area scout could know the entire country enough to say, "he's a 2nd rounder". #guess— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 6, 2014
In the simplest terms, BB wanted to categorize the prospect as a "starter", "potential starter", "backup" or "camp body", no Round grades.— Phil Savage (@SeniorBowlPhil) March 6, 2014
Most of this rings true. So when Belichick takes his head-scratcher in the second round, know it's because the team projects that player as a potential starter.
And that's what the draft is all about. Finding potential.