I was watching the Eagles game the other day when the color commentator very kindly reminded the millions of fans watching around the world that Jordan Mailata in fact never played football until shortly before his NFL tryout. The former rugby league player from Australia went from a complete football novice to being selected in the NFL Draft in a measly two months. It’s incredible that some athletes can learn in two months what others spend their entire lives working to perfect. It seems like it should be impossible. Yet, some of the greatest football players of all time didn’t pick the game up until quite late in life. Jason Pierre-Paul didn’t play football until his junior year of high school, and Antonio Gates didn’t play a down of college football. Despite missing out on years of valuable experience, both of these players were able to accomplish things us mere mortals can only dream of.
The reason that guys like Jordan Mailata, JPP, and Antonio Gates were able to quickly overtake their peers despite a lack of experience is their athleticism. We’ve all heard the saying “You can’t teach speed.” It’s trite, but it’s true. While you can certainly train to somewhat improve your athleticism, no amount of squats is going to turn a 5.6 forty into a 4.4. We at the National Scouting Combine are firm believers in finding athleticism. You can teach a great athlete the techniques of a sport. But, how do you find a great talent among the thousands of athletes in America?
Many people talk about athleticism as this ephemeral, indefinite concept. Sure, they will acknowledge that its components, such as shuttle time and vertical leap, are real and defined, but they’ll also say things like “X-factor” or “he just has juice”. Well, if you want juice, we can tell you how much he’s bringing. Our proprietary algorithm takes our athletes’ laser timed forty yard dash, three cone drill, and pro agility shuttle times as well as their vertical leap, broad jump, number of reps of 225 on the bench press, biometrics, and TRAZER test results and gives athletes a true athletic grade. These grades, ranging from 0 to 5, represent an objective and accurate representation of athletic potential. A 5 is as good as it gets. This athlete has the athletic ability to compete with the best in the world. The lower the number, the lower the athletic potential.
In 2022, wide receiver Keyon Thomas attended the National Scouting Combine. After an impressive performance, our proprietary algorithm graded him at a 4.000. This placed him in the second highest tier of scoring, the excellent tier. Keyon took his scores and used them to secure a spot on the Zappers of the Fan Controlled Football league, where the public was quick to notice his athletic ability. After the performance he put on, his future is certainly bright. In 2016, running back Terron Beckham’s 44 reps of 225 on the bench press helped him score a 4.200. This landed him in the excellent tier, same as Keyon. Terron’s athleticism impressed scouts to the point that he got tryouts with the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts despite not playing football in college. After his football career, Terron went on to play professional rugby for the Denver Barbarians, and was on track to join the US National team before an injury led to his stepping away from the sport. Now, Terron is pursuing a new goal of becoming a professional wrestler. The last athlete I’ll highlight is cornerback Maurice Leggett. Maurice came to us in 2013 looking to get his football career back on track after injuries cut his NFL career short. The former Kansas City Chief scored a 4.833, the third highest score in combine history. After his dominant performance, Maurice was able to earn a spot on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In the CFL, he showed everyone what America missed out on. In his first year he caught five picks. In 2016, he co-lead the league with seven. In 2017, he became just the third defensive player in three decades to score multiple touchdowns in one CFL game. After his career as a player ended, Maurice took up coaching. Today, he is the DC for the AIF’s DC Amarillo Venom. There are dozens of stories like Keyon’s, Terron’s, and Maurice’s of athletes who showed up, showed out, and exceeded all expectations when they were given a shot.
We hope to solve some recruiting problems with our verified test results and algorithm. Firstly, we do not want to tell you what technical skills you want. You know better than us how to break down game film and see who has the skills to fit into your system. We also understand that if you’re not recruiting for an NFL team, or for a Division 1 blue blood like Notre Dame, Alabama, or Ohio State, you don’t have unlimited resources. Our goal is to save you the time and the money of figuring out if these guys have the physical capabilities to compete. It can be difficult to guesstimate speed for guys who do not have laser timed numbers. Sure, he’s faster than the guys he’s playing against, but how fast are they? That offensive lineman might be a Michelin Star winning pancake chef, but who knows about the guys he’s putting in the dirt? And that’s just looking at one aspect of athleticism. Combining it all and getting a clear look at the big picture can be slow, difficult, and expensive.
Football scouting is a tough, competitive business. Gaining the slightest edge can make or break a team’s future. We want to narrow down the field for coaches, scouts, and recruiters to save you time and money while delivering you the best prospects that might never have crossed your radar otherwise. Our algorithm has proven itself time and time again by accurately identifying top athletic talent. If you want to find the man who will make your team better, you’ve come to the right place. You never know, you may find the next Antonio Gates, Jason Pierre-Paul, or Jordan Mailata at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana, competing at the 2024 National Scouting Combine.