Inside The Bills

Scouting is about reducing the margin of error

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2014 – 12:06 pm

With the NFL draft there are no definites. The whole thing is a roll of the dice, but the painstaking process of scouting is necessary to make an NFL team’s picks as successful as possible. In our second installment of our ‘On the Clock’ pre-draft series, we went behind the scenes to take a closer look at the lengths scouts go to in order to reduce the margin for error on a player, especially one like Kiko Alonso who had off the field incidents in his college career.

“You want to make sure that with the information that we bring to the upper brass it’s the right information to help us pick the guys with the least amount of risk,” said Bills scout Matt Hand, who scouted Alonso. “You want to make sure that we’re picking guys that can play and be good players for us. There are no guarantees.

“A lot of times it’s not the athlete in the player that fails. It’s the other things that fail. That’s why it’s important to get to these schools to get to know these guys as much as we can not just as football players, but as men off the field.”


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How highly Pac-12 thought of Kiko

Posted by Chris Brown on April 13, 2014 – 9:54 am

As we profiled in the second installment of our ‘On the Clock’ pre-draft series – ‘How the Bills came to draft Kiko’ Buffalo’s scouting department in sticking to the process found Kiko Alonso to be the perfect fit for their gaping hole at middle linebacker in the 2013 NFL draft. Scouting Alonso as a player on tape may have been easy, and Buffalo area scouts Brad Forsyth and Matt Hand were pretty certain he’d be a solid NFL player right away. But if they had any doubts they were convinced after hearing coaches from other Pac-12 schools raving about him without even being asked to comment on Alonso.

“When you go to other schools it’s rare that coaches from one school bring up players from another school,” said Hand. “When you’re going through some of the best schools in the Pac-12 and a coach comes up to you and says, ‘That Kiko Alonso is probably the best player in the Pac-12 this year.’ Those are some pretty powerful words when you have a coach at another school saying that.”

It only served to reinforce what Hand and Forsyth thought of Alonso as a player.

 


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