Scouts for all 31 NFL teams are given a description on the type of player to look for. The scout then uses his discretion in determining if the player/players he is scouting will fit into the team's scheme. Here's a look at what they look for, starting on offense.
Quarterback(6'3", 210, 4.8)- A QB with size of 6'3 or more with weight of 210lbs is sufficient. This QB must have arm strength to throw the ball down the field as well as the comeback route. No wasted motion in his delivery and a tight spiral with velocity. The ability to scramble is also a plus. Quick feet in the pocket is okay too, provided he doesn't have nervous feet. Pocket presence is essential. Must have a desire to learn, and the confidence to excell at intelligent descision making. Toughness is vital. He must be competitive and cool. Leadership is VERY critical.
Runningback(5'10", 205, 4.5)- Must possess speed, quickness, elusiveness, and the ability to score each time the ball is touched. The ability to make people miss is absolute, may it be physical or finesse. Body control and shifting out of cuts, along with the ability to move laterally within the hole is a must. The ability to bounce laterally along the LOS and to outside a BIG plus. The individual must be solid in build, good upper and lower body tone with some form mass. Durability to play a whole game and season. Must possess good hands and be a pass receiving threat. Must be an effective blocker and display a willingness to block versus the blitz. Must be a WINNER!
Fullback(6'0",240, 4.75)- Must be a premier blocker in every situation(run & pass). He must possess great explosion into defenders with natural hip roll and finishing qualities. Run skills are the ability to run low, shoulders out in front, quick feet, a dependable power runner along with cutback capability. He must show the ability to pick his feet up and needs to run over the "trash" inside. Must possess the ability to receive the short area pass. Must have average football intelligence and a mean streak.
Specialty Back(5'9", 185, 4.45)- A situational player that is a threat out of the backfield as a runner and a receiver. Must have many natural abilities to overcome size deficiency. Ball skills need to be excellent. Must have the ability to gain yards after the catch(YAC). Quickness and speed are a big factor in this player. He must also have toughness to pick-up the blitz. Usually a special teams player. Must have above average intelligence in order to play the many positions that he'll be asked to play(including WR).
Wide Receiver(6'0", 188, 4.55)- A WR should have 4.55 speed or better. He must have the ability to make the "big play". He must be intelligent enough to execute precision route adjustments while displaying break point seperatin based on defensive coverage schemes. He must have outstanding hands and be a confident, consistent receiver. He must be able to run under the deep ball. He must show catching ability with the ball in a crowd as well as the crossing pattern. He must possess the ability to make body adjustments t thrown balls. Must be able to beat press coverage with no wasted motion in his release. Must possess the willingness to block. He must have leaping ability, and the transitional skills necassary to run after the catch(RAC) and an extra gear to break away. He must show above average stamina as well as durability for a season of play. The larger athlete possessing these skills becomes more valuable.
Tight End(6'3", 245, 4.75)- The TE must be a two dimensional player. He must first be a pass receiving threat. He must have the ability to release quickly from the LOS. His maneuverability in underneath coverage must be a strength. He must be a vertical threat, displaying the ability to defeat LB coverage vs. two deep zone. His hands must be excellent, displaying consistency as well as the ability to make the tough catch. Must possess outstanding athleticism and possess certain WR qualities. He must be a blocker that can adequately control the end of the line defender. He must be able to work in tandem with the offensive tackles and running backs. The TE must be a durable, rugged player with above average intelligence. He must be capable of going in motion and executing responsibilities on the move.
Offensive Tackle(6'5", 290, 5.25)- Physical height and weight are starting points. If body style dictates- strength development and growth potential must be considered. Arm strength is a factor to be aware of. Quickness of feet in blocking movements is also a key item. Body control, athletic ability, flexibility, working from a stance with knees bent and having a flat back are keys. Running ability is an area that cannot be overlooked. Recovery quickness and balance are key elements. The ability to pull should be considered as well. Must have above average football intelligence.
Offensive Guard(6'4", 285, 5.15)- Physical height and weight again are starting points. Strength and growth potential are crtical along with foot quickness, body control, and pulling ability. Arm strength is a factor as well. Flexibility, as well as the ability to work from the same stance to carry out numerous assignments is a must. Ability to pull and run with good balance and adjustment in space to maintain blocking position. Quick set, leverage and base must be displayed for pass protection. Body style can be more squat in stature with girth and quickness being the most inportant traits. Strength should be overall preficiency. A player with above average intelligence and football savvy is usually preferred.
Center(6'4", 280, 5.19)- Height of tail from the ground in the center's stance is most important. Quick hands from stance and snap a major item along with foot quickness. Consistency with ball to snap spot along with the ability to shot gun snap. Keeping knees up under the body in stace, first step quickness and execution are major factors. Must have strength to handle the DT and ability to chip and stay on the ILB. The ability to pull would be a plus as well. Centers who also long-snap become more attractive prospects. Leadership and intelligence are the most important factors for this position.
Defensive Tackle(6'3", 285, 5.00)- Strong, physical player. Has the agility and quickness to angle and stunt. Good quickness off the ball so that he can be a vertical player. Must have a good burst that he demonstrates in pass rush and pursuit. Good bull rush versus the pass so he can collapse the pocket. Also has a good speed move that he can execute at the LOS. Good with hands, quick hands from gound to the O-Lineman. Great balance so he plays on his feet and not on the ground. Great flexibility is a must. Must possess average football intelligence.
Defensive End(6'4", 265, 4.85)- Strong, physical player. Must be able to anchor the corner of the defense and not get knocked off the ball. Has good agility and quickness so he can angle and stunt as well. Want good quickness of the ball, first step quickness along with the ability to speed pass rush on the edge of an offensive blocker. Has the speed and movement skills to be able to contain all pass actions. Has a good burst that shows in pursuit and pass rush. Has definite pass rush skills, is good with his hands and is relentless in pressuring the QB. Quick hands from the ground to the O-Linemen. Plays on his feet and not on the ground. Should have good flexibility. Once at the corner, he must be able to finish.
Rush End(6'5", 255, 4.70)- Excellent movement skills and quickness. Tall, leverage-type body. Has some strength and is physical, but movement is his dominate quality. Uses hands very well and is excellent speed pass rusher off of the corner. Good quickness off the ball, first step is a must. Must have a great burst for his size. Can make plays from backside because of his speed and quickness. Strong enough to hold the LOS against the OT. Great balance so he's always playing on his feet. Should have very good flexibility. Must be able to finish. Also, must be relentless in persuing the QB.
Inside Linebacker(6'1", 240, 4.70)- Strong player with good quickness and movement skills. He runs easily and can get to outside versus the run or to the flat versus the pass. Aggressive, physical player who is a SURE tackler. Excellent hitter who shows explosion when he strikes and can stop a ball carrier on contact. Football smart and has a nose for the ball. Must be able to clear feet of trash and work through traffic to get to ball carrier. Has good feet, flexibility and change of direction so that he can play some man coverage. Must have a good burst that he shows in blitz pursuit and zone break on the ball. He has ball skills and possesses enough intelligence to call defenses. An intense competitor with good balance who can play on his feet.
Outside Linebacker(6'2", 235, 4.75)- Linebacker type who has the size and strength to play a TE in the run game. Must have very good reactions and quick hands. Hand strength is a big plus. Must be able to deliver blow and disengage. Needs good strength, good, quick feet along with excellent flexibility and leverage throughout his body. Must have enough movement, agility and quickness to be able to drop into pass coverage and play zone or man. Must also have outside pass rush ability where he can speed rush off the corner. Should have a good burst that can be seen in pursuit, blitz, pass rush, and pass coverage. Has the balance to stay on his feet. Best combination of size, strength and speed of all the LB's. Must be aggressive and a sure tackler.
Coverage Linebacker(6'1", 225, 4.65)- Linebacker type who has exceptional movement skills and quickness. Might not have the size or strength of the other LB positions. Has excellent feet and flexibility. Moves with ease and has excellent transitional skills and very good burst. Has good strength, but speed is his biggest asset. Should have good ball skills and good football awareness. Can play both zone and man coverage and possess the speed and athleticism to man cover a special back, TE or a large receiver. Must be excellent on special teams. This player must display courage and physical toughness. More valuable if he's an exceptional tackler and has blitz abilities.
Cornerback(5'10", 185, 4.5)- Sleek, graceful, light on his feet type player. Must be able to get up in the face of a WR and play press technique and run stride for stride with any receiver. must be capable of coming up and forcing the run with an impact. Needs to have great concentration, instincts and quick feet. Needs to possess a quick burst to close and catch-up speed. Must be able to find the ball in the air. Must have great ball skills and must be a good tackler.
Strong Safety(6'1", 200, 4.6)- An athletic, well built and physical player. Needs to be tough versus the run and be able to play good man/man coverage on the TE. Needs to have above average football intelligence in order to play as a FS in cases when motion dictates this. Must be a great tackler. Must have good range, as he needs to play 1/2 field and 1/3 middle. Must be willing to throw body around versus the run. A larger athlete is a plus at this position.
Free Safety(6'1", 195, 4.55)- Has to be the best athlete of any secondary position. This player must have range to cover from sideline to sideline, deep 1/2 and deep middle 1/3. Must have great instincts and anticipation skills. Must have exceptional ball skills and hands as well as leaping ability. Must be a student of the game, intelligent and have very good football knowledge. Needs to be a very good open field tackler. Has to have enough physical toughness to fill the alley in the run game. A do it all kind of player.