Spielman’s answer shed a little light on how he and the personnel department are approaching an era of increasing information about prospects. It is lengthy but insightful.
“You’re hoping you have more Danielle Hunter successes than you do on the misses that you have. I think that the system we have in place right now and the cohesiveness with the coaching staff, and if you look at the defensive line, for the most part, they almost look identical – you know, Stephen Weatherly – well, Danielle’s a freak. But a lot of those guys, even some of the guys that we just drafted this year that got hurt or are on IR, there’s certain physical traits and certain traits from a character standpoint that we look for.
It’s funny, our analytics department is evolving right now to the point where we’re almost able to clone players. Not literally, or else you’d see 90 Danielle Hunters walking around, although he can’t throw a football worth a crap. But what we’re doing with all, especially with the analytics, is with all this data we have now from psychological scores, the three different intelligence scores that we use – the stuff that we do to try to measure passion for the game, all the physical scores. The stats from college are maybe the least thing that we look at, except certain portions of those.
When you can take all that, they throw it into all their different algorithms they come up with, so now we’re getting to the point, well, when we look at the draft this year … and we’re looking at Player A, B or C, I want them to tell us, ‘Who is he most similar to on our team from all those other scores besides what we grade on the tape?’ We keep it separate. I keep it separate from what we see on the tape from a grade standpoint, and then I have the analytics do their deal, and then we combine it all and we get ready for the draft.
“Everybody, hopefully, that you’re drafting has the physical ability, and I’ve always been intrigued with athletes, and I’ve always taken chances on athletes,” Spielman continued. “Now if you can come up with the numbers and stuff that say, ‘Well this is his mental makeup,’ and we’re always trying to measure this and this (points to head and heart). Because that’s what makes the difference to me in this league. We’re getting closer and closer to trying to be able to create some measurements that give us an idea what this and this (head and heart) means. Because like I said, Danielle Hunter may not be the player he is if he doesn’t have the mental makeup that he has, always wanting to get better and a passion for the game, and what he plays with. So how can I find that combination, and how can we apply it going forward?
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I think that's an interesting read, and you can certainly see some of that with who they've drafted recently.
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Super cool. Man, I want to see those algorithms.
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