As the hunt for information on upcoming NFL Draft prospects continues, fans are seeing that NFL teams are going back a little further than they may have realized. The Green Bay Packers, as well as many if not all other teams around the league, are doing a deep dive into many prospects’ backgrounds.
This tweet by Gabriel Fertitta, the head coach of the Catholic High School Football program in Baton Rouge, LA includes a copy of the letter the Packers sent him regarding LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, a 2020 draft prospect who played his high school ball at Catholic:
NFL Draft questionnaires starting to roll in for @Clydro_22. All HS athletes should pay close attention... got NFL dreams? I'll ask you this 1 question: How would your current HS coach fill out this questionnaire? Note: Special Teams/Multi Sport/Ttack times/What type of student pic.twitter.com/vtx4qy2JtN— Gabriel Fertitta (@Fertitta_Gabe) January 28, 2020
The questionnaire provides some insight into what background information teams look for on players as they dig deep into the prospects’ backgrounds. Note simple items like the player’s best recorded high school marks in the 100 meter dash, shot put, high jump, and other track and field events. Additionally, the form asks if the coach had any other college or pro football players through the program who might be comparable to the athlete in question.
Beyond physical and athletic traits, the questionnaire asks about what sort of student the athlete was in high school. Additionally, scouts are asking what sort of coaching the player best responds to. Moreover, there is an interest in seeing that the student was a multi-sport athlete, a factor that Packers scouts have specifically mentioned in many recent press conferences about selections during the NFL Draft.
This is hardly the first we have seen of stories like this. The Raiders had a questionnaire shared on Twitter in 2017, which was sent to Wisconsin Dells Coach Aaron Mack regarding then-Northern Illinois tight end Shane Wimann.
NFL teams also review college recruiting notes when evaluating talent, but going directly to the high school coach seems to be getting more and more important. In rare cases, NFL might also send scouts or investigators directly to the high school. Still, the takeaways for many young, aspiring athletes are to be well-rounded, show up early, and take care of your grades, because NFL teams will dig deep into their histories.