Our Charting Process

John Todd

Thanks for taking the time to check out the site. Whether you’re a new reader or a previous fan of our physical SIS Rookie Handbook editions from the past few years, hopefully you’ve enjoyed navigating our updated forum. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably interested in how we got to this point, from our numerical and scouting evaluation perspectives. The collection process for all of the data you see on this site, our SIS DataHub, social media, and other platforms is the core of what we do at Sports Info Solutions. As usual, we hire an annual team of Football Video Scouts to be trained in our terminologies and definitions, watch and evaluate every NCAA game involving an FBS opponent and all NFL games, and input the data into our software.

This past year, we transitioned into a hybrid in-person and remote staffing of our Video Scouts. Our group of 60 was split about evenly between our office in Coplay, Pennsylvania and around the country. Full-time remote training, scheduling, and assistance was an adjustment for us, as we’ve always felt our in-person communication was a uniquely positive approach to data accuracy and improvement throughout the season. Our team admirably and tirelessly worked through rough patches to continue ensuring on-time and accurate data to our clients.

In total, five different initial passes of data collection for every football game are collected before our Senior Football Ops department begins a thorough auditing operation. Subsequent data quality projects are completed, external statistical suggestions are compared, and anomalous individual items are confirmed.

The result is a quality of data that we can confidently say we can stand behind. Occasionally, raw college data may differ from school press releases, advanced data may vary from other collection forums—just know that these deviations have SIS-endorsed answers. While the personal touch of in-person networking couldn’t be made to all our Scouts this fall, we hope our entire staff feels connected to SIS and the weight they held in the success of this site and our organization.

We are extremely proud and thankful for all of our Video Scouts and Ops staff members for the hand they played in another successful year of our football charting process.

Moving forward, some big changes are coming to the Football Operation. We are thrilled to be in the development stage of more efficient collection software, our Video Scout hiring procedures are being thoroughly adjusted to better accommodate our staffing needs, and we’re continuing to grow our influence across multiple spaces and industries.

As always, our Senior Ops members are suggesting exciting new data proposals and enhancements to improve the charting operation, and our scouting department is growing like never before, as Nathan will explain next. If you’d like to be involved in the future, visit the SIS careers page.

Our Scouting Process

Nathan Cooper

After taking a year off from All-Star Game travels, we were back at it this year as our VP of Football & Research Matt Manocherian and John made it to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, AL. The Senior Bowl has produced a hotbed of talent—over the last few years especially—so it was important to have some of us down there to get an in-person view, take notes, and confirm some grades. While I was unable to make it, I took advantage of my virtual credential and saw all the action on the All-22 film they provided. While we start the process much earlier, the Senior Bowl is an event on the calendar that marks that Draft season is officially here and underway.

Similar to last year, we got started on the 2022 Draft cycle over the summer, watching and taking notes on players we thought would be declaring following the season. This is also when we start creating our database of players. With the pandemic happening in 2020 and players being allowed to return to school for an extra year of eligibility, our list got much larger, much earlier in the process.

Combining the 100+ players we had on our list last year who decided to return with the many who weren’t on our list who did the same, plus this year’s original class, made for a bigger group of players than we’ve previously considered.

Since the Handbook started, John and I have split our cross-checking responsibilities into regions. However, one change we made this year was bringing 3 of our full-time scouts into the fold to head up their own regions. Previously, I was the primary cross-checker for players in the SEC East, Big 12, American, Mountain West, MAC, and any small school east of the Mississippi.

John was responsible for players in the SEC West, Big Ten, Pac-12, C-USA, Sun Belt, and any Independent or small school west of the Mississippi. This year, we added Jordan Edwards to take care of all non-FBS players. Jeff Dean focused on C-USA and the Sun Belt. Ben Hrkach tracked the MAC. This allowed us to hone in and get our eyes on even more players and teams to really get a sense of the draftable players in that area all across the country.

As John mentioned, we evolved into more of a hybrid staffing of remote and in-person Video Scouts this past season. Not only did this give us more flexibility, but it also allowed us to hire more Video Scouts. Those Video Scouts not only help collect our data, but also help watch film and write scouting reports on all of these players. We had 35 Video Scouts and numerous full-time staff write reports for us this year, many of which are featured on the new NFL Draft site.

This year, we had nearly 1,000 players in our database, with reports or grades submitted on over 800 of them. Between the five of us, we looked at every report submitted, film of the player, and edited and/or cross-checked all 300+ players going onto the site. The number of reports that made the book the last 3 years went from 256 to 284 to 318, and this year’s number will be even higher when all is said and done.

Even though the in-hand copy of the book is no more, the NFL Draft site features all of the same things it was known for, and more, such as the Leaderboards, a brand new Big Board  we are referring to as the “SIS 101”, and the Team Pages, with even more stats and sections to help give an idea of what your favorite team has and needs. The beauty of this new website is it will allow us to post more info and updates during the entire process. So, with that, we hope you enjoy the new and improved SIS Football Rookie Handbook, the SIS NFL Draft site.