One of the most popular events in American sports is the NFL Draft. Every April, people anticipate who will be taken where and how good they can be.
Drafting players into the NFL is big business, and as a result, players are scrutinized through numerous tests and evaluations. In spite of the millions of dollars spent on the process, teams still make mistakes and waste draft picks on players who never reach their projected potential. One need not think hard to remember memorable busts like Tony Mandarich, Akili Smith, Heath Shuler and Blair Thomas.
So when you think about the process of recruiting high school players to college, you realize it is even more difficult and filled with pitfalls. There are many X factors that go into evaluating prospects. You have to look at things like school grades, mental make-up and previous disciplinary issues, albeit hurdles shared by college recruiters and pro scouts alike.
One area where pro scouts have it easier is in evaluating a prospect's size and growth potential. By the time college players enter the draft, pro scouts generally know what they are getting in terms of physical build.