What type of experience does it take to be an NFL Draft Scout? Can anyone do it? Rob Rang, Matt Miller, Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, and Tony Pauline have all shown that they have what it to takes to be a NFL Draft Scout. So what is it about them that makes them stand out and their opinion matter?
Rob Rang comes from a city in Washington state named Tacoma. But being an NFL Scout is not his full time job, Rang is also a high school teacher at Mount Tahoma High School, that he previously attended. He teaches literature and history, while also advising the school’s yearbook. Rang see’s a similarity in the way he works and picks his draft class and in his actual classroom as well. He has used his skills and has been a trusted NFL Draft analyst since 2001 and he is currently Senior Analyst at NFLDraftScout.com. His presence can always be found at the Shrine Game, Senior Bowl, as well as the NFL Combine. His work has been featured on several platforms including ESPN, CBS Sports, NFL.com and many more.
Lead NFL Draft writer for BleacherReport, Matt Miller, began his career in football scouting after he graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2006, where he received a degree in business. Within the same year of graduating he became the recruiting coordinator and secondary coach for Joplin High School in Missouri. In 2006, Miller landed two jobs one being at New Era Scouting being the president and director of scouting/lead scout and the other at Mpixpro.com where he was doing social networking, community administration, and marketing. Then in 2010, Miller landed a job writing for Bleacher Report, covering the NFL, video analysis, and NFL draft content. According to his Linkedin, he has become the most read author in the history of Bleacher Report. Since then, he has worked for the Madden Video Game franchise as well as covering the Super Bowl live as an NFL insider.
Since he was a young teenager, Mel Kiper Jr. had dreams of becoming an NFL draft scout. Kiper started his own NFL talent eval business in 1981, Kiper Enterprises, while he attended college at Essex Community College in Baltimore, Maryland. He worked hard to hand out the draft reports he made to anyone that he could or anyone that was willing to read them. One day, Ernie Accorsi, who was GM of the Baltimore Colts at the time, encouraged Kiper into becoming a draft analyst. Accorsi helped get Kiper his first job in the industry in 1982, it was a front office position with Colts. Two years passed and the Colts moved to Indianapolis and Kiper was out of a job. Shortly after, Kiper found himself joining ESPN’s coverage of the 1984 NFL Draft, right as it started to grow from something barely covered to a colossal television event. Kiper now co-hosts a weekend show, Dari and Mel with Dari Nowkhah on ESPN Radio.
Often alongside, Kiper is ESPN Football Analyst Todd McShay. McShay is from Swampscott, MA where he began his football career playing quarterback for Swampscott High School. He went on to the University of Richmond, where he joined the football team as a walk-on in 1995 and became a scout-team quarterback. He then sustained a back injury that would end his college career. He ended up working as an undergraduate team equipment manager at the University of Richmond, up until he landed an internship with Gary Horton, a former NFL scout in 1998. After graduating in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in leadership studies, McShay ended up working full-time for Horton at a startup publication called “The War Room,” which was bought by ESPN and they changed the name to “Scouts Inc.” In 2006, McShay joined ESPN as a college football and NFL Draft analyst. McShay is a contributor to many different ESPN platforms including SportsCenter, NFL Live, College Football Live, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, and ESPN The Magazine. In 2014, he had become a college football field analyst.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Tony Pauline is an analyst and publisher of DraftAnalyst.com. In the beginning of his career, Pauline exclusively worked with reporters and draft publications in the New York area only. It wasn’t until 1997 that he branched out and started connecting and making relations with other NFL scouts around the country. Alongside being an analyst, Pauline also has a podcast with Chris Tripodi, The Draft Analysts Podcast. Spending his summers watching film regularly preparing him to go out in the fall to travel and scout out the top players in the nation. He is now one of Sports Illustrated’s top NFL Draft Scouts.
So how do these five scouts, who have never played in the NFL themselves, and only one that has experience coaching, know what they are talking about when it comes to draft scouting? They study and follow these players for weeks on end, learning all about how they play the game of football. They are constantly watch film, usually around 20 to 25 games weekly, and are always keeping up with what is happening in football. The scouts also interact and conversate with other scouts they met along the way exchanging opinions on players and their thoughts as well. It takes years of experience and studying to become a NFL Draft Expert but these four guys prove that you do not need a history in the NFL to be able to do it.