Anthony Lynn on evaluating draft prospects: “The tape doesn’t lie”

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Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn thinks the most valuable thing he can do when evaluating potential draft picks is not at the Combine or Pro Day workouts. It’s in his own office.

Lynn said this morning on PFT Live that his favorite way to determine which players will fit in the NFL is simply to watch the way the played in college.

“I do believe in staying in the shop and watching tape because the tape doesn’t lie,” Lynn said.

When Lynn does meet players, he said it’s less about working them out than about getting to know their personalities.

“I value just getting to know them. I don’t really work guys out anymore,” Lynn said. “I want to know a guy’s football IQ, I want to know his character, I want to know how he’s going to fit in the locker room.”

As Lynn heads into his second draft as a head coach, he hopes to find more players who will fit in the locker room — but he will evaluate those players primarily by seeing how they played in college.

26 responses to “Anthony Lynn on evaluating draft prospects: “The tape doesn’t lie”

  1. I have a friend who can run as fast as Mookie Wilson. Played baseball with one and against the other. My friend could not play the OF. He could only play 1B. He could hit. Like Double A hit but 1B is not reserved for guys who should play CF. He could not play WR, either.

    Point is, he’d be a semi-star at the Combine. His flaws would show but that raw (hand timed, repeatedly) 3.2 to 3-4 speed down to first (left side) would appeal to someone. But the tape does NOT lie.

  2. Tape actually does sometime lie, Measurables matter also. Tape shows a player dominating sub par competition When studied in conjunction with workout measurables, teams get a clearer picture of how a player might perform at the next level. If teams went off of tape alone, guys like Demontre Moore and Michael Sam would have been first round picks.

  3. Lynn sounds like he’s light years ahead of most football people. Legendary Chargers coach Sid Gillman was one of the pioneers in film study of prospects. Back then it was actual film, lol. Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt both slipped to the 3rd round because they weren’t fast enough on the track at the combine. They were plenty fast enough on the football field, and the tape didn’t lie. Sounds like Lynn is going to be a successful coach.

  4. I completely agree with him. The Combine is a circus in underwear, and pro-days are staged events. You got tape on these guys. Watch it, and make your decisions. That’s game time, and that’s the only time that counts.

  5. I think most talent evaluators watch tape until their eyeballs fall out. It also depends on the level of competition which is why you can’t just rely on tape. Lynn is saying nothing earth shattering here.

  6. Go figure. Guys running around without game day gear on doesn’t give you the full picture. The combine should confirm what you see on tape, not make your decision.

  7. charliecharger says: “Alvin Kamara and Kareem Hunt both slipped to the 3rd round because they weren’t fast enough on the track at the combine. They were plenty fast enough on the football field, and the tape didn’t lie.”

    Um, what?!? Kamara was drafted as the 5th RB, exactly where he was ranked and didn’t slip anywhere, so stop with the revisionist history.

    Fournette had 4,350 scrimmage yards, McCaffrey had 5,100 yards Stanford, Cook had 5,400 scrimmage yards at FSU, Joe Mixon had 2,900. Kamara only had 1,977 at Tennessee. In fact, several RB had significantly more yards (Conner, Perine) that got drafted behind Kamara.

    You can’t argue “tapes don’t lie” and then trot out a player that didn’t actually blaze through college ball like other RBs in the same draft. And coach Sean Payton specifically said he ran receiving drills on his Kamara’s Pro Day as there wasn’t enough film.

  8. Honestly, I totally agree with him. So please tell me… why will, ESPN, etc etc devote an entire show on NFL Combine measurables. “So and so’s kneecap is not as wide as this other guy’s kneecap… so and so QB’s hands are only this much.

    Seriously. I’ve always compared the combine to the SATs. The kid who scores perfect on the SATs does not impress me. He studied for that test for three months. Ask the same kid to retake the SAT 6 months later and he won’t do as well because he’s no longer studying. I truly believe the Combine is the same way. These guys often leave school the final semester so they can prepare and train w/ these experts who focus solely on the combine. The guy who runs a 4.4… ask him to run it again unexpectedly 6 months later and he will not do as well. Do teams even time their players during OTAs and training camp?

  9. I agree that the tape will show u pretty much all you need to know and that if u get time w a prospect it is better spent getting to know that player as a person rather than work them out individually as all the #’s on players are already out. If u have questions on a players stregnth or speed the combine or pro days are already completed by the time u can work these players out individually so I’ve seen them in the bench press or 40 or 3 & 5 cone drills.
    My only question is how much say does Lynn actually have in the LA draft descions. It’s not as if their GM or lead scouts are saying this it’s the head coach. The GM and scouts are the ones making their boards. He coach can get lay a part in making the pick by going to bat for a guy who he loves but is also closely rated in their board to another player the scouts love but Lynn especially isn’t this long time tenured coach who’s been a head coach at the NFL level for a decade and been thru a bunch of drafts already. I’m not saying he has no say in this process I just don’t think he had a big say in the drafting process and isn’t heavily relied on for the scouting and ranking part in the draft process. It would’ve been more telling on the Chargers end if this came out from the GM or scouting department. Not sure how much influence Lynn has at this stage of his NFL head coaching start.

  10. That works unless you’re the Bills GM who, a month from the draft, still claims he hasn’t evaluated the top QB yet…Should make you feel real good Buffalo fans…

  11. IMHO this is why Ozzie Newsome has done well in picking players. I recall when Ed Suggs was a prospect and he ran a 4.8 or something like that 40 and many dropped him on their draft boards because of it. Ozzie stayed true to the film now no one asks what Ed Suggs 40 time is anymore as he will enter the Hall once his playing career is over. The combine is for guys to have a job. The tape is the true measure of players.

  12. Although he is a Charger I agree and respect him for how he evaluates because I do it the exact same way. Year in and year out I nail the draft and when I see how my draft comps to the “pros” after the draft is over I am pretty stunned. EVERY year I nail the top prospects. When I see how my picks perform compared to pro GM and Scouts it is amazing. Had I decided to peruse being a scout I would no doubt be the most highly coveted and paid Scout in the NFL. I am still open for a full time scouting job but I will only work in the Raiders organization.

  13. kennylc2015 says: “The guy who runs a 4.4… ask him to run it again unexpectedly 6 months later and he will not do as well.”

    How is this different from the dude that ran a 4.70 at the combine and also can’t replicate that 6 months later either? A fast combine time is still fast.

    Every prospect now trains for the combine. If not, you’d have to ask why didn’t they? Lazy? Doesn’t care? Doesn’t listen to authority (ie coach)? A player that thinks he knows it all already? In absence of a legitimate reason, why DIDN’T a prospect prepare for the most important job interview of his life?

  14. True. On the other hand, the tape doesn’t necessarily tell you about the guy’s most recent injury history either.

  15. You need to take the tape and combine with a grain of salt and not rely too heavily on either. Being in a well coached system can hide a lot of flaws, especially when you’re surrounded by great talent. Take, for example, Tebow. He had all day to throw to wide open receivers and didn’t have to make too many reads or go through the progressions of analyzing where the safeties and linebackers were. Hence, he had great “success” even though it was Urban Meyer’s system which created the success. Plus he was surrounded by NFL players. He didn’t have to deal with much adversity on the field compared to say, Aaron Rodgers at CAL.

  16. BB eats tape for breakfast. He was at pro days breathing on guys just to see how far they can push that sled with a hof coach breathing on em. He’s got advanced analytics on “shootin the breeze” he knows what’s in their headphones

  17. The coach talks a good game, but the following names are why the Chargers will always be second best, almost on the verge, almost had it but……
    Alex G. Spanos – Owner
    Dean A. Spanos – Controlling Owner and Chairman of the Board
    Michael A. Spanos – Vice Chairman
    A.G. Spanos – President of Business Operations
    John Spanos – President of Football Operations
    Michael Spanos II – Salary Cap & Personnel Assistant
    Mark Fabiani – Special Counsel (Special Education Class Graduate)

  18. RustyHornPornStar says:
    March 26, 2018 at 8:51 am
    5-11 back to the basement


    5-11 should be enough to finish in front of the Broncos….and quite possible the Raiders as well

  19. Also, some people in this comment section are confusing “looking at the tape” with “looking at the stats”

    They aren’t the same thing

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