Closer look at elements of a draft card

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, in a media tutorial on the draft process, detailed the elements of a fictional draft card. The information on the fictional draft card is similar to what would be on a real draft card.

Following along on the accompanying picture, here is an explanation on some of the elements.

NAME: The player’s name is along the left side, with the last name in all capital letters and the first name below it. This fictional card is for the player “Willy SCORE”.

POSITION: The player’s position is designated in the lower left-hand corner. In this case, it is "RB" for running back.

HEIGHT/WEIGHT: The player’s height and weight is listed next to the position. In this case it is 6-foot-3 5/8, or "6035". The “v” next to the height means it is verified (from the combine). The weight is then listed to the right of the height. In this case it is 256. Once again, the “v” means verified.

SPEED: Staying along the bottom line, the player’s speed is listed next. This prospect has run a 4.59 in the 40-yard dash. The “e” next to the time means it is estimated. A verified time will come at the NFL combine. Because 40-yard dash times can vary depending on surface, the Patriots denote the surface next to the time. In this case “A/1” means it was on Astroturf.

WONDERLIC: The player’s Wonderlic intelligence test score, 21, is listed next to the speed.

BIRTHDAY: The player’s birthday is listed in the lower right-hand corner.

SCHOOL: The player’s school is listed in the middle right-hand portion of the card. Usually, the college is listed in a four-letter code. For example, Cincinnati would usually be OHCI. On this fictional card, it is spelled out.

PLAYER’S GRADE: The final element of the card is the player’s grade. That is the combination of letters and numbers above the player’s school. This player’s grade is “ZS4.910lw.”

DEFINING THE GRADE: Any letters that come before a number is what the team calls “typing”. An “I” type means the prospect is “clean” based on the standards the team has for height, weight and speed at the position in the team’s system. In this grade, the “Z” means the player is height deficient. The “S” means the player is speed deficient. If there was a “B”, it would mean the player is bulk deficient based on his weight. The player’s grade is the number 4.910. The grading scale is 1 to 9, with 1 “not very good” to 9 being “this guy is rare.” The lower-case letters – in this case “lw” -- are the team’s alert system. In this case, the “l” means a lower level of competition (e.g. a player from a Division II school). The “w” is a weight alert, indicating that the player has battled a weight problem (either too heavy or too light). The alerts don’t eliminate a player, but remind the team it’s something to investigate further.