A lot goes into the scouting process for NFL teams. On-field performance, statistics, measurables and character are just some of the things worth considering when formulating an overall opinion on a draft prospect.
What exactly do the Detroit Lions look for when they are scouting potential draft picks? I'm sure things vary from player to player, but Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin boiled it down to this (via the Detroit Free Press):
"What we're looking for, and I know this sounds funny, but you're looking for a good player," defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said. "There's a lot of guys that have height, weight and speed, but they don't produce. So what you're looking for on tape, you're looking for a guy that takes that ability he has and he maximizes it.
"We don't ever want a guy that has a lot of ability but, well, he doesn't show it all the time, he doesn't do it all the time, because what's going to happen is, if you get him in your system, you're going to be disappointed because he's only going to do it some of the time. You want a guy that's going to go out and compete like crazy and be able to do it to the best of his ability, whatever that is, all the time."
In other words, the Lions want someone who won't need to be motivated to consistently perform at a high level. They don't want to take a player who has talent that he doesn't necessarily always use. Instead, they want someone who constantly gives maximum effort and shows that on tape.
Obviously, a lot more goes into deciding to select a player than simply evaluating his effort. However, this will be something to keep in mind when the Lions go on the clock during the 2015 NFL Draft.