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Friday open thread: What is the most important trait when evaluating a prospect?

What trait is most important to you when looking at college prospects?

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions general manager Bob Quinn doesn’t speak with the local media all that often. He’s a man that likes to stay behind the scenes and do his work with minimal distractions. That’s easy to understand for a guy who is not only new to the job, but is probably most productive when he’s not bothered with repetitive, tedious questions.

But when Quinn does meet with the media, he seems to be very forthcoming. He doesn’t shy away from mistakes, like when he admitted he probably shouldn’t have declared a zero tolerance policy for crimes with a weapon or domestic abuse.

He is also seemingly honest when it comes to his philosophy during draft season. While he hasn’t given away his complete strategy, he does talk about one thing consistently: character. Whenever asked about what he’s looking for in prospects, whether it be at the Senior Bowl or at the Combine or during any face-to-face meetings with players, he stresses the importance of character. He mentioned it in his first few days with the team. He stressed it right before his first draft with Detroit. Heck, he even said it on a radio interview from just over a week ago.

This got me thinking. How important is a player’s character to me? In my own personal scouting, how much do I value personality compared to other aspects. So today’s Question of the Day is:

Between game tape, physical measurements and a player’s personality/character, what is most important to you?

My answer: Obviously all three aspects have a key part in evaluating a prospect, and it’s a little tougher for us sitting at home to get a good sense of a player’s personality. Still, I think I would place game tape first, character second and measurements last.

I place a huge importance on character, because every single player in the NFL will go through adversity at some point in their career. A lot of these athletes are used to being the best players on their team and, sometimes, in their league. That isn’t likely to be the case at the next level, and how they respond to that will sometimes be the difference between sinking and swimming.

Still, nothing trumps game tape. If you can’t play in college, you won’t make it in the pros.

Your turn.

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