Former NFL scout Greg Gabriel put together an interesting two-part article recently at National Football Post, looking at the top scouts in the NFL (Part 1, Part 2). Gabriel spent 29 years in the NFL, working in a variety of scouting and personnel roles with the Bills, Giants and Bears. In his article, Gabriel includes 49ers scout Justin Chabot:
Justin played his college ball at Northwestern, where he was 3-year starter at offensive tackle. He then worked for his alma mater as the Director of Football Operations. In that role, one of his jobs was being the liaison to the scouts that came in. Justin was well respected by scouts throughout the league because he gave them honest information. His role at Northwestern led to an offer from the San Francisco 49ers, where he is in his 10th year. He has scouted both the Southeast and Midwest regions for San Francisco and his work is invaluable.
Trent Baalke and Paraag Marathe get most of the public acknowledgement, but the team's scouts are critical for the team. This offseason saw Chabot promoted from Midwest regional scout to National Scout. As the team's National Scout, he is responsible for a variety of cross-checking on the various regional reports that come in. The previous National Scout was Matt Malaspina, who was promoted to Director of College Scouting. The director role appears to involve more administrative work, while the "National Scout" appears to involve more hands-on work in the scouting process. I'd imagine Malaspina still gets his opportunities to scout out college players.
We've talked plenty about the 49ers coaching staff and the possibility of poaching. The same holds true for what has become an outstanding personnel department. The team needs to continue developing their scouts as they see key officials moving on to greater opportunities.