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NFL Draft Scouting Reports: Separating Out Fact From Fiction

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As the NFL Draft approaches, it has been interesting to see more negative information come out over the last couple weeks. The most prominent was an anonymous scout talking about how Robert Griffin III had a bit of a selfish streak. This was not something that came up over the last three months. When it comes to anonymous reports, I don't really know what to believe. There was an interesting feature yesterday in the Washington Post, which points to how some have viewed RG3's confidence in a negative light before they get to know him. Take it however you want.

Over at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Bob McGinn has been putting together positional rankings with the help of random scouts' opinions. Some people are named, but others are simply referred to as "one scout said." I understand that we will not be getting many scouts completely on the record, but it is still worth noting anonymous opinions versus named opinions.

On Friday, McGinn posted his tight end and wide receiver rankings. Since Coby Fleener is high on many people's overall draft boards, here is some of what he included in his Fleener comments:

Reminded one scout of former Cowboy Jay Novacek. "The movement type guy - tough guy you can wham-block with," that scout said. "A smart guy with a real good feel for route running." Compared by others to Todd Heap. "You know, the vertical, big plays, catch the ball and run," said Dominik. "He's more of a long stretch tight end." ... "He wasn't even the best tight end on their team," another scout said. "No. 11 (sophomore Levine Toilolo), that's the real deal. He might be the most overrated guy in the draft. He's awful as a blocker. Despite his workout numbers he's really not a quick-twitch, dynamic-moving guy. He's a straight-line, build-up player. All these reports about him being an athlete and this and that, they're assuming that because he ran fast. He's really just a red-zone, jump-ball player."

One scout had some positive things to mention about his blocking potential, and one was very down on his blocking. In reality, the only opinions that matter belong to the 49ers scouts, personnel folks and coaching staff. If the 49ers do not draft Fleener, we may never know what Harbaugh thought of him. Of course, there could be plenty of inferences if Fleener is available and not selected.