Scouting Terms To Know


JAG – An average player, stands for Just A Guy

Plug And Play – An NFL ready prospect who can start from Day 1.

Gym Rat – A player who practices hard, trains hard, and plays hard.  Generally this player outperforms their skill level.

Quick Twitch – A player with great reaction times and short area quickness.

Offensive Line:

Dancing Bear – A big physical offensive lineman with quick agile feet allowing them to be good pass protectors also.

Fluid Kick Slide – The first slide steps a tackle takes in passing situations, this allows them to get their hands on the pass rusher.

Strong Punch – A punch that allows the lineman them to reroute the pass rusher away from the quarterback.

Falls Off Blocks – Doesn’t have a steady base or strong hands, pass rushers can use a club move to disengage easily.

Plays Nasty – Somebody who is intense and mean, will play through the whistle, somebody who lives to hit people.

Anchor – The ability of a lineman to not be moved by a defender.


Throws from all platforms – A quarterback who can change his arm angle if needed to make a throw, Matthew Stafford is the poster boy for this.

Seeing Ghosts – A quarterback who often scrambles around in the pocket for no reason and takes unneeded sacks, this means you Blaine Gabbert.

Stares Down His Receiver/Bird Dog – A quarterback who doesn’t go through his progressions and chooses who is getting the ball pre-play.  This is Brando Weeden’s only elite skill.

Game Manager – A quarterback who can throw short accurate passes, but lacks the ability to push the ball down field and make big plays.

System Player – A player who comes out of a system that hid their flaws in college, not only for quarterbacks but this is where it is common.   The Air Raid often produces system quarterbacks.  Examples are Kellen Moore and Tim Tebow.

Running Back:

Upright Runner – A running back who runs vertically, rather than lowering his pads parallel to the ground.

Lateral Agility – The ability of a running back to get in and out of his cuts faster than other players.  Barry Sanders had the greatest lateral agility in NFL history.

Runs Behind His Pads – A powerful runner who gets his power from running with his shoulders parallel to the ground.

Scat Back/Joker – A running back who posses great speed and great hands, these players aren’t typically feature backs and have plays designed to get them into space.  Danny Woodhead and Shane Vereen are the NFL’s elite scat backs.

Wide Receiver:

Body Catcher: A player who doesn’t catch a ball with his hands, but lets the ball come into his chest, this is a big negative and usually leads to drops.

High Points the Ball – A Wide Receiver who elevates to catch a ball, and doesn’t allow it to come down to him.  Usually this is big receivers like Alshon Jeffery, but some smaller receivers like Golden Tate are very adept at this.

Long Strider – A big receiver who takes long strides while running routes, this is a negative because they have to chop their steps to get into and out of breaks.

Burner – A receiver who has  no skills and is drafted due to his elite speed and acceleration.  Marquise Goodwin is an example of this.

Separation – The ability of a receiver to run crisp routes creating separation between him and the defensive back.

Tight End:

Joker/Hybrid – A Tight End who you can move all over the field, flexing them out at wide receiver, or playing them in the slot.  Jordan Reed looks like he will become an elite Joker Tight End.

Inline Blocker – A Tight End who is primarily used as an extra offensive lineman.

(Many Wide Receiver Terms can also be used for Tight Ends)

Defensive Back:

Hangs in Plant – A player who struggles to plant his feet and change direction

Trigger – How many steps it takes for a defensive back to change directions.

Shutdown Corner – A cornerback who has the ability to prevent the opposing teams best receiver from getting open.

Shoestring Tackler – A player who avoids contact at all costs, dives on their tackles.  Antonio Cromartie is best known for being a shoe string tackler.

Closing Burst/Closing Speed – The extra gear a defensive back has when a ball is thrown to close the separation between the receiver and him.

Fluid Hips – A defensive back who can smoothly turn without losing speed or momentum.


Sorts Through The Trash – A player who can sift through the bodies everywhere and rally to the ball.

Stack and Shed – The ability of a player to get his hands on a lineman and lifting up before shedding the blocker to the side.

Shoots The Gap – A player who has the speed and instincts to meet a runner in the hole and not at the second level.

Quick Diagnosis Skills – A player who can break down what is happening on a given play quickly and can get into the right spot.

Pass Rusher:

Tweener – A player who is too small to play Defensive End and too big to play Outside Linebacker.

Plays Too High – A player who rushes the passer upright and doesn’t utilize good leverage.

Quick off the ball – A player with an explosive first step.

Club/Spin/Rip/Swim Move – The most common moves used by pass rushers to disengage with an offensive lineman.

Joker – A player who is moved around to get favorable match ups as a pass rusher.





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