Scouts Inc.'s grading scale
Here is a breakdown of what each numerical grade means.
90-100: Elite Player Player demonstrates rare abilities and can create mismatches that have an obvious impact on the game. ... Premier NFL player who has all the skills to consistently play at a championship level. ... Rates as one of the top players at his position in the league.
80-89: Outstanding Player Player has abilities to create mismatches versus most opponents in the NFL. ... A feature player who has an impact on the outcome of the game. ... Cannot be shut down by a single player and plays on a consistent level week in and week out.
70-79: Good Starter Solid starter who is close to being an outstanding player. ... Has few weaknesses and usually will win his individual matchup but does not dominate in every game, especially when matched up against the top players in the league.
60-69: Average Starter A valuable roster player but not a dominant player against the better players he faces on a weekly basis. ... Gives great effort and teams are glad to have him, but he may or may not go to the next level.
50-59: Good Backup This is a player who is really on the bubble and only starts because of a deficiency at the position. ... He lacks complete overall skills, and although he will battle, he will hinder his team's ability to play at a championship level if he is forced to be in the starting lineup consistently over a 16-game season. Teams don't mind having him on the roster but are always looking to upgrade.
40-49: Below Average Backup/Core Special Teamers Strictly a backup player who is not capable of starting. If forced to, he is only a short-term fix. ... He might make the roster because of special-teams contributions or experience. ... He is the type of player teams consistently look to replace with an upgrade. ... He always will be a borderline roster player.
30: Developmental Player Players with this grade have very little film to evaluate. Such players might flash potential in the preseason but don't have any regular-season performances to judge. they usually have very little experience but have to be tracked due to developmental potential.
20: Rookie (Post Draft) No professional tape to evaluate. These players will have an evaluation based on their college tape, but we will not put a new grade on them until after their rookie seasons. They will carry the 20 grade throughout their first NFL season.
10: Evaluation in Process Need more information
Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.
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Don't be too quick to judge a team's draft
Scouts Inc. tests the theory that it takes three years to fully evaluate a team's draft class by looking back at the '05 draft. The lesson learned is grades handed out on draft day do not always match the grades handed out three years later.
Re-grading the 2005 draft
If the 49ers knew LB Shawne Merriman was going terrorize the NFL, would they have taken him first overall instead of QB Alex Smith? We think so.
Check out the rest of Scouts Inc.'s 2005 re-draft.