The other day, I was wrapping up an interview with Missouri Southern State Head Coach Daryl Daye when he asked me to please pass along a message to Ravens Southwest Area Scout Jack Glowik.
This doesn’t usually happen. But I was all ears.
“I’ve been fortunate to be in this game for almost 30 years of college football and a couple in the league [Buffalo Bills],” Daye said. “But I haven’t seen a scout work that hard and be that thorough.”
Wow, that’s some high praise. But Daye wasn’t done – not even close.
“He came in in the spring and he spent quality time and took his time,” Daye said. “After all the scouts were gone, he was still here, he stayed late. I just noticed when he came, he really took the time. He saw something in Brandon.
“Sometimes you just get the feeling that scouts come in and do their due diligence – it’s Division II and pretty small town. But this guy really took time to learn Brandon and study him. I’ll tell you what, he deserves a lot of credit for that. He went beyond the call of duty that scouts usually do.”
Obvious major props to Glowik, who came to the Ravens at the start of the John Harbaugh era. If Williams turns out to be a gem (which if first impressions mean anything, there’s a good chance), Glowik should get even more credit for his mining.
But this story isn’t all about Glowik. Sorry, Jack.
It’s because he is an example of the work the entire Ravens scouting department puts into finding draft talent.
Wonder why Baltimore has such a strong draft track record? It starts with putting in the work.
“We challenge our scouts to be thorough not only in our evaluations, but in finding out about the player and their background and their makeup and their mentality,” said Ravens Director of College Scouting Joe Hortiz.
For example, here’s the work they put into scouting Williams, according to Hortiz:
They had five different members of the scouting department, not including General Manager Ozzie Newsome or the coaches, evaluate him. They each spent about three hours watching film.
Glowik went to the school at least twice for full days, then the pro day. Area Scout David Blackburn also spent a day or two at the school. Multiple members also saw Williams at the Senior Bowl.
“A lot of man hours go into every player – not only Brandon – but every player we draft,” Hortiz said.
At least four scouts look at every player the Ravens feel are draft worthy. This year, that was 185 players.
But tape only tells half of the story. It tells who can play football and who can’t. Any team can do that.
Determining whether a player is a true Raven takes a lot more time. The scouts comb through their family history, through their academics and much, much more.
“You obviously try to talk to the coaches while you’re there, but it doesn’t end there,” Hortiz said. “These players interact with a lot of different people within the university: academic counselors, trainers, secretaries, janitors.”
Hortiz said there was a former janitor in the southeast that knews all the players. He was there for 20 or so years. The Ravens scouts would take him out to lunch and he, in return, gave them complete rundowns on the players.
Often times, a scout’s background reports are a lot longer than player summaries.
“The Ravens take pride in what they do in trying to uncover every aspect of a player,” Hortiz said. “We’ve challenged ourselves over the past five or six years.”
Consider the challenge conquered. But I have a feeling the scouts will only work harder next year.