Daniel Jeremiah is a former NFL scout and an NFL Draft analyst for NFL Network. He spent close to a decade in the league with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles. He was also a quarterback for Appalachian State and is a Co-Host for the Move the Sticks podcast.
We caught up with Daniel Jeremiah for this week’s Friday Five…
Who is your biggest mentor?
Biggest mentor for me, I would say, is probably Phil Savage.
Phil was the one who hired me with the Baltimore Ravens when I got started. He helped build the whole scouting system that they’ve had there. All that success that they’ve had—he instituted a lot of that with the grading scale and different things. I was fortunate enough to get to spend two years around him in Baltimore and two years around him in Cleveland. I’d probably label him as my mentor in scouting, no doubt.
What is your process for scouting and writing up a prospect?
It’s interesting when you’re with a team you’ve got to write summaries and reports on every single guy. On the media side of things. I put out a top 50 list, which all have summaries. I try and get to 400 players by the time the draft comes and then I’ll just take my notes from that and then I’ll use shorthand and put blurbs in an Excel sheet. So I have an Excel sheet with all 400 players and I can access my thoughts on that.
In terms of the process: Ideally in a perfect world, you would get three to four games on every player in the draft, but there’s just not enough time to be able to do that in a one-man operation. So, I try to get through two games. After two games, it’s almost like a reality show. You’ve got earn your third tape—if I don’t have you above the line, so to speak. I’ve got enough I can talk about the player. I can put them in my system and move on. But, if they’ve got a chance to end up in my Top 150 players, then I’ll get to that third game. Sometimes, those certain guys you don’t have a feel for, you’ve got to dig beyond that.
The cool thing now is with all of the technology, with all the cut ups and access that I have, usually I try and get like three games if it’s a pass rusher, I’ll get those three to four games in but then I can watch all the pressures. I can watch all the drops in the coverage. It’s more efficient.
What prospects do you think are going to be available on Day 3 that you would “pound the table” for if you were in a war room?
There’s a zillion of them…
Max Mitchell is an offensive tackle from Louisiana who’s somebody I thought had a chance to potentially be a second round guy. He’s probably got a chance to go into third, but he might also be somebody that’s a fourth round pick. I love his game. I think he’s got a chance to play on both the left side and the right side. That’s one of them.
There’s a million receivers every single year. Khalil Shakir from Boise State’s probably going to be in that fourth round range. He is another one that I love. He’s just got he’s got great hands great body control. He’s tough. So he’s he’s another one of those guys. Because we have so many wideouts, you’ll see those guys be real value picks.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Oh gosh! The piece of advice I would give to my younger self would be: Don’t beat yourself up for the guys that you’ve missed. Just try and learn take the lessons you can learn and apply it to the next evaluation. It’s like baseball. This is a failure gig here. If you can get 50%, you’re way ahead of the curve.
You always get asked over the years, “Oh, what are the evaluations that you feel like you’ve nailed and what are some of the ones that you feel like you’ve missed?” Well, you can remember the ones you’ve missed a heck of a lot faster than you can remember the ones you got right. At a young age, if you can learn and try to say “OK, I made the mistake. How can we quickly learn from it and try to not repeat it?”
If you could invite any three people in history to dinner who would they be, and why?
Oh, that’s a good one! You know, it’s funny, I’ve heard this question a million times for other people but I’ve never been asked it!
I would actually go Paul from the Bible because he just had an incredible journey. As a kid who grew up in San Diego, I would say Tony Gwynn. I never got a chance to meet Tony, so I would say him. I mean, like Abraham Lincoln’s kind of an obvious one. I gotta go off the grid a little bit on that one. I’m gonna go to another sports figure. I’m gonna go Jackie Robinson, because I have so much for respect for what he’s done.
It’d be a fun lunch.
Thank you to Daniel Jeremiah for participating in this interview, check out more of our Friday Five interviews, here.