In some areas of the country, the elite 7-on-7 circuit has become much more like AAU basketball than most football coaches would like.
Still, some of the top skill players in the country compete in those elite 7-on-7 circuits, so of course coaches evaluate all of that a bit, but coaches will also universally agree that actual game film is infinitely more valuable during the evaluation process.
Earlier this week, after one of their camps, Dabo was asked about how he and his staff evaluate player performances in 7-on-7, and he offered up some interesting thoughts.
“You’re not going to last very long if you’re making all your evaluations off from a 7-on-7 tape,” Dabo explained before adding that seeing beyond combine numbers and putting more value on how a guy plays between the lines is much more important.
Then Dabo used 5-11, 195lb Tampa Bay Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries as an example. Coming out of high school, Humphries was a two-star corner out of South Carolina and had just 1 offer – Clemson. At Clemson, Humphries made the move to wide receiver and ended up starting 27 games, appeared in 53 games total, and caught just three touchdowns. At Clemson’s Pro Day, he ran a 4.53 and later signed a free agent deal with the Bucs. Last year he carved out a pivotal role and finished the year with 61 receptions for 631 yards as a productive NFL wide receiver.
“That’s why the Adam Humphries of the world are playing in the NFL, because they get overlooked by the combine stuff and recruiting rankings and all that. At the end of the day you’ve got to be a football player. So I look way more into that – what type of player are they? Sometimes guys have a lot of measurables but they’re not very good football players. Some people don’t have very good measurables, but they’re very good football players.”
“At the end of the day, it’s one thing to catch that ball over the middle when the guy is out there with a t-shirt on, it’s another thing when he has some pads on. It’s a different mindset.”
“If you’re not using football tape to evaluate, you’re probably going to make a lot of mistakes.”
Hear Dabo’s full thoughts in the video.