The NFL Scouting Combine is a crucial event on the route to the draft. Players prepare themselves for what is essentially an intense, in-depth week-long job interview conducted by coaches, executives, scouts, and doctors from all 32 NFL teams. Players are tested, obviously, on their physical ability and fitness, but also on their overall IQ through various intelligence tests. But, even if a player possesses great athletic ability, has an impressive college record, and scores favorably on their IQ test doesn’t necessarily mean he will be a good fit for your team — and that’s where Profile comes in.
Profile’s personality and behavioral assessments help scouts and coaches at the Combine figure out who could be a good fit for their organization and who could fall flat in the big league. A player may check all the boxes when it comes to athletic ability. They may be fast, explode from a static stop, and have impressive strength and endurance. They may score on the IQ test right where a coach wants them to score. But, that same prospect might also not know how to turn off the “partier” side of himself. He may have a drug problem. He may have a pension for domestic violence. All things that would ultimately lead to that player struggling, failing, or getting kicked out of the league. Profile can’t eliminate these problematic players, but we can help coaches avoid picking prospects up for the draft that will lead to problems within the team.
This is Profile’s fifth year attending the Combine to administer our personality tests to players for our client, the Dallas Cowboys. Over the years we have acquired over 3,000 behavioral profiles on the elite college (and now NFL) players. All of this knowledge and information is at the Cowboy’s disposal, giving them a competitive edge over the other 31 NFL teams that don’t have access to these behavioral profiles. Once Profile has obtained the behavioral profiles of all the Cowboy’s desired prospects, they can access them via their phones to view all of a player’s specific behavioral styles and values determined by the assessment. Since player interviews at the Combine are so short (about 15 minutes) and a prospect’s time is so precious, this information is invaluable for the Cowboys in customizing their communication to accommodate certain personality and behavioral styles.
So, now that you know how Profile’s assessment technology helps coaches pick and interview prospects, let’s give you an example of our software playing out in the real world of professional football.
Over the years, we’ve profiled some of the league’s top players like Ezekiel Elliott, Myles Garrett, and Jameis Winston. Since Profile uses our behavioral assessment technology to help make predictions about prospects' future performance in the league, Jameis Winston’s profile immediately threw up some red flags. From his assessment, we determined that he’s not a rule-follower, he doesn’t like being micromanaged, and he’s not detail-oriented. These are all undesirables when it comes to a first-round draft pick quarterback, especially being the first pick overall in the draft. That being said, he was a highly intelligent and extremely gifted player at Florida State University, but playing in the NFL is much more complicated, time-consuming, and arduous than playing college ball. In addition, Winston had very nonnegotiable external issues. He has a history of sexual assault and verbal aggression towards women, something that is not condoned in the NFL or any notable organization for that matter.
Profile’s principal Chad Q. Brown was very vocal to all teams about the predictions he made based on Winston’s profile.
Unfortunately, Winston was still picked up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the first overall draft pick in 2015. While he may perform on the field, he does not exhibit the behavior, professionalism, or respect the NFL expects of its players, especially of a starting quarterback. While it’s difficult for employers and coaches to predict how someone will perform over time, we at Profile know that behavior changes very little over time. Our assessment technology helps identify that behavior and make predictions to avoid problems like this in future situations.
We also use these profiles to help identify future talent and predict who will excel in a team-based, highly competitive field. When we inspect prospects’ behavioral reports, we look for certain values and characteristics that are benchmarks of ideal NFL players and teammates. But, we also look for people that have unique qualities or seem to stand out from the rest. This year, Kyler Murray was one of those players. He’s a first-round quarterback, who may go number one in the draft, that exhibits certain characteristics through his behavioral assessment that leads us to believe he will be a highly successful starting quarterback — in other words, a rich man’s Russell Wilson. While we can’t disclose too much about his profile until after the draft, we predict Murray will be the most successful quarterback in the NFL in the last five years of NFL draft picks.
So, why do the Dallas Cowboys use these behavioral assessments? The profiles provide insights into the player's inner reasoning and rationalizations and simplify why people do certain things. It can help coaches discover why some people love following rules, and why some are unwilling to follow them. It can help those in charge of hiring understand what values motivate players to excel on the field, and which values hold players back off the field. Profile helps quantify the most subjective of human qualities: leadership, communication, motivation, inner harmony, and family happiness. But, we don’t stop at quantification — we also define why placing certain values over others can cause problems within work environments and teams. Then, we provide tools to help corporate organizations or sports teams fix these problems. Our job starts with behavioral profiling, but it doesn’t end until our client has an effective, efficient strategy to tackle the next season.
Ultimately, Profile helps organizations like the Dallas Cowboys with three main objectives. We help them make intelligent hiring decisions. We assist them with coaching, training, and retaining top talent. And, we help prevent (and ideally eliminate) cancerous cultures on the fringe of failure.
Until next year, NFL Combine.
Chad Q. Brown’s Profile is a retained consulting firm incorporating distinct team building and talent strategies utilizing proprietary technology and behavioral assessment infrastructure. Our mission — help people get better at people.
Chad Q. Brown