Friday, April 26, 2013

Leaving Your Mark: Your Career in NFL Draft Terminology

For the last few days, weeks, and months, the so-called experts (Mel Kiper, Todd McShay), coaches, general managers, and scouts were evaluating talent for the NFL Draft.   You would hear words and phrases like “solid measurables/intangibles”, “has good tape/film”, “value”, “huge upside”, “sleeper/stock is rising”, “bust”, and “Mr. Irrelevant”.

Starting with the most obvious, as a job seeker and professional, you’ll want to avoid being called a “bust” or “Mr./Mrs. Irrelevant”.  A bust simply indicates that you did not meet expectations and failed to reach even the most realistic and achievable goals.  Mr. Irrelevant in NFL draft terminology refers to the last pick in round 7, somewhere around pick 250+.  Being referred to as Mr./Mrs. Irrelevant as a job seeker or professional is never a good thing.  Avoid being both of these things or they will follow you around for the rest of your career no matter how hard you try to erase it or forget about it.  Those labels are tough to shake…just ask Ryan Leaf (2nd pick overall in the 1998 draft out of Washington State) and Chandler Harnish (253rd pick overall of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012 out of Northern Illinois).

As for the other NFL Draft words and phrases, there is a positive connotation when comparing them to your career:

-   Solid measurables/intangibles: hard skills (computer, language); soft skills (leadership, team player, adaptable to situations)

-   Has good tape/film: references; recommendations; work history; progression up the ladder; success against good competition and in tough conditions (economy/recession)

-   Value:  importance as a contributor to and within a department or organization; are you worth your salary/company’s investment in you…especially as compared to your peers?

-   Huge upside: potential; immense talent; needs and is open to grooming and training

-   Sleeper/stock is rising: initially overlooked but upon further inspection could be exceptional; despite first impressions, has “huge upside” (see above)


Mark Gress is the Associate Director of Employer Relations for Arcadia University with a Masters Degree from Drexel University.  Mark formerly worked as Co-Op Coordinator and Manager of Employer Relations for the Steinbright Career Development Center at Drexel University.  He also has experience with Turnkey Sports and Entertainment, Philadelphia Eagles, and Drexel Athletics.

Connect with Mark Gress on LinkedIn. 

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