The Houston Texans have been taking a look at draft prospects since the start of the year. They finally get a chance to talk to players they have highly regarded throughout last college football season.
Assistant director of player personnel and college scouting director James Liipfert took time to talk about how the Texans interview prospects.
“There are definitely some good laughs in these combine interviews,” said Liipfert. “When we talk to these guys, I would say it’s very conversational. We’re just trying to get to know them. I wouldn’t say we’re the team that’s going to slam the door and put the heat lamp on them. I wouldn’t say that’s our style.”
Here is more from Liipfert on how the Texans go about their draft interview prospect.
All-star games, NFL combine is first chance to talk to prospects
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
“I love the interview process,” Liipfert said. “I love the spring process. Ultimately, you’re drafting football players, but you’re bringing human beings into NRG Stadium for the next X-amount of years. You need to get that part of the equation right. 98% of these players, you can’t talk to them during the fall, or it’s frowned upon to not have any communication with them, so we don’t. You can’t talk to a player from LSU or Texas A&M.
“That combine, Senior Bowl or all-star game might be the first time, and maybe there is a narrative about a player, or this guy has no personality, or people don’t speak particularly high of him, and then you meet the player and you really like him or he’s different than what was described to you.”
Understanding how college coaching turnover affects perception of prospects
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
“I would say with coaching in the college football world with so much coaching turnover very rarely — I was actually lucky,” said Liipfert. “I had the same position coach at Georgia Tech for five seasons. That never happens anymore. Now, there is so many — we had a player here yesterday that’s had four position coaches in four years. That’s a lot of opinions you can gather on one player. As you get to know these guys, the unique thing about them is, ‘What’s some adversity you’ve gone through?’ You try to get examples from them or things that have occurred in their life, how they handled it, and just get a little preview of what action items do they take when things don’t go their way in life. I think that’s life in a nutshell.”
Enjoy the interview
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
“Getting to know them, how they handle things, I love it,” Liipfert said. “I love getting to know these guys personally because when a player comes here in our building, and you walk around and get a dap up, and it’s ‘Hey man, I love that guy. I’m so glad we drafted that guy.’ That makes me feel good and I pass that message along to my scouts.”
Rely on the scouts
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
“Ultimately, it starts with the five area scouts that we have and the two national scouts,” said Liipfert. “They get us the base layer of information and a lot of the time that steers the boat on getting to know the player. I get pretty passionate about the interview process, getting to know players. I love it. It’s fun to bring good people into the building.”