A series of mystery/suspense/thriller novels from present day, western Montana

Jim Buchanan’s Scouting Report

As you may know, the fictional protagonist in my novels, Jim Buchanan had a football career from high school to college and finally to the pros. I’ve created statistics to support his drafting position when he entered the NFL but what I’ve now done is to create a draft profile comparable to what the NFL uses in evaluating college talent. Basically, a scouting report. Using the standard Pro Football college player evaluations, here’s what I’ve created:

DE-DT JIM BUCHANAN, #92

Montana                                                         GRADE: 8.25 (out of a possible 10)

Ht: 6-5½      Wt: 280      Sp: 4.68      Arm: 35¼      Hand: 11½

Notes: Native American who did not begin playing high school sports until his junior year. Played high school ball at Taylor High in Montana where he won a football state championship, was a forward on the basketball team and pitched and played catcher and the outfield on the baseball team. Accounted for more than 3,000 all-purpose yards and 31 touchdowns as a senior halfback. Had arthroscopic surgery to remove a torn meniscus and bone spurs once the baseball season was over. Committed to then-head coach Mike Chapman and the Montana Grizzlies and spent a relatively quiet freshman year as a 6-3, 210 pound backup fullback/outside linebacker while rehabbing his knee and playing in all 12 games in ’80, gaining 128 yards on the ground and scoring one touchdown while recording 15 tackles (11 on special teams). Back to full health, started all 12 games as a 6-4, 240 pound inside linebacker in ’81 and tallied 49 tackles, five batted passes, three sacks, one blocked FGA, and two interceptions, including a 76-yard return for a touchdown. Moved to defensive end in ’82 and was a disruptive force at 6-5, 270 pounds, leading the team in tackles with 89. Added seven sacks, eight batted passes, two blocked kicks, and three forced fumbles in 12 games. First team All Big Sky Conference, second team All-American. Moved inside in a 4-3 scheme in ’83 and posted 123 tackles, eighteen sacks, twelve batted passes, seven forced fumbles, three blocked kicks, and two interceptions in 12 games. Incredibly, was occasionally used to drop into coverage. Returned one interception, 24 yards for a touchdown and scored a hat trick plus one vs. Montana State (sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, 87-yard scoring play). Big Sky Conference Player of the Year, first team All American, Outland Trophy winner.

Positives: Natural talent has vines for arms and meat hooks for hands. With only 5% body fat, looks like he was weaned on a Nautilus machine. Intriguing size-speed ratio, can flat-out fly. Rare movement skills, balance, change of direction, and agility for his size. Can grab and toss with ease. Uses his quickness to get under the pads of offensive linemen. Extremely gifted, athletic, spins off blocks, able to adjust and redirect, can slide along the line. Eyes and instincts are superior – quickly locates the ball and fights through clutter. Directs the defense, changes schemes based upon what he sees at the line. Is rarely wrong and out of position. Outstanding production, motor, effort, and hustle. Has proven he will play through injuries (knee) and has a high pain threshold. Physically tough, highly competitive, solid personal and football character – hardworking, outgoing, and well-respected, team captain, a coach’s dream. Aggressive when he needs to be, under control at all times. Just scratching the surface and is loaded with potential, tremendous upside.

Negatives: Durability is a concern. Could be stronger at the point of attack. Appears in game film like a man among boys tossing blockers aside like trash, so competition has to be considered. Lacks experience locking horns with top-flight offensive linemen. Does not have the size or bulk for a NFL defensive tackle, will have to play outside. Needs to adjust to the speed of the pro game.

Summary: Has upfield speed to roar off the edge and the bulk and weight-room strength to fight in the trenches. Strong, long, quick, athletic, productive, instinctive, powerful disruptive force who really came onto the scene as a junior and possesses the position and scheme versatility to warrant top-five consideration. May serve him best working in a rotation as a rookie. Limitless upside, can have a lengthy pro career as long as he avoids major injury. Perennial Pro-bowler. Once in a lifetime player.

NFL Projection: Top-5 talent. Could be the first player drafted overall by a team that needs that final building block.