Okay, here we are. Potential. What does that mean, exactly? Is it just a blanket statement used by amateur NFL bloggers to rationalize concepts about the NFL and the fit of a rookie prospect that we clearly do not fully comprehend?
After all, any projection of past performances into a future what-if scenario has some component of SWAG, scientific wild-arsed guesswork, at play, right? That even holds true for NFL teams, employing the most scientific and computer-assisted algorithms. In the past, NFL scouts and analysts set thresholds of measured results from the NFL Scouting Combine to create analog versions of algorithms.
Those early thresholds were the makings of a binary pass/fail scorecard that is still employed by some teams even to this day. But there have been advances in that field, and many teams are turning to the Relative Athletic Score (RAS) developed by Kent Platte to aid in the decision-making process.
Relative means that the index is for comparison purposes, and doesn’t equate to any direct definition. So in the grand scheme of things, a RAS score of 9.88 means that this play demonstrates more of the athletic skillsets than a player with a RAS score of 9.10. But this is, after all, just a starting point. The remaining attributes matter too. Like what? Passion, for one thing.