We are one day away from the start of the 2016 NFL Draft and the anonymous scout reports are pouring in on prospective draftees. These are great for fans not because it gives us a little insight into players who may or may not be playing on our favorite teams in a few months, but because it shows just how dangerously sociopathic some of these scouts are. Take this report on Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple, who showed up in Bob McGinn's defensive back rating for the Journal-Sentinel.
After discussing his good qualities—he has speed, is a good ball defender, and has the upside to become a "high-level starter,"—the scouts drop the hammer:
I worry about him because of off-the-field issues. The kid has no life skills. At all. Can't cook. Just a baby. He's not first round for me. He scares me to death." Wonderlic was 21. "He probably has as much talent as anybody but he, like a lot of those Ohio State guys, is inconsistent," said a third scout.
Now there's a lot to unpack here, so let's go slowly. First, when you read "off-the-field issues" you thought drugs, right? Maybe booze, or domestic violence allegations, right? Nah. He's got no life skills. He could only legally start buying cigarettes two years ago, and the kid has no life skills. "At all." Oh, you want proof? Can't cook! This college kid, if you can believe it, can't cook worth a damn and it scares this scout to death. (Wait till he tries his cooking.)
It is a little troubling, obviously. Most of us were whipping up a quiche for sunday brunch in sophomore year, but this kid, who wants an NFL team to invest millions of fake guaranteed dollars in him, can't cook. Sure, sure, he ran a 4.39 40, and had four interceptions, but can he bake a cake? No? Third round grade.
I like to think of this anonymous scout going through Eli Apple's garbage and just muttering to himself ramen, ramen, pizza, more ramen—not with my first round pick, you're not. How do you even confirm he can't cook? Did he just ask him and Apple was like "uhh, no…? Why is this relevant to playing in the National Football League and are you sure you're not a homeless dude looking for food in the garbage?"
I know this sounds crazy, but you sort of have to wonder if these anonymous scouts have ever even met a college kid.