Found an interesting quote from Detroit Lions head coach Rod Marinelli about what he looks for when evaluating college players.
According to Coach Marinelli:
"You have to have a unique athlete and there aren't that many who come out every year. There's a part, there's an anticipation, and that's why you can take these 40-(yard times) and throw them out.
There's an anticipation when the ball moves, some guys are just faster, they can feel it and they can sense it. They feel things moving around them. That same guy might run a 4.9 -- I've seen it. Initial quickness, that's what I'm looking for. And then it's balance and instincts.
Sometimes you get these guys that run a 4.9 -- I had a guy like that and his instincts off the ball were incredible. He was as fast as anybody at the combine in those first four yards.
It's that feel. It's not timing because that means you're guessing; it's a feel, they can feel a guy jerk, they can feel a guy lean and then they have the confidence to go. You can see that sometimes in the later draft picks -- you can find it.
That's why I think you always err on the side of production, always err on the side of film. You don't want to err on how high they jump or how tall they are. Err on the side of production.
What happens is sometimes these elite athletes you look at are [productive], but you have to see why they're [productive]. Everything they've done (in college) and been successful with, it gets stymied (in the pros). It's different. Then it's 'How coachable is this guy?'"