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Relative Athletic Score: Bringing Context to NFL Player Scouting

This is the time of year where college football players are tested and measured to see how they qualify for a future in the National Football League. The NFL Draft is at the end of April, and every year there are hits and misses when selecting players, based off workouts and game film.

One Michigan man created a system that allows anybody to compare players based on athleticism. Ten years in, it’s been fully adopted by fans, teams and players. It’s the Relative Athletic Score.

Kent Lee Platte is a U.S. Navy veteran who specialized in coding and data. He’s also a major football fan and when watching players work out before the draft, he kept noticing issues with how players were categorized. It really stood out with former Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell.


“He ran a 4.6 in his 40 and that was considered poor,” said Platte. “That was kind of the thing that drove home and kept going back to his 40 yard dash. He kept getting referred to as unathletic and it really didn’t fit.”

Bell was a big back with nimble feet but he wasn’t as fast as smaller backs and thus he was deemed too slow.

“I started to notice a lot of those terms that get thrown around during the NFL Combine and the Pro Day circuit,” said Platte. “This guy is quick, but not fast. He’s explosive. This guy is agile. This guy is stiff and all those words don’t have any meaning without the context.”

Platte, or @MathBomb as he is known on Twitter, created that context with the Relative Athletic Score. He takes a player’s position and his size, adds in their measurables, and the formula does the rest.


“Everything was made to be simple and fan facing so everybody can understand this is the context behind those players testing metrics,” said Platte.

With stoplight color coding and a 0-10 scoring system, you can see who the real freaks are, like Calvin Johnson and Aidan Hutchinson and who are the real solid athletes for their size, like Traverse City’s own Ryan Hayes, of Michigan.

“It’s not a subjective metric. I’m not looking at these guys testing and saying ‘oh that should be an eight.’ I’m not making that judgment call myself. It’s just math,” said Platte.

It’s not always a boost for players.


Ferris State’s Caleb Murphy set records as a defensive end but that dominance did not show in the workout. It’s on NFL teams to balance that out. Game film versus stopwatch. RAS will be a tool used by scouts, by fans and even by players.

“If it’s a player, I’ll show them what their card looks like and tell them how they can fill it in,” said Platte, “Because they will get other numbers from scouts, that are even more favorable.”

You can check out RAS for yourself by following @MathBomb on Twitter or head to the RAS website.

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