How to become an NFL scout

Vito Gonella: Area Scout, West Coast

Scout Vito Gonella of the Los Angeles Rams participates in Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Thousand Oaks, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

"I always wanted to be a scout. I got hired at Arizona State as a student assistant to work in their recruiting department. At that time I just wanted to work in recruiting and help building the program. Then I went to practice and I saw my first NFL scout, and that was it for me. I moved up to assistant recruiting coordinator and then pro liason. From there I got all the face time with all the scouts, GMs and directors, which turned into becoming a scouting assistant.

I majored in BIS (Interdisciplinary Studies) at Arizona State. I studied sociology and communications. Originally I wanted to play (football) at Arizona State. I was actually a walk-on at Arizona State, but I wasn’t good enough to play. So I walked-on, got turned down, and I ended up just being a regular student. Dirk Koetter was the head coach. He got let go. Dennis Erickson got hired. My roommate at the time knew him, and (the football program) was looking for student assistants. I remember I rode my bike home, and he mentioned to job to me. He was like, “You want to go check it out?” So we went, I took one look at it, and said, “wow, you can make money doing this?” Fell in love with it and then that turned into falling in love with being an NFL scout."

Ryon Lynn: Scouting Assistant

Scout XX of the Los Angeles Rams watches practice on day 7 of Training Camp, Saturday, August 3, 2019, in Irvine, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

"Probably just like a lot of people who worked in sports, I worked a lot for free, doing a lot of different jobs. I always grew up around (football). My dad was coaching for a long time. I cut my teeth at the University of Alabama in their recruiting department, but even back in college at UC Davis, I was working in the video department filming practices. I was eventually in charge of the department for a bit. Then, I was an intern for the Raiders in their PR department. I just got a lot of different exposure. I was trying to figure out what works and what I want. The reining joke in my family was, “Whatever you want to do, do anything but football.” I came back to mom and dad and said, “I tried my best.”"

Brian Hill: Area Scout, Midwest

Scout Brian Hill of the Los Angeles Rams participates in Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Thousand Oaks, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

"My dad has been a high school coach forever. I grew up around the game. I love the game. So, I always knew what I wanted to do. I grew up a Browns fan in Cleveland. But, just the way my mind works, I’m more introverted, versus going out there and yelling. I love the analytical part of the game. When I played NCAA Madden, I liked the team building part, not (actually) playing the game. I started with the (Cleveland) Browns in college. I was a super intern for five years bouncing around. I was with the Chiefs for the summer before the lockout. I interned with the Titans the 2012 season. Then I came (to the Rams) in 2013, grinding tape before the draft. When a (scouting) spot opened up for me, I took it. Here I am."

Ted Monago: Assistant Director, College Scouting

Assistant director of college scouting Ted Monago of the Los Angeles Rams participates in Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Thousand Oaks, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

"I’ve been around football my whole life. I knew at a young age what I wanted to do. As a kid, my dad was a CYO coach. I would go watch my older brothers in practice. Friday nights, I was the water boy. My mom would let me miss school to watch the NFL draft. One of my friend’s dad was a college coach, so I was always on that trajectory. Even back in middle school, high school, and through college. I majored in sociology. I got my masters in education. I always wanted to be in football. I wanted to go the route of being a player, a coach and a scout. I wanted to hit all the avenues. And I did that. I even worked in minor league baseball for an internship. I’ve worked in ticketing. I wouldn’t know what to do if it wasn’t for football."

Tory Woodbury: Scouting Assistant

Scouting assistant Tory Woodbury of the Los Angeles Rams works the phones in the Draft War Room during Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Thousand Oaks, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

"Playing football kind of sets you back in becoming a scout. There are not a lot of former (NFL) players in this business. I networked for six years to get to this point. I did all kinds of internships. I reached out to a bunch of people I know (in football). I sent out my resume. I drove to the Combine and the Senior Bowl, and slept on a friend’s floor, just to be there and network. Then I reached out to Ray Agnew (Director of Pro Personnel). The Rams asked me if I was still interested in trying to get into the business and brought me in. I started out as an intern, and then you can say the rest is history. It’s been a long journey."

Matt Waugh: Pro Scout

Pro scouting assistant Matt Waugh of the Los Angeles Rams participates in Round 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Thousand Oaks, CA. (Jeff Lewis/Rams)

"My cousin grew up buying the scouting magazines for draft prep. We grew up reading those. We both knew we wanted to get into scouting, but we didn’t know how. Both of us worked with the schools we went to. I went to Ohio University. And through video, equipment, and recruiting, I figured I wanted to get into scouting. So through several internships, I got my feet into pro scouting. I ended up with the Rams with an entry position in pro scouting. But I don’t know if there is any right map. It’s just being willing to do whatever. When you show that you work hard and you are interested, people want to help you out. They want to see you succeed."

Advertising