NFL Teams to use Slants to Scout Players

NFL Teams to use Slants to Scout Players

Unlike other tracking technology, Slants had stood to be one of a kind by analyzing games footage from years ago, before the NFL began tracking players. It can gauge a player’s speed to within half-a-mile per hour as the software’s mapping algorithm improves as it watches more videos.

Thanks to the three-person team at Slants, NFL teams will be provided with tracking data based on college video footage ahead of the NFL draft, which begins on April 23. Last month, more NFL teams kept on sending dozens of videos of plays from college games to Slants asking for predictive statistics on players. In particular, wide receivers, running backs and defensive backs.

After the COVID-19 pandemic started, which led to the NFL ban of nonessential travel and shuttered team facilities leaving many coaches, scouts, and other players evaluators to rely primarily on watching videos of college games in the hope of choosing a franchise selection in the NFL draft.

The Slants consist of a three-person team, Ameen Ajmeri, Ali Shah, and Omar Ajmeri. Earlier in 2013, Ameen Ajmeri used to be an intern at the NFL, Where he got a feel for how the league worked. While Ali Shah, a computer programmer who helped in translating their ideas into software. Later, in mid-2018, Ameen’s younger brother to Omar joined the Slants and used his skills in machine learning to teach the software to compensate for different camera angles.

Collecting of Slant data is still being refined, as the company uses less expensive footage from T.V. broadcasts. Instead, it analyzes video from all 22-camera angle above the 50-yard line taken by college football assistants. Though sometimes, the horizontal view of the field makes it hard for the software to identify jersey numbers and big offensive.

Ajmeri and Shah, in collaboration with NFL, can seek out a replicate of statistics collected from players, who wear radio-frequency identification chips in their shoulder pads, which enables antennas and beacons in stadiums to track their movements on the field. Though colleges do not use this technology yet, and pro teams depend heavily on their own collected data to size up players.

A lot of NFL teams tend to be secretive when discussing how they use the technology for fear of giving an advantage to their rivals. But through one person in anonymous who is in charge of analytics at an NFL team has opted in using Slants to help him in evaluating some of the 3,000 or so college players he has tracked ahead of this year’s draft to take place on April 23.

But talent evaluators are in the dark about hundreds of other college players who are recovering from injury, who played at smaller schools or who received less playing time and could prove valuable to a team in search of less known prospects.

Slant’s technology might be used in high schools to analyze players or playing overseas, and this leaves the company rivals in search to replicate the technology.

About the author

Sarah Lacy

Sarah Lacy

Sarah Lacy is a reporter covering Amazon. Sarah is just another cricket fan who’s grown up watching the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Smith. Cricket runs in her veins. Cover drive is her favorite sight, and a ball meeting the middle of the bat is her favorite sound. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.