Historical Scouting Report: Del Shofner

NAME: Del Shofner POSITION: Split End, Flanker, Tight/Closed/Left End TEAMS: 1957-60 Los Angeles Rams, 1961-67 New York Giants UNIFORM NUMBER: 29 (1957-60), 85 (1961-67) Overall Analysis STRENGTHS • Ran excellent routes • Excellent hands WEAKNESSES • Did not give full effort to plays run to the opposite side of the field • Struggled at times with blocking BOTTOM LINE Shofner ran excellent routes. However, he did not sell the route when the play went to the opposite side of the field. He had excellent hands and concentration when catching in a crowd of defenders. Excellent run after the catch. Competitive and fought for extra yardage. However, his competitiveness was lacking when he was not the target. Shofner was inconsistent on blocking. He showed very good ability at times, but was not always willing to complete the block. GRADING SPECIFIC FACTORS OVERALL ATHLETICISM (QAB): 7.9 RELEASE: 8.0 QUICKNESS: 7.8 PASS ROUTES: 8.0 AGILITY: 7.9 SEPARATION: 8.1 BALANCE: 7.9 RECEIVE LONG 8.0 STRENGTH AND EXPLOSION: 7.5 RECEIVE SHORT: 8.1 COMPETITIVENESS: 7.3 HANDS: 8.2 MENTAL ALERTNESS: 8.0 ADJUST TO BALL: 8.0 INSTINCTS: 8.0 RUN AFTER CATCH: 8.0 INITIAL QUICKNESS: 7.9 BLOCKING: 7.3 OVERALL GRADE: 7.7 NUMBER OF GAMES REVIEWED: 5 GAME: December 31, 1961 - Green Bay Packers: 7.9 BOTTOM LINE: Shofner played split end, flanker, and tight/closed/left end in the game. He was primarily a split end and strictly on the left side. The tight camera angles made it difficult to evaluate the entire route. On the second offensive series, Y.A. Tittle (#14) threw a pass to Shofner along the left sideline. The pass was under-thrown and Shofner lost his footing. Incomplete pass. Charley Conerly (#42) replaced Tittle in the second quarter. Late in the second quarter, Shofner lined up tight. Off the snap, he released and blocked downfield for a sweep to his side. He showed very good blocking skills. Tittle returned late in the third quarter. He threw to Shofner running a quick slant pattern. Shofner caught the pass with three defenders around him, and still gained about five yards after the catch. Shofner showed good hands to not only receive the ball, but strength to hold on to it with multiple defenders tying to strip the ball. Excellent concentration. Tittle hit Shofner again in the third quarter for a short gain. Shofner ran a quick slant pattern and caught the ball. He was hit in the head by the defender, ran a yard or two before being tackled. In the fourth quarter, Tittle threw a long pass on a nineroute. The ball was slightly underthrown and was intercepted by the trailing defender. Shofner rode him for a few yards before he brought him to the ground. Later in the fourth quarter, Tittle threw a short slant to Shofner, who caught it with Jessie Whittenton (#47) hanging on him. No yards after the catch. Tittle threw a pass on an out pattern along the left sideline. The pass was short and uncatchable. On catchable passes, he made the catch on all but one, which was a low pass on a sideline out in the fourth quarter. GAME: December 30, 1962 - Green Bay Packers: 7.6 BOTTOM LINE: The way this film was edited, not all plays were shown. However, there were no interruptions in the broadcast audio to fill in the detail on missing plays. Shofner played split end, flanker and tight/closed/left end. Always on the left side of the line. On the first offensive series, Shofner was penalized for pass interference. He pushed off defensive back Jesse Whittenton (#47) on a sideline out pattern. Later in the series, Y.A. Tittle (#14) overthrew Shofner. The play was not shown to see if the ball was catchable. On the second offensive series, Shofner was lined up tight. He broke through the defense on a crossing route and Tittle hit him in stride. The defenders closed quickly, but there was decent yards after the catch. On the next play, Shofner was split wide to the left and ran an out route. Tittle hit him along the sideline. Shofner showed very good hands and the ability to keep his feet inbounds for the catch. No targets in the second quarter. On the first offensive series of the third quarter, Tittle threw an out to Shofner, who showed very good hands and concentration to pull in the ball and keep his feet in bounds. The ball was a little high and outside. Shofner had to stretch out to get the reception. On the next offensive series, Shofner was targeted, but Whittenton knocked it out of his hands. The play was described on audio, but no video was shown. On the next play, Shofner was targeted and made an excellent catch with Whittenton hanging on him. Shofner leapt into the air to catch the high pass, but was tackled immediately. On the same series, Shofner ran a crossing pattern. Tittle targeted Shofner, but Willie Wood (#24) interfered and was penalized. Wood was ejected from the game for bumping the official. On the next play, Shofner was targeted in the end zone, but the pass was overthrown. In the fourth quarter, Tittle targeted Shofner on a long nine-route, but the ball was overthrown. Uncatchable. On the final offensive series, Shofner was targeted, but the pass was incomplete. No video of the play. Also, no video of Shofner’s last reception a minute before the end of the game. Blocking was good to very good, but inconsistent. GAME: September 15, 1963 - Baltimore Colts: 7.8 BOTTOM LINE: This is an NFL Game of the Week film. As a result, not all plays were shown. Shofner played split end, flanker, and tight/closed/left end in the game. The tight camera angles made it difficult to evaluate the entire route. In the first quarter, Y.A. Tittle (#14) threw an out pass to Shofner for a 14-yard gain and a first down. He did a great job to get both feet in bounds for the completion. In the second quarter, Shofner ran a curl pattern. Tittle threw the ball high and it went through Shofner’s hands for an incomplete pass. A few plays later, Tittle hit Shofner on an out pattern, but it was negated due to a penalty on the offense. A few plays later, Tittle hit Shofner on the same out pattern for a nine-yard completion. Two plays later, Tittle threw a pass to Shofner at the side of the end zone. The pass was overthrown. Shofner had a few fingertips on it, but he was out of bounds. In the third quarter, Tittle hit Shofner on a short pass for a five-yard gain. A few plays later, Tittle hit Shofner on a slant. Shofner continued to streak across the field for a 43-yard reception. Very good hands and speed. Tittle is injured on a touchdown run and is replaced by Ralph Guglielmi (#9). Also in the third quarter, Guglielmi threw a sideline pass to Shofner. The pass was under thrown and was intercepted by the trailing defender. Shofner tackled the defender in the end zone. Shofner showed good to very good blocking abilities. He was able to knock linebacker Don Shinnick (#66) to the ground in the fourth quarter. He did an excellent job getting open on out routes. GAME: November 24, 1963 - St. Louis Cardinals: 7.9 BOTTOM LINE: Shofner played split end, flanker and tight/closed/left end. Shofner showed very little effort when the play was not run to him. No receptions for Shofner in the first quarter. In the second quarter, Y.A. Tittle (#14) threw an out pass to Shofner. The ball was incomplete. Hard to tell if it was catchable. A few series’ later, Shofner had a very good reception near the left sideline. After the catch, he was hit immediately by two defenders and stopped without yards after the catch. Shofner showed very good hands with the reception. Later in the quarter, Tittle threw a long pass to Shofner, but the ball was underthrown and almost intercepted by Larry Wilson (#8). Two plays later, Tittle hit Shofner on a mid-range pass. Shofner got his body in front of the defensive back to get the ball. He broke away from the tackle of Wilson and gained an extra 12 yards. Very good effort to get yards after the catch. In the third quarter, Shofner ran a deep post pattern. The ball was underthrown by Tittle and intercepted by Wilson. Shofner ran back over 30 yards to make the tackle. Excellent hustle. Later in the quarter, Tittle underthrew a sideline pass to Shofner, which was again intercepted by Wilson. Later in the quarter, Tittle threw an out to Shofner, who showed an excellent ability to turn upfield to gain yards after the catch. The reception went for 20 yards. In the fourth quarter, Shofner caught a short out. He was hit immediately and had no yards after the catch. A few plays later, Shofner ran a deep post, beating the defender by about two yards. Tittle hit him in stride. Jimmy Hill (#41) caught him and tripped him up at the one-yard line for a 48-yard reception. Excellent concentration and hands to catch the over-the-shoulder pass. GAME: December 29, 1963 - Chicago Bears: 7.2 BOTTOM LINE This is a highlight film. As a result, not all plays are shown. Shofner played split end, flanker and tight/closed/left end. In the first quarter, Shofner beat Dave Whitsell (#23) to the end zone. Tittle threw the pass but it was a little high and slightly behind Shofner. It hit the hands of Shofner, but he was unable to catch it. It should have been a touchdown reception. Tittle left the game in the second quarter when he was hit in the leg by linebacker Larry Morris (#33). He was replaced by Glynn Griffing (#15). No targets for Shofner in the second quarter. Tittle returned at the beginning of the third quarter. On the first offensive series of the third quarter, Shofner was targeted by Tittle on a curl route. Dave Whitsell stepped in front of Shofner for the interception. Shofner tackled Whitsell for only about a one-yard return. Shofner was targeted again at the end of the third quarter, but the pass was too far in front of him. With about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, Shofner ran a deep post. He beat his defender, but Tittle’s pass was overthrown. Shofner did not have a reception in the game. His competitiveness was good at best in this game. HISTORIC REPORTS GRADING SCALE Hall of Fame 9.0 - Rare 8.5 - Exceptional to Rare 8.0 - Exceptional Hall of Very Good 7.5  - Very Good to Exceptional 7.0 - Very Good 6.5 - Good to Very Good Other 6.0 - Good 5.5 - Above Average to Good 5.0 - Above Average 4.5 - Average to Above Average Ken Crippen is the former executive director of the Professional Football Researchers Association. He has researched and written about pro football history for over two decades. He won the Pro Football Writers of America’s Dick Connor Writing Award for Feature Writing and was named the Ralph Hay Award winner by the Professional Football Researchers Association for lifetime achievement on pro football history. Matt Reaser is a member of the Professional Football Researchers Association and serves on multiple PFRA committees. He has written articles on football history and recently contributed towards a book on the 1966 Packers. He has researched high school, college and professional football. He is a former high school quarterback. Follow Ken on Twitter @KenCrippen

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