My Hero, NFL Draft Genius Mike Holovak

I’m sure it’s hard to imagine the NFL draft without computers, popping in videos or DVDs, no combines, no “pro days” to retime and retest, – that’s the way it was in the 1970’s. I had volumes of handwritten scouting reports and lists of top players were then typed, yes with a typewriter, and put up on huge boards by position. Scouts watched games and graded players on reel to reel 16 mm projectors. I learned from a man that played and coached and then became Personnel Director, Mike Holovak. He taught me so much about judging talent and why did I believe him?

Take a look at the NY Jets drafts of 1976 and 1977 which he headed. The Jets had great success in the early 80s and it was formed here.

  • 1976 – Jets chose Richard Todd, Shafer Suggs, Greg Buttle, Abdul Salaam, Louie Giammona, and Lawrence Pillers. (7 picks)
  • 1977 – Jets chose Marvin Powell, Wesley Walker, Scott Dierking, Joe Klecko, Dan Alexander, and Matt Robinson. John Hennessey and punter Bob Grupp also made team.

Mike Holovak had the ability to look at a player, watch him play and know if he was a football player. I know we have so many more things they do to judge players today but it still comes down to heart and “production”.

Connie Nicholas Carberg grew up around the New York Jets with her father as the team’s internist for 26 years (Dr. Calvin Nicholas). In 1974, she joined the Jets as a secretary. In 1976, she was named the first female scout in NFL History. Her contributions led to a number of top drafts culminating with her discovery of a little known defensive end, Mark Gastineau. ConnieScouts shares her memories and blessings over the years.

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