Because you can't read? You asked a blanket question about how can people question scouts. You know how I can? Because the Devils have an absolute garbage record at drafting physical D in the last 15 years. Basically every pick has been a bust, with some of them graduating to being fringe NHLers. Do the Devils overvalue physicality? I don't know, because I don't know their methods, but I would assume yes.
Sometimes people lose the whole picture by being too close to it, and scouting is one of the professions where I imagine this happens all the time. Good scouting departments have to be constantly questioning their assumptions about what makes a good player. So yeah, I don't know what goes on at the rink in Albany, and I'm not privy to player/scout interviews, but more information can easily be bad when that information misleads or is thought to be important when it isn't.
Is there a good comparative analysis of draft success out there? Specifically, something that would allow one to compare team-by-team success during certain periods, but also to compare same team success across different periods?
The reason I bring this up is that I would argue, just from my subjective POV, that the Devils drafting history of the past 15 years is much worse than just with physical def. Compared to the '90s it is almost as if we have a completely different GM with a completely difficerent scout support system. To me this indicates that something has changed and not for the better. OTOH, I'd like to really see just how much better or worse we are rather than going on my subjective assessment.