Click on the links below for some recent NFL Draft news and notes…
We’ve reached the point in the summer scouting calendar when the college football award watch lists are announced. One of the most prestigious awards in the sport is the Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top college football player as decided by the Maxwell Football Club. Below is this year’s official watch list: Continue reading
The first three rounds of the 2013 NFL Draft is in the books. This year’s draft has routinely been described as one of the deepest in years, and the names remaining on the board prove that point. There are a lot of potential future starting quarterbacks available, along with some very talented running backs and defensive linemen.
Below are the highest-rated players still remaining from FRG Scouting’s Big Board. Their Big Board ranking appears at the left of their name. Remember: Follow FRG Scouting on Twitter for instant analysis on Day Three:
The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft is in the books. And while there were a few surprises, many of the highly-rated prospects found themselves calling a new city home. While most of the top-32 players were drafted, the selections of guys like Justin Pugh (GIANTS), Kyle Long (BEARS) and Travis Frederick (COWBOYS) have caused several talented prospects to fall into day two.
Below are the highest-rated players still remaining from FRG Scouting’s Big Board. Their Big Board ranking appears at the left of their name. Remember: Follow FRG Scouting on Twitter for instant analysis on Day Two.
After launching FRG Scouting in September, I decided to join Twitter in an effort to share my thoughts on the prospects for the NFL draft as well as to network with established draftniks and fans.
What I found was a community of draft minds that not only exceeded my expectations, but that also provided greater insight and draft content than the mainstream media outlets and major television networks. Below is a list of ten twitter accounts that I highly recommend you follow in an effort to enhance your overall NFL draft experience.
You can thank me later.
There are a lot of fantastic football minds that don’t appear on this list who consistently tweet great nuggets of information. You’ll slowly navigate through the twitter draft jungle by following these names and then paying close attention on who they follow and who they interact with.
I’ll be updating this list as time permits.
So, without further ado:
JOSH LISKIEWITZ (@JoshLiskiewitz)
Josh has been one of the most insightful NFL draft follows that I’ve experienced during my brief time on Twitter. He serves as a college scout for Russ Lande and GM Jr. Scouting. Josh consistently tweets his thoughts on the players he’s evaluating and is always open for NFL draft discussion with his followers.
STEVE PALAZZOLO (@StevePalazzolo)
If you’re a fan of Pro Football Focus, then by default you’re a fan of Steve. Steve is one of the talented analysts at PFF, and he takes his analytical skill-set to the college ranks when discussing draft prospects. As an added bonus, Steve is usually good for a classic one liner from time to time.
RYAN LOWNES (@RyanLownes)
Arguably one of the hardest working draft scouts on Twitter, Ryan burns the midnight oil to bring comprehensive scouting reports to Bleacher Report and his followers. Ryan also produces one of the better NFL draft spreadsheets that he tweets to his followers for free.
JAMES CHRISTENSEN (@NEPatriotsDraft)
James is the developer of the NFL Draft Sites Network and is a must-follow for any Patriots fan. But his content isn’t limited to just Patriots draft talk. In fact, James is one of the best follows for PFA signings. If you take a quick visit to James’ site, you’ll find links to nine other team-specific draft homes. I highly recommend DraftBrowns.com, as Justin Higdon (@AFC2NFC) is one of their lead writers and one of the best follows as well.
SIGMUND BLOOM (@SigmundBloom)
Far and away one of my favorite follows is Sigmund Bloom. Sig provides high-end commentary on draft prospects and can be read on Bleacher Report and heard on his podcast (On the Couch). Sig is also the co-owner of Footballguys.com, one of the best fantasy football sites on the web.
RYAN RIDDLE (@Ryan_Riddle)
Riddle, a former NFL player and current Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, offers his unique player’s perspective and a real insider’s take on the draft and the prospect experience. Riddle recently released one of the best draft spreadsheets that I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Follow him and check it out. You won’t be sorry.
WILL SPENCER (@DraftBreakdown)
If you want to get a good feel for the player your team has selected, you HAVE to follow Spencer and the rest of his DraftBreakdown.com team. The DB team provides game footage of countless draft prospects that proves to be the best resource for scouting and draft analysis. Make sure you take note of the contributors to DB and follow each and every one of them. They constantly tweet out links to new videos posted to the site.
JOSH NORRIS (@JoshNorris)
The draft section of Rotoworld.com is one of the best places to find current and breaking prospect news. Josh provides draft content for Rotoworld and is always tweeting his thoughts on the current news spreading throughout the scouting world. Josh is one of the best scouting minds in the Twitter community.
ERIC GALKO (@OptimumScouting)
Galko, and his entire team at Optimum Scouting, is a must-follow on every level. His team of scouts is amongst the best in the Twitter draft jungle and the content that OS provides is fantastic. Eric and the guys are now providing exclusive NFL draft content for the Sporting News. Note: I strongly recommend following Jared Counterman, one of the many top-level scouts in the OS Scouting Department.
MATT MILLER (@nfldraftscout)
Last, but certainly not least, is Bleacher Report’s NFL Draft Lead Writer, Matt Miller. Miller was one of the first highly followed draft scouts who retweeted some of FRG Scouting’s work. Even with his 50,000+ followers, Miller still finds time to exchange thoughts with many of them. Miller is an ascending figure in the NFL draft media and is absolutely worth the follow.
In just a few days, the city of Indianapolis will become a “Who’s Who” of NFL executives, coaches, scouts, agents, players, prospects and media. Hotels will be booked to capacity, dinner reservations will be hard to make, and the chatter of contract talks, trade rumors, and possible free agent movement will flood the airwaves and print alike. The NFL’s rumor mill will be in full swing, as Free Agency and Draft season seemingly collide during one long weekend.
Obviously, there’s more than just “informal” meetings with agents and rumor mongering going on during this time. 300 of the top NFL Draft prospects will be put through a slew of drills that are designed to test their speed, athleticism, explosion, and positional ability. The test results will be dissected, examined, and reported at nauseum throughout the next several weeks, with players’ stock “rising” or “falling” as a result of their individual performance. But should it? Should a player’s Draft stock be significantly impacted by how they perform in Indianapolis?
If you take a few moments to review the comments of the NFL Draft community on Twitter, you’ll find varying opinions on the subject. Some experts dismiss the value of the Combine and rely strictly on game film to evaluate the player. Others will use the information obtained in Indy to supplement their evaluation; it impacts the final grade. The following is FRG’s take on evaluating a player and the overall impact the Scouting Combine has on our assessment:
PHASE 1: FILM, FILM & MORE FILM (90%)
The first phase of FRG’s scouting process is film review. There are many resources available to obtain and watch game film, ranging from coach’s copy provided by long-time friends and contacts, to web-based broadcast replays of virtually every game you could hope to access. In addition, sites like www.DraftBreakdown.com are wonderful resources to watch player-specific cuts for many of the Draft-eligible prospects.
Roughly 90% of FRG’s final grade is based off of film analysis. I study the film until I know the player. If I don’t feel like I know the player, I get my hands on more film until the opinion is formed. I will never write an evaluation of a player if I don’t feel I’ve seen enough film to understand his strengths, weaknesses, and overall projection moving forward.
PHASE 2: BACKGROUND RESEARCH/INFORMATION (10%)
The second phase of FRG’s scouting process is research. I try to do as much research on the player as I possibly can, including (but not limited to): character issues, injury concerns, production (or lack thereof and why) . I choose to do this as step two because I don’t want my opinion influenced until AFTER I’ve watched the prospect play. If a player is a dynamic athlete and showcases first round talent, I want to note that after phase 1. Remember, that’s 90% of the grade. But if phase 2 research reveals some serious character red flags that simply cannot be ignored, it will impact the player’s overall grade. Things like multiple arrests, team suspensions, drug-related issues/allegations, or other major potential distractions are factored in. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for me to pull a player from round 1 and drop him down to day 3 as a result of off-field issues.
A note on stats and production: I expect a top prospect to be a productive college player, but it’s not a requirement. Production can be fool’s gold. It’s much more important to see how a player produced rather than the total numbers at the end of the season (or career). If a player fails to produce, it’s not an automatic red flag for me. I use phase 2 to find out why. If he displayed good technique, high-level athleticism, and overall solid IQ on film, I will do my due dilligence to determine if he was played out of position. In addition, the film will often provide those answers for you. If, for example, a player projects as an elite pass rusher but failed to register many sacks during a season or career, you need to dig deep in your film analysis. Was he constantly pressuring the QB into the arms of another defender? To me, that’s just as good as a sack.
The All Star game circuit, NFL Scouting Combine, and campus pro days are treated as extra credit by FRG. Much like we all experienced in the days of high school, college, etc., extra credit could provide a student in danger of failing with a chance to receive a passing grade. Additionally, extra credit was a way for the teacher to potentially separate the top of the class: Two students with a 100 mark for the year. Student A has 4 extra credit points whereas Student B has 3, Student A is the “top of the class”. For FRG, it’s the same kind of analysis.
If after film review, I have a player on the verge of being a “reject”, a scintilating Combine could help him achieve a draftable grade. The same holds true at the top of the Draft. If there are two players with equal grades, both jockeying for position in the first round, I may very well give an “extra credit point” to the player that performs better in Indy or at his pro day. Remember: This is when (and only when) their film review results in a virtual ’tie’. But for those players falling in-between, it’s unlikely that their performance at the Combine or pro day will have an impact on their overall grade; A fourth round guy on film is more than likely to remain a fourth round guy regardless of their testing numbers.
So at the end of the day, and for all the chatter/hype/hoopla that will surround the 40 times, bench press reps, and sky-high vertical jumps, remember: It’s all just extra credit.