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  #1  
Old 04.05.2016, 08:01 AM
duesouth10's Avatar
duesouth10 duesouth10 is offline
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Default Draft Site - What Do You Want to Read?

It seems that the Huddle Notes site is being taken down. In its place, will be a new site called NFL Draft Line. I've been offered to run that as I was Huddle Notes - I think mainly as he couldn't find anyone else!! Well, that and I scored well in the top 100... Even without the repackage, I needed to put up more content, but I guess that adds to the pressure a little... NHS waiting lists permitting I should have gone under the knife by the new season and be 100%. I have felt a bit better this past month and watching tape of the top 100 was enjoyable.

Anyway, my question to you, is what would you like to read from this new site? I've never been a mock draft guy, but perhaps I could do one or two as long as they were viewed as "fun" exercises. One rule would be at least the non-playoff team draft order would have to be set before the first one! I don't watch as much NFL as I would like, so perhaps I could get some help from the forum in terms of team needs/drafting trends when I do them?

2 years ago I wrote game by game notes (example here from Sept 2014) - but my view was that very few were reading them (I couldn't see stats from Huddle Notes - hopefully will for the new site). The other thing is that adds to the workload - I can get a BT Sport game done and have some free time left in an evening - but typing up like that means I have little, if any. So, perhaps one or two games written up like this per week and then a "notes from other games" article?

There's no question that the thing I love the most are the small school prospects. I'm not sure that is of interest to anyone until your team drafts a Ryan Smith or picks up the mighty Victor Ochi as an UDFA (can't believe he wasn't drafted...)? That might have to be something I do because I love doing it to balance watching the 1st round rated guy who stinks 4 or 5 times... actually I might scale the top guys back to 3 or 4 watches. I didn't have ESPN Player this year, but I missed the small school stuff - finding that diamond in the rough is what I like doing more than anything! Would like to know of how much interest small schoolers are to people though...

My general style has always been a Wes Bunting one. Watch the tape and go with what you see. I'm not suddenly going to change into a Bob McGinn information gatherer. I have operated in a vacuum for the most part to facilitate that style. Not sure how I would operate outside it - the NFL Draft doesn't have a great "community" (as you may know, I've written 3 novels and the author community is about a million times more supportive), but perhaps I could pick out certain assumptions from the big boys and use that to form opinion pieces. Example: take NFL Draft Scout's top 50 and say what I do/don't agree with.

Any suggestions/thoughts welcomed!
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  #2  
Old 04.05.2016, 09:28 AM
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chucklong_13 chucklong_13 is offline
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Hi Duesouth10, I think it would be a good idea to have a thread where members can post up their fav game summaries of the past week. Theres such a lot of web links now it takes a lot of time trawlling through them to get the best.
I also like to read those UK members that attend a match and give a bit of background details on where they stayed the food/drink etc.
One place/thread to collate the best bits?
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  #3  
Old 04.05.2016, 09:40 AM
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RichardCunliffe RichardCunliffe is offline
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Just one man's view:

I'd say you have to play the 'mock game'. It's such a massive part of the draft season that if you avoided it you are missing out on 'clicks'. That's what made walterfootball probably, the continual mock drat process (even if it's mostly repetition or nonsense). Doing mocks gives the briefest of player descriptions, team fits/needs. People can glance over them and get a reasonable feel of the early draft landscape.

In terms of game notes I'd say keep things concise during the season. The average draft fan won't know 50% of starters on most teams, they want the 'highlights', the bigger names that people will be talking about in January. Obviously players will emerge, and it's good to highlight those 2nd tier guys as the season progresses (for the reader and author).

When the NFL season ends, and draft season really begins, that's the time to start filling out the scouting profiles in more depth (both in terms of players and details). fans have more time to focus their attention on all things draft.

As far as small school guys go it's something, as a reader, I might dip in and out of, but again for me that's going to be something to look at in January-April. Maybe a small school watch list with an occasional 'feature' during 'quiet weeks'.

So:

Mocks are a must, they set the scene to start with. One a month maybe? It's more about names and fits (and 'easy' content).

Game notes - Do what you feel comfortable with (whilst maintaining some free time and avoiding 'burn out'). Top 100 guys in the main, players that people have some familiarity with perhaps.

Small school - You enjoy this so it has to be a part of things. A 'watch list' that you can add to as the season progresses maybe, guys that peak your interest. Give the reader a few names with a little background, players to revisit in January and beyond.

As you once said, just trust what you see. Don't get caught up in the off the field stuff (in the mocks you can as it's all projection and scenarios anyway). Just 'scout' players for what they do on the field.

Best of luck.
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Old 04.05.2016, 09:48 AM
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Dolphin_Akie Dolphin_Akie is offline
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Always loved your work over the years so glad to hear you're looking to continue and hope you manage to get well after your operation in time to enjoy the season.

Personally I like the smaller school prospects as someone who probably reads and watches more group of five football than the average college football fan. But I'd happily read whatever content you decide to produce as its generally a different angle to what you get from mainstream sports sites around the draft. As the draft approaches its all about guessing who'll go where and be a first rounder etc rather than who is a good player and how they project at the next level.

Agree with Richard though that the average NFL fan who only follows the college game for the draft is going to spend most their time looking at mocks for the quick takes.
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  #5  
Old 04.05.2016, 10:44 AM
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manic_matt manic_matt is offline
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I think what you've done previously has been great, but understand without the financial incentive it makes it difficult to justify. For me I personally loved your draft guide from last year, this was essential reading for me and proved invaluable as a companion to the draft!

In addition to what others have said, one thing for me would be maybe a "requests" section, where people could ask for your opinion on a few guys to look at a bit more in depth and you report back in a blog. Similar to the "Draft prospects thread" on here, where we ask for your opinion on certain prospects that we may have seen or heard buzz about.

Also as the top 100 is flawed, why not start a "scouting top 100" as a literal run down of the top 100 players, based on your scouting and tape study, rather than based on where they go in the draft. This could then be reviewed 3 years down the line and places greater emphasis on actual scouting rather than just who goes in the top 100 picks.

Last edited by manic_matt; 04.05.2016 at 10:52 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04.05.2016, 02:50 PM
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duesouth10 duesouth10 is offline
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Thanks all for the replies.

Richard - I think you might be right. As long as I pitch them as a bit of fun, I think I can do that... I was thinking a lot of my content is in season - but draft season is January-April - so I think holding back on prospects and then doing maybe 5 player summaries in one article or something in those months might work. Not dry scouting reports, in my style... I think the small school stuff I'd want to do 2 or 3 games a week - just for fun. Then I can pick out a small school player of the week or something. If I find someone I really like, then I can do something more detailed - same (DA) for the group of five teams - should be enough of them in the day two picture...

Matt - I think the pressure with the Draft guide was a bit much. I'd want to keep the content free and keep it enjoyable for me. That being said, I think I can end up with player summaries on par with the Draft guide - and then the small schoolers can still feature. I didn't do rankings this year as I struggled with seeing the point in many ways - but I want to do them for next year - I think a top 10 (or 20 for WR and CB) at each position would be a quick click article - and then have separate more detailed articles.

Thanks again all!
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