DENTON, Texas (KNTU) The NFL draft is an annual test of each team’s ability to evaluate prospects. There are seven rounds, approximately 250 picks, and an opportunity for all the teams to rejuvenate their rosters with young talent.
Each team works year-round on the draft, sending scouts all over the country to see players from different colleges up close in an attempt to project their play at the next level. NFL scouts leave no stone unturned to give their teams the most minute of advantages over the competition.
I find the draft to be a fascinating exercise that involves countless factors. It’s clear that talent, athleticism, and intelligence play critical roles in the evaluation process. There are also considerations such as scheme fit, team fit, personality, personal history, a myriad of stats — some important, some not so much — and at the end of the day, a bit of chance.
As a football fan, I’ve found following the NFL draft to be the best way to educate myself about the game. Over the past couple seasons, I’ve become infatuated with the draft process. I began following different bloggers and self-proclaimed draft experts two years ago, learning the basics of how to evaluate players at each position. In 2017, I started watching players’ film on my own to try to develop a feel for it. It’s challenging and not an exact science. It takes a deep understanding of the game to identify what you see when you see it. The most enlightening and ironic thing I’ve learned over the time I’ve delved into learning more about the game is that not only me but the vast majority of people have no idea what they’re looking at when they watch football. It’s an incredibly complex game that is the epitome of strategy in sports.
As part of the KNTU sports department’s effort to to post more original pieces on KNTU.com, I’ve decided to turn my hobby into work.
The NFL Draft begins April 26. It’s my plan to daily post a profile here on KNTU.com on a draft prospect until that fourth Thursday in April arrives. My primary goal is to create a list of the top 5 players at each position and eventually a top 64 overall. I realize there are not 64 weekdays from the start of these posts until April 26, but I’ll figure it out.
In each profile, I’ll make an effort to paint a full picture of each prospect’s skill set, weakness, draft value, and finally what relevance they have to the Dallas Cowboys. Ideally, this will culminate in the draft, with some coverage and draft grades for each team.
This is a project that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I’m very excited to try my hand at evaluating talent and share my thoughts with you. Keep in mind that I have never worked for a football team at any level in any capacity, so you should take my judgment with a grain of salt.
A different position group will be featured in each week’s series of posts. Here’s the schedule for the first two position groups:
- Defensive Ends: Feb. 5-9
- Wide Receivers: Feb. 12-16
I hope you enjoy this series.