How To Keep Scouting During Draft Season
For die-hard draftniks, most of the scouting legwork occurs during the fall. And for understandable reasons: watching the games is more exciting when the outcome of live action is yet to be determined. Also, even the most expensive DVR has data storage limitations: by mid-season, the device is bursting at the seams with college matchups.
However, that doesn’t mean that the official January-through-April draft season has to be bereft of film-watching. There are multiple websites that provide excellent opportunities to see more of the top draft prospects and figure out who’s worthy of your team’s top pick.
Perhaps the best resource for watching games online is ESPN3.com. The site features many of the games ESPN broadcasted in the fall, including some games that were on ESPNU, which isn’t included on some cable packages. Unfortunately, video quality can vary significantly based on Internet connection speed, but the action’s usually clear enough to identify prospects and scout them over the course of a couple games.
Another tremendous resource for watching games is SECDigitalNetwork.com. The conference has made most of its games accessible online, allowing viewers to get a feel for the SEC’s many early-round prospects. Fortunately, the website is usable with virtually any broadband connection, streaming the games at a very high-quality and with SEC Speed.
Notre Dame’s gotten involved in the online football game business as well, posting several of its games at hulu.com/notre-dame. The games are streamed at the same quality as other Hulu videos, with some of them edited to eliminate the useless time in between plays.
Finally, a couple die-hard draftniks have taken to YouTube to provide fans a quick look at the top draft prospects. I’ve posted approximately 100 clips of 2011 draft prospects on my account. Also, DraftSteal mari0clp, ckparrot, and eaglesfan450 have posted a number of clips. And the folks at NFLMocks have taken on the more ambitious project of uploading full-length games.
All of these resources can help make watching football a year-long activity, as well as make sure that the draft season includes more reasoned, well-informed debate. Unfortunately, not many people are aware that these websites and YouTube accounts exist; hopefully, they’ll play a bigger role in draft talk this year.