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View Full Version : How do you prepare for the Draft?


PHins80
12-11-2009, 10:10 PM
(Just joined, first post, just glad to be here, hope I can help the ball club)

As the life of a draftnik is often a solitary one, I've often wondered if everyone else was doing the same thing I do every year. So, my question to the community is, what things do you do before, during, and after the Draft to prepare for and enjoy it?

I'll go first: I don't even start until the week of Sr Bowl practices on NFLN. I copy and paste a list of everyone into Excel, clean it up, and add the fields that I'm going to need.

I take a lot of notes, either legal pad or typed directly into my spreadsheet, and this goes on until early April. From TV events, to Sirius NFL, to websites (including here, of course). I also subscribe to a print publication that I read when I get it, and incorporate the stuff I like into my spreadsheet, too.

About a week before the Draft, I tighten it all up, and start stacking the boards, then the Big Board. I have a macro written that bubbles up picks for a mock draft based on team needs, and I usually do a few through maybe 3 rounds at that point.

Every year, I pick a random draft slot for myself, and when that pick comes up, I pick a player. I've been keeping this list for 15 years. Sort of a "what kind of job would I do?" thing.

This time of year, I'm much more interested in the '09 rookie class in the NFL than I am in the '10 draft, though I get to know the names a bit.

That's my story... interested in yours.

vidae
12-11-2009, 10:57 PM
Welcome to the boards, glad you found us. We could always use more draft obsessed people around here.

Scott Wright
12-12-2009, 01:10 AM
Welcome, glad to have you!

CashmoneyDrew
12-12-2009, 02:10 AM
I like to get a lot of food and drank and just chill.

But I'm glad I got NFL Network back this year so I can watch the combine and senior bowl unlike last year. I've got some rankings in a spreadsheet as well, but I'm sure it'll be changed many times between now and the end of April.

Another thing I like to do is in the first round when a team is on the clock I write down who I think they'll draft and just kind of score myself after each pick. I usually end up with about half right.

niel89
12-12-2009, 02:42 AM
I generally just read over Mel Kipers book and read over what people are talking about on here. I've been to New York the past two years and I plan on going this year too. Damn them for spreading it over more days now.

vidae
12-12-2009, 02:58 AM
I'll usually grab some food and chill with some buddies. The combine/senior bowl week are almost as exciting for me. The NFL Network coverage of the combine is great. I literally turn the TV on to NFLN and leave it on for a few weeks. Path to the Draft starts shortly after that and I don't miss an episode of that either.

stephenson86
12-12-2009, 06:54 AM
As I'm living in England, it's tough for me to to watch loads of the college games and I only really get to see the top prospects so I tend to for the first 2 rounds hope know who I want the Titans to draft...this year it's Joe Haden (I love that we have Finnegan but I want us to have another stud opposite him). We don't have a second pick but I would love for us to trade up and grab Dan Williams as I don't see us retaining Tony Brown. After that I just want people who look sick and have cool names.

On the snack side, on each of the 3 days I will get a take-away from my local kebab house, plenty of pop, chips and general other ****. Then I'm gonna sit back get my ass on here and enjoy the draft as it happens with my boys in the Titans corner.

Day One Pick
12-12-2009, 07:00 AM
I also use a spreadsheet for my rankings. I slowly compile them throughout the season and have some pretty deep rankings by the end of February. I am a bit ahead of schedule this year though. I've been ranking underclassmen and the ones who don't enter the draft I'll take out of my rankings and start my 2011 rankings with them.

Spreadsheet is the way to go. So easy to edit and keep them organized.

FloridaSkinzFan
12-12-2009, 09:15 AM
Welcome!

The draft being a thursday night this year, it will be a little different. I usually have 4-5 guys over, we all wear our teams jersey, stock pile on food and drinks, draft magazines on the floor, laptops out and just chill and talk tons of crap all day on who their team drafted....lol pretty fun.

Brothgar
12-12-2009, 09:24 AM
My draft process usually starts in december because I'm a Lions fan. I usually start by looking at draft histroy but never go further back than the current administration (GM/ Coach) it gives me a better notion of how they draft. Then because I work Saturdays I usually look at as many highlight films as possible of course I take highlight films/game films as posible (thank god for youtube) with a grain of salt but you can usually tell who is really dominant. At that point I'm ready for the Senior bowl practices and combine.

RealityCheck
12-12-2009, 09:49 AM
Welcome to the boards.

Well, since this draft will be on a Thursday, I guess it will change a lot...

djp
12-12-2009, 09:53 AM
Step by step

1) Make buffalo chicken dip
2) Acquire root beer
3) Turn on TV
4) Watch draft with my dad
5) Chat on my computer with our annual draft day AIM chat crew (D-Unit, toonster, xio, WMD, ERU, Trips, whoever else is around)

bored of education
12-12-2009, 11:18 AM
Before I had a job and had rent to pay I used to have a two day celebration for the draft. Cooking many wings, pastas, etc. I used to be able to watch every college game during the week and would have notebooks upon notebooks of stuff, big boards left and right. I was a pure and utter geek to the point Scott Wright would be jealous. My freakiness for the draft led to my subpar grades in college but I still have some notebooks from the seasons 1999-2005 of my drafts and notes on players. I had no life for about 2-3 weeks before the draft.

Now I just lock myself in my bed room.

Job
12-12-2009, 11:59 AM
Sometimes you lock myself in your bedroom too.

regoob2
12-12-2009, 12:06 PM
I have excel spreadsheets for every position and a overall big board. I like to watch it alone. No one really cares as much as I do. Lol.

fischbowl
12-12-2009, 01:51 PM
I usually go to work. Then I come home and slump on the couch knowing that there's something I have an invested interest in on the TV. Then I complain and drink

Iamcanadian
12-12-2009, 02:29 PM
I usually star earlier. I first find a site that puts out a preliminary list of all the prospects in the draft, at least all the seniors and some important juniors likely to declare. I have at least 2 sites to compile my lists and I usually check different sites particularly at NFL.com to see what they think will happen in the next draft.
As the college season progresses I like to watch as many of the prospect perform in actual games and make a few observations on each game I watch. I do this the complete college season and in the Bowls games. I use my notes and observations to compile my own preliminary list and I check it against a # of guru sites that I respect for their past performances, to see how my list is working out. If I find somebody I missed I add him to my list for future reference
All this does for me is provide a working list for use during the post season.
It is the post season where I do far more extensive observations and having NFL Network, I find I can tune in to the conversations on the draft and watch the film they provide. I begin the ranking process during the Senior Bowl practices and continue that process through the combine and pro day's workouts always checking my results back against the most respected gurus in the game to see if I'm way off track or just have a strong difference of opinion on a prospect.
I buy a draft magazine, they are all rather weak but they make good toilet reading.
I finish up following the draft discussions on NFL.com, NFL Network and generally Draft Countdown where I can get to see either more film on prospects and listen to the top people at NFL. Network or Scott for information I might have missed. Gradually during the post season I begin to compile a draft ranking. I like to think of myself as a team's GM using all the resources available on the internet and NFL Network as my scouts in the field. After years of doing this I have experience in realizing which people can recognize talent at which positions with pretty good accuracy. I will constantly upgrade my ranking right up till the day before the draft. I usually compile 3 different draft boards, one for basic 4-3 teams, one for Cover 2 teams and one for 3-4 teams since there is quite a variance in which each defense system will draft.
During the last couple of weeks I might fool around with mock drafts just for the fun of it.
The only person who hates my time spent is my wife who can get a bit upset if I spend too many hours on my hobby which I have had for 55 years since I was a kid. Today there is no excuse not to get at least 25 right in any draft with all the information available to you, back when I started, nobody had ever heard of my hobby, there was no internet and practically zero discussion on the draft, in fact I can still remember when teams drafted from the football magazines and didn't scout prospects until the Los Angeles Rams started scouting college players and got something like 17 starters out of their first draft using scouting reports. Obviously the rest of the NFL teams followed suit quickly and hired scouts. I think that event perked my interest in the draft and I have been a draftnik ever since. It sure is a lot easier today.

LonghornsLegend
12-12-2009, 02:37 PM
It's going to be way different now that it's Thursday night but traditionally it was always the same Saturday mornings.


Wake up early and start drinking beer in the AM, get 2 huge digiorno pepporoni thin crust pizza's ready, make some beef and nacho dip, and for earlier I make my own appetizer platter with tostino's pizza bites, friday's cheese sticks, and fridays potato skins to get all my food ready.


Then I get my spread sheet/Draft Board and look over that while watching draft shows all morning and reading over the final mock drafts here and other places.


Get my friends over and have a nice draft party, only people who can come are draftniks though, not the type of party where the TV is on mute and we just sit around to music, I'm listening to everything and we are following closely.


Hard to even fathom doing something as fun for multiple days, and on a weeknight/worknight at that now :( Sat morning was just so special for the draft.

RaiderNation
12-12-2009, 03:51 PM
I kind of wish it was still the regular 2 day schedule.

Hurricanes25
12-12-2009, 03:58 PM
I kind of wish it was still the regular 2 day schedule.

I think we all do.

ThePudge
12-12-2009, 04:11 PM
I do a good amount of draft work during the season, throughout the process, and by the end of April I typically have over 150-200 pages typed (total) in Microsoft Word, and a spiral notebook full of rankings, mock drafts, and numbers from the Combine/Pro Days. That's not necessarily "normal" even for the more serious draftniks here, but it's my way of preparing. Every year my work starts earlier and encompasses more. I'm currently in college hoping to have a bigger part in the draft process one day. I'm sure if you stick around here (which is a great place for the draft and discussion from here on...) you'll see plenty of my work and plenty of my "preparation."

When draft day rolls around, I'm in New York City sitting and watching it all unfold (which I urge everyone here to do at least once.) I've been to the last five drafts, dating back to 2005 (Alex Smith-Ronnie Brown-Braylon Edwards) and I can't see myself missing another one for as long as I live. It's a different feeling than watching on tv as it offers a different connection to the draft class and the event itself. It started at Radio City Music Hall in 2006 and I have to say I can't imagine a better venue.

Welcome to the boards though, hope you stick around and talk draft with people that are just as passionate about the NFL Draft and their teams as you are. You've come to a good place, looking forward to seeing you more on here!

SKim172
12-12-2009, 04:20 PM
I keep a folder on my internet taskbar of bookmarked news searches with names of prospects that I'm interested in. Then I pore over every bit of news that mentions these players. It's not as time-consuming as you might think - I have a weakness for the underdog and the players I'm most interested in are usually sleeper and small-school types that no one reports on.

And of course, Rutgers' players. They tend not to be in the news as well, so there's that.

This year, it looks like Devin McCourty, George Johnson and Ryan D'Imperio will be headlining my searches.

JFLO
12-12-2009, 04:27 PM
To prepare for the draft, I just rank players off of what I've read and seen from games on television.

I thought I focused too much on the draft but after reading some of these posts, I know that I'm no where near that extent.

Anyways, I'll just rank the players every month and keep every month as an archive, to see where players have jumped/declined.

I'll also do a mock each month.

My friends and I have had a draft party the last two years but I'm the only one that seems to know the ins and outs of each prospect.

JFLO
12-12-2009, 04:33 PM
Has anyone else started to ponder into the 2011 prospects yet (at least juniors)

DraftBreakdown
12-12-2009, 09:09 PM
I mostly just read the board here, but I do have a recommendation for a few of the users on here who make spreadsheets. I make my spreadsheets in Microsoft Access and I find it easier to navigate than Excel. It's faster and looks more personalized.

I start to build my spreadsheet with the following columns in early summer.
Position (ex: LB), First Name, Last Name, Specific Position (ex: OLB), School, Jersey Number, and Class Year.

By the end of the college season, I usually have a list of 450 seniors. Then I add some smaller school players and Juniors so by mid January I have a list of 500 players. I try to keep my database below that number, but it's not always easy.

I record about 7-9 college games every week with my DirecTv DVR and 1TB external HD so I have tape on about 115 schools by the end of the year. This year, I'm making the trip to the Senior Bowl and after that I will start to write Scouting Reports on as many players as I can and post them to my website.

When the Combine comes around I add a few different categories to my spreadsheet such as My Grade for them, 40 time, Height, Weight, 10 yd split, 3 cone, arm length, hand size, bench press, and finally, a Stickers column. The stickers column is for after I print out all of theses spreadsheets. I buy little star stickers that are different colors and I have a color coded system for what they mean. It ranges from Character concern, Boom/Bust, Speed player, Red Star (all around good at everything-- testing, stats, character, etc.) and a few other categories. This is how the Ravens organize their draft board and I think it works pretty well.

scottyboy
12-12-2009, 09:13 PM
I'm actually trying to go this year, which would be AWESOME

PHins80
12-14-2009, 08:19 AM
Wow. I never expected such great responses. Thanks, everybody! I couldn't agree more with those who said everyone should go to the Draft at least once. I haven't been in many years - since back when it was at the Marriott Marquis (saw Testaverde, Aundray Bruce, and Aikman go #1 from '87-'89).

My favorite story from those: My friend and I would stay for the entire day (back then, it was 12 rounds, and they got as much as they could in on the first day). I'm a Miami fan (duh), and they needed a center in '89 (HoFer Dwight Stephenson's career ended by injury in '87).

I really liked this guy, Jeff Uhlenhake, from Ohio St. So, it's the 5th round, probably close to midnight, and the 'phins are up. Only a handful of fans are left in the balcony, and you could hear a pin drop. I shout down to the Dophins table, "take Uhlenhake!", and the guy working the helmet phone turns and looks up to me and gives me a thumbs-up. And, that's their pick.

I'm really glad to find this board. As a few mentioned, ours is a very particular passion. Nice to find a place to congregate.

Joanna2012
12-15-2009, 09:42 PM
(Just joined, first post, just glad to be here, hope I can help the ball club)

As the life of a draftnik is often a solitary one, I've often wondered if everyone else was doing the same thing I do every year. So, my question to the community is, what things do you do before, during, and after the Draft to prepare for and enjoy it?

I'll go first: I don't even start until the week of Sr Bowl practices on NFLN. I copy and paste a list of everyone into Excel, clean it up, and add the fields that I'm going to need.

I take a lot of notes, either legal pad or typed directly into my spreadsheet, and this goes on until early April. From TV events, to Sirius NFL, to websites (including here, of course). I also subscribe to a print publication that I read when I get it, and incorporate the stuff I like into my spreadsheet, too.

About a week before the Draft, I tighten it all up, and start stacking the boards, then the Big Board. I have a macro written that bubbles up picks for a mock draft based on team needs, and I usually do a few through maybe 3 rounds at that point.

Every year, I pick a random draft slot for myself, and when that pick comes up, I pick a player. I've been keeping this list for 15 years. Sort of a "what kind of job would I do?" thing.

This time of year, I'm much more interested in the '09 rookie class in the NFL than I am in the '10 draft, though I get to know the names a bit.

That's my story... interested in yours.

But I'm glad I got NFL Network back this year so I can watch the combine and senior bowl unlike last year. I've got some rankings in a spreadsheet as well, but I'm sure it'll be changed many times between now and the end of April.

fischbowl
12-15-2009, 11:43 PM
^female? wut?!

BigBanger
12-16-2009, 12:09 AM
My draft preparation takes place the night before the draft and no sooner.

First, I cleanse my colon and make sure I have crapped out everything in my system. It takes no more than one hour to digest all the supplements, but then you do have to sit on the crapper for hours (since I have a laptop, I can keep up on any late braking news regarding the draft from my very own crapper without the hassle of keeping the bathroom door slightly ajar in order to peek out and watch ESPN from said bathroom).

This is followed up by a good nights rest (usually broken up by remaining cleansing).

Now, soon as I get up (depending how many people I have over or who comes over) I go out and run some errands. I buy multiple 30 racks of Miller Lite. I will also thow in a bottle... usually a 100 proof bottle... doesn't matter... Southern Comfort... Wisniowka... we drink anything and everything...

The 30 rack is then placed, ever so gently and delicately, in a very large cooler with lots of ice (of course there are multiple coolers to accommodate the multiple 30s). At least one cooler, after filled, is then placed at the foot of my lazy boy recliner, usually just off to the left so I don't have bend over, let alone get up... or even worse, have to move my feet.

Then I proceed to replace the batteries to my clicker (Duracell since they are the best and longest lasting). The clicker is then placed on the arm of my lazy boy (or table to my right) as I prepare it for a gauntlet of channel changing (ESPN to NFLN and back).

Then a 5 gallon bucket is placed towards the back of the room for urination upon braking the seal. It is placed very close to the back door so whoever has to dump it, doesn't have to lug it halfway across the room (there is no bathroom down stairs and we sure as hell ain't walking all the way upstairs, and we sure as hell ain't going outside and leaving the room). Team work and group effort are sometimes used when dumping upon dual commercial breaks. The dumping must be swift, without hesitation and an organized plan must be discussed before dumping (i.e. Joe holds the door while Kyle and Michael grab the bucket).

All cell phones are then turned off (to ignore nagging women) and the house phone is defeated (to ignore nagging women and telemarketers -- assholes don't take a day off).

Once these steps are taken, the door gets locked, the volume is adjusted so that everyone is happy, and then the draft day begins.

brat316
12-16-2009, 12:15 AM
But I'm glad I got NFL Network back this year so I can watch the combine and senior bowl unlike last year. I've got some rankings in a spreadsheet as well, but I'm sure it'll be changed many times between now and the end of April.

sound exactly word for word like VoodooMonkey the artist formerly known as CashMoneyDrew.