Combine Time

Photo Credit: raiders.com

Coverage of the NFL Combine began today with weigh-ins and interviews of offensive linemen and tightends.  The NFL Network will air footage of the workouts beginning on Saturday.  I’ve been working on my own draft guide and should have it up by Saturday morning to prepare any of you draft crazed football fans for one of my favorite events.  The guide will have its own page that you’ll be able to find on the top menu bar this weekend, but the home page is where I’ll discussion the prospects that I believe the Raiders should be looking at.

One thing I’ve been waiting for is the weigh-ins; so that I can provide the most comprehensive guide on the internet.  I’ve spent too many hours during past off-seasons hunting down information on the Net, only to come up empty.  But after lots of searching, and paying for the right information, I’ve now found a way to get my hands on all the game footage and information I’ve been looking for.

My dad always made the draft a big deal, so I followed suit; and then some.  I spent the better part of the 90′s reading draft guides and watching guys like Mel Kiper Jr.; then spent 7 of the last 8 years recording every college game aired in my area.  This year I’ve put together a binder full of information I’ve gathered on over 100 athletes.  I’ve got nearly a hundred hours of Tivo’d game footage uploaded to my computer that has taken me 6 weeks to go over.  My girlfriend thinks I’m crazy, but I can’t help it, I love trying to figure out why a play developed the way it did, and finding the key players in any offensive success, or defensive disruption.

I’ve got check lists from the last 5 drafts with my assessments of the players selected in the first couple rounds, and where I saw their careers going.  I knew Mario Williams would end up being one hell of a ball player, and was worthy of the first overall selection.  I had Justin Tuck as my #1 defensive end 3 years ago, only to see him drop the Super Bowl Champs in round 3.  My #1 player in last years draft was Ryan Kalil of USC.  He was drafted in the 2nd round by Carolina, and I predict he’ll be the best center in the NFL by the end on his 3rd season.  I’m hoping to put together a guide with a complete overview of at least 100 prospects (about as many players selected in the first 3 rounds/day 1).

I will have the official height and weight of every player I assess, along with all the scores they put up during their workouts.  I’ll go over their season, career, any need-to-know personal history, and what they’ve done to prepare for the NFL.  This will obviously be a guide that I’ll update after again after the combine, and again after certain individual workouts. 

All basic facts, but what I’ve found in the past is an inability to locate all the information I want without paying for some membership, and then after paying for the membership, not finding the correct statistics, and or little analytical input.  Instead I’ve only found regurgitated assessments that sound no different than what you hear on SportsCenter.  I’ve had many conflicting views during the last couple drafts with supposed experts Mel Kiper, ESPN’s Todd McShay, and the NFL Networks Mike Mayock.  I’m happy to finally have a place to write down my counters to some of their weak assessments.

The Oakland Raiders and the Atlanta Falcons will flip a coin tomorrow (Friday) morning to determine the order of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th picks.  If the Raiders win the flip they will have the 3rd pick, with the Falcons and Chiefs (I’m assuming but may be wrong) flipping for the 4th and 5th selections.  If the Falcons win the flip with Oakland, then Atlanta will have the 3rd pick, and the Raiders and Chiefs would follow in that order.  Like I stated at the end of the regular season, the hated Chiefs have no way of getting a higher pick than our Raiders.  When the results are released I’ll post my response and my prediction for the first 5 picks.  With the draft order finally in place, I’ll start working on my second mock draft, but I won’t release that until after the combine ends on Tuesday.

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