Say you’re a Buffalo Bills fan interested in learning more about the 2018 draft prospects and which players fit into Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott’s Process. Where would you start? Interest in the NFL Draft is continuing to rise, leading to an overwhelming amount of two-bit sites dedicated to mock drafts and prospect rankings. Below, I give you a rundown of sites and analysts draft fans should explore as they formulate opinions on the 300+ players available in the 2018 NFL Draft. Despite all the sites and resources listed below, you should still keep it here at Buffalo Rumblings, as we will be publishing much more draft content in the coming months.
Start with the Tape. It doesn’t lie.
Obviously, in order to garner a finer understanding of prospects, the best thing to do is to watch full game breakdowns. Draftbreakdown has been the leader in posting truncated prospect Youtube videos for years. Recently though, the site owners have stated they don’t have the revenue to maintain a website full-time, and have stopped posting videos as a result. The only other reliable online option is Youtube itself. Type in a particular prospect, and sift through various highlight videos until you find a full game.
Move on to prospect rankings
Overall rankings, as well as those based on positions, are a great way to see how the various draft analysts stack prospects against one another. Everyone knows that ESPN’s Mel Kiper and Todd McShay regularly rank the top prospects, but their articles are usually behind the ESPN Insider paywall. An alternative to those two is NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah. Jeremiah posts his top 50 prospects about once a month and, as a former scout for the Ravens, his opinions carry some weight. If you’re looking for a unique take on most prospects, you should also check out former Buffalo Rumblings editor and current CBS Sports NFL Draft writer Chris Trapasso’s rankings. Chris isn’t afraid to carry some unorthodox opinions about particular prospects.
Go in-depth with scouting reports
Most football fans don’t have the time to watch tape on 300 players, so scouting reports serve as quick recaps of those players’ individual strengths and weaknesses. The key is finding a writer or analyst you can find common ground with and sticking with him or her. Running up to the draft, Pro Football Focus posts individual scouting reports on most draft-eligible players. Their reports are somewhat informed by their college statistics they compile. Lance Zierlein has begun to put together his short scouting reports for NFL.com. As the son of longtime offensive line coach Larry Zierlein, he provides great insight into the play of college guards, centers, and tackles. Matt Waldman, of the Rookie Scouting Portfolio, is unique in that his RSP Boiler Room videos aren’t comprehensive reviews, but they’re more about one or two aspects of a prospects game.
Keep up to date with draft rumors
Formulating your own opinion about draft prospects is great, but what ultimately matters to Bills fans is what Brandon Beane and the Bills’ scouts think, as well as what other teams plan to do at the top of the draft. To remain current on any and all draft rumors, Tony Pauline of draftanalyst.com frequently posts and tweets information he’s hearing from NFL scouts and GMs. In his Scouting Notebook columns that run each Friday, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller also drops tidbits of knowledge from his various scouting contacts.