Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: Brothers Keeper Covering the Pre-Draft NFL Coverage

While I am not a huge draftnik I do like to occupy my time in the offseason at least observing the NFL offseason activities mildly. Trust me, I too, need the break following the Super Bowl (as you can see from the blogging hiatus). But after a while the itch returns toward football and it's fantasy football impact.

Senior Bowl
Usually considered the initial start toward the NFL Draft study among NFL Draft aficionados (other than watching a lot of college football games), The 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl was played Saturday, January 29, 2011, in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium which kicked off at 3:00 pm CST and the contest was nationally-televised by the NFL Network. So check out the box score for any hints at the forthcoming crop of rookie talent.

The 2006 NFL CBA was going to end March 4th but was extended another week for negotiations. The NFLPA decertified just before the end of the negotiation time period March 11, 2011. Players were then locked out of team facilities the next day. The NFLPA filed an anti-trust suit against the NFL in U.S. District Court. They basically want more financial information for the negotiations. Regarding some of the financial issues involved the Two-Minute Warning article at Huffington Post is a good primer on the pertinent issues. For aspects related to the judge, check out The Wrath of Doty Persists by Andrew Brandt followed by the NFL downplays impact of Doty ruling, NFLPA reacts by Aaron Wilson. Perhaps you'd like to scope out the NFL player salaries too. So let's hope a new agreement gets accomplished sooner rather than later for better offseason training and development, especially for the rookies. Here is an good article detailing NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and one concerning DeMaurice Smith the head of the NFLPA. Both are forfeiting their salaries during the lockout. Both are at the core of everything between the players and the owners. Let's just hope the 18 game season idea is dead. I don't know if fantasy football even could handle two more weeks of football. There is a multitude of information concerning this process and I have been debating writing more about it or not as I still need to write about our Brothers Keeper Fantasy Football league. I would recommend checking out for more information.

2011 NFL Rule Change
If you have not yet heard, the NFL owners approved of a rule change proposed by the NFL Competition Committee to move the kickoffs from the 25 yard line back to the 35 yard line where it had been previously. A touchback will also be awarded the 25 yard line instead of the 20 yard line. There are also other rule changes regarding the kickoff. These changes have been met with mixed reactions. The injury concerns are probably driving this decision more than anything else as it is safer to have more touchbacks. One thing we know for sure is that this rule must have saved Norv Turner's job and given him that final help to breed hope for playoff success. His team last year was awful on special teams! So I'll dub it the Norv Turner Rule. This should, no doubt, extend the careers of older kickers. Perhaps, the likes of Matt Stover will return?

2011 NFL Scouting Combine
Another draft prep item includes the the NFL Scouting Combine that was held February 23 – March 1, 2011. Here's the official invite list. There are always a ton of websites that follow the NFL Scouting Combine madness up close and personal with statistics and interviews of those attending. It would be to your advantage to search those out and read. Some of the better ones are websites requiring paid subscriptions to their contents. If you read enough I imagine that other sites read those paid sites and reiterate the content in a free format. So do yourself a favor and search before paying and good luck on your NFL Scouting Combine research. I am always wondering what to make of the Combine results/metrics in relation to actual football play of the athletes. Regardless, here is's 2011 NFL Combine Results. Be sure to select the other positions for the information you are looking for. You can also check out their scouting reports: 2011 NFL Draft Prospects. Check for other items like QB wonderlic scores if you are so inclined.

2011 NFL Pro Days
The Pro Day workouts for independent teams or more follow the Scouting Combine. Just scan the news for what you are looking for. Teams are obviously trying to nail down draft grades and more. The Draft website also has a good news tracker. You can even see the results of past NFL Drafts.

2011 Mock NFL Drafts and Reality
Everyone and anyone has an opinion now days as to what will or will not happen in the NFL Draft. However, as I wrote last year, all I know is that on the door of the professor who has two PhD's are written two Latin words: ad fontes. For all of you who do not "habla Espanol" it stands for "to the sources" or "to the founts." Always good advice when trying to obtain good clean water. Might I just say that all the NFL Draft coverage on the Internet is just a lot of hot air and intrigue for fandom to think about and so writers can make money. All of it gets thrown out of the window when the actual draft occurs... trades and all. If anyone thought they should apply ad fontes to only believing what the front offices say this time of year, forget it. They are full of lies as admitted by the front office of the Baltimore Ravens.

However, with all that said, a multitude of NFL Draft aficionados have created their mock drafts. Thanks to the likes of's 2011 Mock NFL Drafts Database, we have a one stop shop for a ton of those mock drafts. Okay, maybe there is some pay site mock drafts missing, like Mel Kiper's work, but you get the drift. Search for the ones you like at the big name sporting websites if you'd like. Other mock draft databases include his mock draft information and many others you may not have seen. So check out more mock draft databases: The Football Expert; The Football Fan Spot;; DC Pro Sports Report; NFL Draft Today;; NFL Draft; No Limit Sportsline Fantasy Sports; Draft; and The Huddle Report. So who is going to make a database of the mock NFL draft databases?

2011 NFL Draft
The 2011 NFL Draft will be held at Radio City Music Hall, New York. It will begin Thursday, April 28 and end Saturday, April 30th regardless of whether or not a new CBA has been completed. It will be interesting to watch if the draft prospects will even attend especially as there have been talk from the NFLPA and the NFL discussing their presence at the NFL Draft over CBA issues. One major issue for the draft prospects, is a rookie wage scale which I am all for because of the wasted finances and salary cap hits from draft busts. That's right I'm looking at you JaMarcus Russell (a.k.a. JaMarcus "Struggles")! But who am I to decide; little ol' me. Regardless, the draft will commence with a new CBA in place or not:

Rd. 1: Thursday, April 28
Rds. 2-3: Friday, April 29
Rds. 4-7: Saturday, April 30

The NFL Draft order has now been established if you have not seen it already. Unfortunately because there is no current CBA in place, one blogger has decided not to figure out the compensation picks that he normally does. Understandable since it is probably time consuming, and it is guess work, because the rules for it have not been detailed. So it is a lot of detective work to nail down the decision making process by looking at what took place backwards. So we will need to wait until the Compensatory Picks are announced. They are normally announced during the Annual Meeting. However, this year, it will be after the Annual Owners Meeting in New Orleans.

I may update this post at times with more information or I may just wait to post a blog about the NFL Draft Coverage as I had last year closer to draft time. Be sure to check out my post from 2010 concerning the NFL Draft Value Chart as well. It, too, is a good source for considering issues for the impending draft.

If you'd like to see up to date tweets for the NFL Draft check out this twitter feed:

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