Tuesday, April 9 at 8:00 PM ET
The four things that I am most proud of with what we have done with this site are: 1) listening to feedback to develop the most user-friendly and relevant sports investment products that we can; 2) providing an intelligent, grounded, transparent and honest approach to investing in the sports market; 3) researching winning and losing streaks to discover what is real and what is variance and enlisting those findings to improve performance (I often point to last season's successful/profitable progression of baseball as one of our proudest accomplishments and a great example of this phenomenon - it took several weeks after the initial launch of the new product for us to really get it right, but paid off when it did. That happened this year with our first forays in full season college basketball and hockey as well. Let's hope what we have already put in place pays off again for college football next year.); and 4) the (enjoyable) work that I/we put in to determine how players should be expected to progress over time and, more specifically, from the collegiate level to the pros.
Aside from simply "winning," the last topic above is my biggest passion and favorite thing to do with this job. It is also an area where I think we are as advanced - if not more advanced - as anyone. I even wrote about it recently in my Washington Wizards @ Kentucky Wildcats blog. Yet, up until this point, the work done leading up to NFL and NBA drafts was behind the scenes, only coming out in short articles after the drafts and then in NFL rookie projections for fantasy purposes. This year, after listening to the feedback from many of you (#1 above) and teaming with someone who has significant experience doing similar things in NFL front offices, we are bringing that analysis out from behind the curtain as we break down the NFL Draft prospects in a unique, objective way.
(As you may be able to tell, I'm pretty excited about doing this...)
On April 9 (a week from today), we will launch our 2012 NFL Draft content. To do so, we will utilize our unique, objective approach to player projections and development to present Top 100 Rankings and Bios, a Mock Draft, Position-by-Position Reports, Statistical Breakdowns and Future Projections for all prospects in the 2012 NFL Draft. Content is FREE from me and NFL Draft Expert Matt Richner (more on him here).
It's been great to work with Matt to build this project and hear some of his insights on players and draft strategies. I think that what we are doing is very unique in that our approach is as objective as it gets when it comes to analyzing prospects. Most mock drafts and analysts focus on which player they think teams are going to take. But, while Matt may actually have some insight to that, it's a far more important and valuable exercise to look at which players - or at least the types and characteristics of players - teams should take. Furthermore, we hope to provide insights into which players in this year's draft best fit profiles of successful future NFL players. Plus, in our research, we have yet to find any resource that simply provides career and final season statistics for every prospect (as we will do in position-specific tables next week).
What was previously my favorite article of the year every year because it showed off just about everything we can do with our technology, from generating inputs for new players, to predicting playing time, health and coaching styles, to playing through entire seasons 50,000 times (and signified the beginning of the football season), is now a series of articles and entire section on the site. Check back next week in our new NFL Draft section to find out all that we have to say. And, in the interim, I recommend getting to know Matt's work through some of his Positional Reports. Not everything is broken down exactly how I have and/or would approach it, but every one of those reports had many research nuggets that taught me something new about college players and their transitions to the pros.
As usual, if you have any of your own comments about this article or suggestions about how to improve the site, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time. We respond to every support contact as quickly as we can (usually within a few hours) and are very amenable to suggestions. I firmly believe that open communication with our customers and user feedback is the best way for us to grow and provide the types of products that will maximize the experience for all. Thank you in advance for your suggestions, comments and questions.