I thought I’d compile the best online resource I use for those of you who like to research potential Vikings draft picks. This first in a series of posts will cover national news outlets. Subsequent posts will cover blogs and local resources:
- NFL.com – The NFL, through it’s NFL Network, does a great job of covering itself. Setting aside the obvious self-interests involved for a moment, I do believe they’ve got a pretty good separation of church and state, so to speak, between their reporting and the league’s business interests.The NFL’s website includes sections devoted to the Scouting Combine as well as the NFL Draft. The NFL Network boasts one of the more astute college talent evaluators in Mike Mayock.Finally, NFL.com includes sections for each team in the league as well as links to their individual websites, where you can often find their own team networks.
- ESPN.com – The self-proclaimed leader in sports has an extensive NFL section.ESPN covers the draft intensively, of course, with their own NFL Draft section. This year they are highlighting Todd McShay as their draft analyst in favor of the fool named Mel Kiper. Scout.com provides their player rankings.The site provides plenty of video, of course, but I also like their NFL Blog Network, divided by NFL Nation and then broken down by divisions. Each division is manned by a beat writer who covers the teams within that division.
NFC North is the responsibility of former Vikings beat writer for the Star Tribune, Kevin Seifert. Seifert was a great beat reporter for the Vikes but he’s become less so as he’s been required to cover three more teams. His coverage of the Vikings is better than most national NFL reporters, but not as good as our local beat writers. This is no shot at Seifert; it’s simply a result of being stretched too thin.ESPN.com hides a lot of content behind a paywall.
- Yahoo! Sports – Yahoo’s NFL reporters include Jason Cole, Dan Wetzel and Michael Silver and Matthew Darnell‘s and Doug Farrar‘s Shutdown Corner blog is a consistently great draft read.
- What I like best about Yahoo! Sports, however, is not primarily their editorial content but their stats utilities, specifically their player stats and team stats sections. These tools make it a lot easier getting a sense of other teams’ draft intentions based on what their likely team needs are.
- Sports Illustrated – I use SI primarily to follow Don Banks and Peter King.
- Sporting News – The Sporting News’ War Room draft coverage include insights from former NFL scout/front office exec, Russ Lande.
- Pro Football Weekly – As the name of the publication declares, they’re all about pro football and nothing else. As such, they’re all over the draft with their own coverage.
- ProFootballTalk – Mike Florio is a taste I’ve yet to fully acquire; he’s more likely to annoy than enlighten on purely football topics. That said, PFT is my go-to source to find out what’s going on with the NFL RIGHT NOW. If there’s breaking NFL news, I can rely on ProFootballTalk more often than not to get the gist of the story and to follow links to primary sources. PFT is sorta the Huffington Post of the NFL.The real sweet spot for ProFootballTalk is law and politics. The site is a great resource to keep on top of the politics of the NFL.Law and politics naturally go hand-in-hand but for understanding the legal issues involved in pro football, whether it’s the merits of Jenn Sterger‘s claims against Brett Favre or the ten things you need to know about the NFL’s labor situation, attorney Florio has got your back.
- Fox Sports – Fox features its own Draft Central section that aggregates all their NFL draft coverage but so far it contains only their 2010 draft coverage. Oops. Highlights from Fox Sports includes Jay Glazer‘s coverage.
- CBS Sports – CBS Sports’ draft section highlights NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang as their draft analyst.
The PiPress has got some great Vikings coverage during this slow time leading up to the draft. They check in with Chris Doleman and get his perspective on missing the Hall of Fame this year.
Jeremy Fowler checks in with quarterback Joe Webb, who is bound and determined to win the starting job next season, then he notes that wide receiver Percy Harvin may be working out with Michael Vick this offseason and interviews trainer Tom Anderson, who believes he can train Harvin into the fastest man in the league.
Sign him up.
The Star Tribune‘s Judd Zulgad points out that the Tennessee Titans are interested in bringing in former Vikings head coach and current Bears offensive line coach Mike Tice, that Kevin Williams had knee surgery, and that the Eagles signed former CFL Sacks leader Phillip Hunt, whom the Vikes were interested in.
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY
Happy Belated Birthday yesterday to wide receiver Greg Lewis (31)!