This is an update of a list I compiled a few years ago of the best online resource I use for those of you who like to research potential Vikings draft picks:
- NFL.com – The NFL, through it’s NFL Network, does a great job of covering itself. Setting aside the obvious self-interests involved, I believe they’ve got a pretty good separation of church and state between their reporting and the league’s business interests. The NFL’s site 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.
- ESPN.com – The self-proclaimed leader in sports has an extensive NFL section, naturally. ESPN covers the draft intensively, of course, with their own NFL Draft section. Todd McShay has been getting more of the limelight in recent years as their draft analyst in favor of the fool named Mel Kiper. Scout.com provides their player rankings. The site provides plenty of video 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; Seifert isn’t bad, just stretched too thin for my likes. ESPN.com hides a lot of content behind a paywall.
- Yahoo! Sports – Yahoo’s NFL reporters include Jason Cole, Dan Wetzel, Michael Silver, Eric Adelson, Les Carpenter and Matthew Darnell‘s and Doug Farrar‘s Shutdown Corner blog is a consistently great draft read.The best thing about Yahoo! Sports, however, is their statistics 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 has his moments–both good and bad–he’s just as likely to annoy as to 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 the site more often than not to get the gist of the story and to follow links to primary sources. Consider it the HuffingtonPost of the NFL.The sweet spot for ProFootballTalk is law and politics. The site is a great resource to keep on top of the politics of the NFL. For understanding the legal issues involved in pro football, from contract negotiation strategies, to owner/labor issues to social issues such as the acceptance of gay players to litigation over brain injuries, attorney Florio has got your back.
- Fox Sports – Fox features its own Draft Central section that aggregates all their NFL draft coverage but it’s still stuck on 2012 right now. Oops. Highlights from Fox Sports includes Jay Glazer‘s coverage.