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Old 01-29-2013, 12:56 AM    (permalink
SchizophrenicBatman
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Now on the subject of the forums. I decided to make this a separate post because it's really a separate issues. But the main thing I think a lot of people here either don't realize or don't care about - it's EXTREMELY expensive to maintain a free, public forum of this size. Having the dedicated userbase and ability to get feedback on your content was probably invaluable for Scott as he was building his brand but now it's just a gigantic burden. And now you have new media like twitter and podcasts where you can still get that direct interaction without having to shoulder the burden...

I would be happy with what is provided. Honestly, there aren't many good generic football forums out there. With the exception of one other site I can think of, pretty much everywhere else you can get this type of discussion is either a team specific board or a shoot-off section of a site that isn't even about sports. It is (or at least was) a pretty special community with some good people to chat and argue with. And this is coming from someone who pretty much solely engages on the draft, NFL and college boards. I got a couple other places that pull my social chat interests but those of you who developed relationships in the OT forum that's a pretty sweet perk you owe to the site.

Yea it sucks a bit that with each passing year it seems like we're getting further from the community of years ago but I don't know how much the front site has to do with that. Part of it is just that the discussion is going to be fragmented now that there are more and more draft sites out there every year. Not really much Scott can do about that.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:03 AM    (permalink
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BTW Shane I would really suggest exploring what someone else brought up as far as having another person handle a lot of the grunt work i.e formatting, etc. It should be a mostly repeatable task that honestly a cheap resource abroad could handle, although I am not sure if that is even really necessary. I'm sure unpaid volunteers would pop up even if their access to putting up actual draft info was limited. I'm sure you'd get plenty of queries if you threw up a "Need intern!" ad even if all they'd get out of it is a recommendation from Scott.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:19 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by niel89 View Post
Even still the number of reports is way down in the past few years. Did we even get a top 100 last year? There were plenty of high picks in the draft last year that had nothing in their scouting reports near draft time. What should be the site's greatest asset is slowly dying off. Before if a name was listed in the ranking he would at least have something written down for a report, now there is nothing past the top 5 or 6 guys. Even T.C. Ostrander, the 20th ranked QB, had a report back in 07.
Why would you want to waste your time reading a scouting report of TC Ostrander? Who is that? And why would you expect someone to evaluate that prospect, and then spend the time of writing a scouting report on him when he has almost no chance of success for the NFL? That is a complete waste of time. That contributes nothing towards the content of the draft site. It's not like people are going to have water-cooler talks over TC Ostrander being the 20th ranked QB instead of the 18th ranked QB. No one cares.

I have not looked at the front page of this site in at least three years. I come here for the forums and that's it. I have not looked at Mock Drafts (another huge waste of time), or scouting reports or prospect rankings. The rankings will follow the usual trend that is pumped out by prominate draft sites. You don't ever see Scott make legitimate evaluations. That has always been my problem with the site. Brady Quinn for instance. I had my opinion on him when I ranked between 50 and 60 players in that draft. He was ranked in the late 40s for me. I thought he was one of the worst prospects I saw that year. I followed my gut and ranked him accordingly. That is something that Scott would never do. You don't ever see him rank a top 10 prospect as a second rounder, or a third rounder (and we all know that there are busts every single year). It creates a site that lacks an identity. There is no individual output. It's the same regurgitated stuff that you can find just about anywhere.

I can see where ThePudge is coming from, but at the same time I think he's being immature about it. Not immature in a way that he's acting like a child and complaining in the wrong way, but immature in a way where he's more naive about how the real world works. I don't remember posters by name, but he has always been one of the few posters that stands out. And it's because he would always put out detailed scouting reports (or just general thoughts) that contain great evaluations / reasons for ranking players high / low. He was one of the best posters on this site for a long time. But at the same time I don't think it should be expected that Scott Wright would message you and request that your content be posted on the main site. What credentials do you have? What credentials does Scott have? It's Scott's site so it doesn't really matter what credentials he has, but when you start dipping into the forums and have posters on this site start putting content on the main site, then it looks bad for Scott (not to disrespect Shane, but it is what it is). It becomes an unprofessional draft site with a bunch of unqualified people acting like they're giving expert opinions. I don't have any interest in reading that stuff.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:16 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by SchizophrenicBatman View Post
As a draft fan, what attracted me - and from other anecdotal accounts the reason draftcountdown had been the top unaffiliated draft site for years (google placement aside) was the rankings and short scouting reports. Key being short. They were perfectly designed for quick hit and runs in the internet short attention span era.
I want to echo this as well. I'm really not even interested in detailed reports for most prospects, but just a short sketch of the type of player he is. For a wide receiver; "Deep threat, played spread offense, good agility, capable of making the big play" is about all I'm really looking for before I'm off to Youtube. I think this is kind of an interesting point, because it takes much less time to sketch the style of a player than to really project his pro prospects, and that's what I remember the old scouting reports being like, especially the later-round guys. You'd just see a couple sentences like, "Big back who has a little wiggle but needs to show more toughness for a team to give him a look as a short yardage/goal line back. Might not have the speed to get to the edge consistently in the pros." And then you're thinking, "Ah, ok, I see what I'm getting into here," and you check out some clips trying to figure out on your own if you're looking at a Ron Dayne or an Alfred Morris.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:10 AM    (permalink
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I can see where ThePudge is coming from, but at the same time I think he's being immature about it. Not immature in a way that he's acting like a child and complaining in the wrong way, but immature in a way where he's more naive about how the real world works. I don't remember posters by name, but he has always been one of the few posters that stands out. And it's because he would always put out detailed scouting reports (or just general thoughts) that contain great evaluations / reasons for ranking players high / low. He was one of the best posters on this site for a long time. But at the same time I don't think it should be expected that Scott Wright would message you and request that your content be posted on the main site. What credentials do you have? What credentials does Scott have? It's Scott's site so it doesn't really matter what credentials he has, but when you start dipping into the forums and have posters on this site start putting content on the main site, then it looks bad for Scott (not to disrespect Shane, but it is what it is). It becomes an unprofessional draft site with a bunch of unqualified people acting like they're giving expert opinions. I don't have any interest in reading that stuff.

Believe me, I understand how the real world works. I probably have a better understanding of this site's competition and how competitors operate than anyone here with the possible exception of Scott and Shane. I'm not suggesting Scott should have come down to the forums and offered me a paid writing job. I never said that and I never expected that. My original post did say that I left the SWDC forums because I didn't see that potential and knew I'd probably be better off venturing out. At the end of the day, it is Scott's site and he can run it however he wants. I'm not complaining.

You're opening up a whole other can of worms in those last few sentences. What makes someone unaffiliated with the NFL qualified to give opinions on college players? Experience is important, but how many years does someone have to dedicate hundreds of hours to watching games and taking notes? Is there a definitive line in this day and age? Are you looking at the track record of these NFL Draft analysts - prospects they hit/missed on over the years? What you seem to be suggesting is that if you're not the owner of a website or on television, your opinion must lack credibility. I'm no big shot, I have never referred to myself as an "expert" of anything whether it be tying my own shoes or opening a can of soda. That said, there are former NFL players, employees, head coaches, and famous draft analysts that follow my work. The same could be said about Shane. If you do your homework and you know how to communicate, respect and credibility will follow.

Also, to address your earlier point: why would someone want a scouting report for a prospect like TC Ostrander? First, being able to identify late round talent with upside is an indicator of scouting ability. Players like Arian Foster and Victor Cruz have gone undrafted in recent years but gone on to be studs in the NFL. Having an eye for that talent and putting it down in writing is great. Additionally, when teams pick these players (or sign them after the draft) fans rush to find a scouting report online. More scouting reports = more clicks = more people that could potentially make your site their "go-to" for draft info.

Just one final question. If you haven't viewed the SWDC main page in three years, how can you say additional content from "unqualified" writers makes the whole site unprofessional and less credible? I'm not pushing for Scott to add to his staff, though it's a topic we've discussed in here, but that point of yours confused me.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:25 AM    (permalink
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I think it's very tough to find the right balance between keeping the site going with one clear source etc without some really talented guys feeling alienated due to a lack of recognition.

Scott doesn't owe posters on this site anything. He puts out a free site and has an open forum community which people are free to join and/or leave as they see fit. Because we come on this site and talk draft, pro football, anything and everything in off topic etc doesn't really give people the right to feel agreived, however I totally understand why some people do.

I joined this forum 5 years ago but before that I was one of the many people Shane mentioned who lurked without joining to read the mock drafts and the stuff on the main site. I came across the forums and a while later decided to join because it gave me an outlet to talk about football to people who also enjoyed it.

One thing I like to do is to watch prospects for the draft and also NFL games and give people my opinions on them. That's what I believe these forums are about. At times some of my posts are quite lengthy and include some detail but that is my decision. Likewise it's other people's opinion to make short, concise points, or snarky comments, or post GIFs all the time. The forums are what people come back for. Regardless of the content on the site some people will spend hours each day on this site simply for the forums. Some guys stay in off topic and talk about anything with people they have developed relationships with (and I'm not talking Manti Te'o), some guys tend to stick to team boards, some like to make mock drafts etc. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people who visit this site are not talented enough as talent evaluators, or writers, to produce top quality articles, scouting reports etc that should be displayed on the main page.

I think this is the issue ThePudge has because he clearly is one of the few who is good enough at this. It's unfortunate for guys like him and yfs etc that Scott has made the decision to control the content but those guys are good enough at this to have already had their articles put on websites and you just have to follow them on twitter to see the quality of stuff they put out and their opinions on prospects.

I can fully understand the reasoning behind Scott deciding that he only wants himself and a select few people contributing to the site. Besides the formatting issue Shane mentioned it also keeps the content clean and streamlined. When you go from 1 or 2 contributors to 5 or 6 then a lot of the stuff can get jumbled. There is also the issue that pretty much everything on the site is written by Scott. I am sure he wants to keep it that way to get his name out there more.

However I don't really agree with this decision from a standard of content point of view. In this day and age with the draft becoming more and more popular people can find whatever they want on so many prospects. There are tons of websites simply put up to cover the draft, many draftniks etc are now on twitter etc.

If some guys on here are good enough at what they want to do with evaluations etc then they will have success because of their talent, they don't need to piggy back off Scott. I also don't think that was anyone's plan. In my opinion having other intelligent guys write some articles or mock drafts etc is a win/win for the site. The site gets more content which should bring more traffic, Scott gets more time and the writers get their names out there. The only downside I see for Scott is that is not his name on the piece, but as has been mentioned already Scott is one of the most respected draftniks around so i don't see how his credibility is at stake at all.
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:30 AM    (permalink
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I guess I should also echo that the site content is what brought me here, there were always various things I could check the site content for, and this was 2004-2006. For at least two years I came here for Draft news, info on players, mock drafts, numerous things. Then I finally decided to join the forums and slowly but surely that became the only reason I kept coming back.


I haven't looked at anything on the main site for this website in 3-4 years, and as Scotty said if I want info on a player now I'll just google him and go to another site. What I like about other scouting sites is you will see small blurbs about a player and a date. Like somebody said it doesn't need to be huge and in depth to take up a ton of time but at least something.


Some sites give a few lines before a guys junior year, update mid year, end of year, etc. I can remember for certain the last few years that a week before the draft and a week after there won't even be a scouting report for a player at all. How is that possible for a draft site? Just seems odd I post on a draft site, but if I want a scouting report on a player I have to go elsewhere to find it. I get that more goes into it and Scott can't do everything himself, I'm just stating the facts.


If this forum wasn't here I don't know what state this site would be in. Most other sites I visit regarding football have a good mix between content I consistently check on and read about, and post on the forum, to me it says there is a dis connect if numerous people here don't get anything from the main site.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:58 AM    (permalink
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Damn some people like bbd went in HARD here.
It had to be said. Like, I'm fine with just being here for the forums. I've said that before. I just don't like how there's promises for a better main site every single year, and then it never happens, and theres a new excuse for why it didn't happen every single year.

Just don't lie to me. Don't make fake promises. That's all I'm saying. It's annoying. And we're not stupid.

I want to know what the new excuse is this year why there's minimal content, then followed by "but don't worry change is on the horizon!"

Give me a break. Wake me up when it happens.

Now I understand we're owed nothing and I don't ask for anything. My problem is being promised something then never getting it. That's all. If you can't do it, man up and say you can't do it. Don't lie about it. Or say its coming and then never deliver.

Just say you can't do it. And I'll respect that.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:35 PM    (permalink
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Its pretty obvious that Scott doesn't care about doing the scouting reports anymore. I'm fairly certain he's said as much. They're time consuming, and he'd much rather devote his attention to his podcasts, features, and probably social media/networking. It's probably why he tried to contract it out to that one guy who flaked, despite his unwillingness to have other names attached to his site. I'm certain he possesses an admirable work ethic, but I don't buy for one second he's just too busy to get these reports up. If he was able to have more scouting reports up when he was doing this part-time, then why not now when he's committed full-time? That makes me assume he just has bigger priorities, especially with Shane's testimony that suggests he hasn't gotten lazier as the site has gotten larger.

I don't really care if Scott ever really brings it again, but we should all realize that he's now also a businessman. Not focusing on scouting reports as much is likely a business decision. If they garnered the traffic, and thus had higher importance, then we'd see them. I'm guessing they don't, so why would he bother? I think if this is true, then it should be communicated to us. No more false promises like what BBD is on about.

The only thing that irks me is why Quinton Patton, Scott's umpteenth rated WR, has a report, but not the top rated WR. None of Scott's top ten players are among the very few reports out - Eric Fisher is the highest. Is he just doing these as he gets inspired, or are these certain players easy reports for him? I'm not fully understanding the process as I'd figure the highest rated guys would be the priority.

Oh, and Scott probably doesn't care at all about the forumers, and certainly doesn't feel like he owes us anything. It's nothing personal. We're just not that important because unique hits are probably more valuable than our repeat hits, so I don't see him making an effort to single out our efforts. That became apparent when I helped him and Shane out with transcription work for the Senior Bowl interviews, was promised by Shane that he'd speak with Scott about giving me a footnote thanking me, and then seeing an interview that I spent a large chunk of time and energy putting to writing (for free) completely neglect my existance (which means Scott refused to give me credit or Shane just forgot/lied). This was after my second year helping them, and if they don't even reward a notable poster who legitimately helped them on more than one occassion, then no one should hold their breath for some sort of outlet for posters to be added to the main site of even a forum add-on. As far as we go, we should just be thankful that Scott shelled out for a nice vBulletin forum, because if they had to cut one section of the site, it'd definitely be the forums.
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:49 PM    (permalink
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I agree with a lot of the posts in here, I started coming to SWDC for the site content in my mid teens and found it to be the best content on the net. It was fun to read the scouting reports because the info was detailed but easy to understand for the novice fan. I could take in the information, watch that player and use it as a catalyst to making my own opinion. I would stumble into the forums occasionally to view others opinions but really feared joining because I knew my knowledge wasn't up to snuff. The boards were full of guys who really could debate with detail and kept the forum fueled with conversation.

I eventually found the nerve to sign up and share my opinions, I can still remember my first +rep. The forums are what keep me here, the thrill of being around people who care about football as much and more then I do. Being able to bounce opinions off of people and trying to puzzle things together make it worth it to me. As for the forums slowing down, I think that has a lot with guys taking the next stage in life. Full time jobs, marriage, kids begin to take priority and you see people drop of the map (excluding the hardcore)

That brings me back to my original point that I feel the main site attracts the new blood that eventually trickles through the forums and supplants those who have left for whatever reason. The main site isn't what it was when I first starting researching draft content. I am not going to lie and say this was ever my exclusive draft site but I tend to look elsewhere for content more now then ever. As Shane said numbers aren't going down but that is because SWDC is one of the first hits when you google nfl draft. I'm not sure the site gets as much reoccurring traffic because the site is often left with stale content that doesn't get updated as regularly as people would like.

Personally I like the visual content over the podcast and other audible additions to the site. With a job, child and gf it is much easier to read a streamlined article then listening to a 40 min conversation between Scott and Shane. Maybe they can enlist someone to make a written transcript of the podcast much like the way Scott used to do player interviews and have a tab in the archives. Something else that would be cool and take little work would be posting prospect film and create a forum for guys to discuss the raw tape. That way the site would have the appearance of fresh content and it would generate conversation in the boards.

That being said I still love coming onto the forums and appreciate the work Scott does do with his senior bowl and actual draft analysis. I'm lucky to belong to a good team forum with a group of 5-10 guys that are daily posters and have great resources from opposing teams threads that respectfully cross post to give outside perspective.

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Old 01-29-2013, 12:50 PM    (permalink
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I'm not to much into the mock drafts, but reports used to be good, now there just meh.


Also speaking of HTML coding, really?

Non of the links work on this page.
http://www.draftcountdown.com/featur...tices/Game.php

And when you do click the links, it leads to a player profile page with hardly any info that you would want to find from a scouting/draft website.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:00 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caulibflower View Post
I want to echo this as well. I'm really not even interested in detailed reports for most prospects, but just a short sketch of the type of player he is. For a wide receiver; "Deep threat, played spread offense, good agility, capable of making the big play" is about all I'm really looking for before I'm off to Youtube. I think this is kind of an interesting point, because it takes much less time to sketch the style of a player than to really project his pro prospects, and that's what I remember the old scouting reports being like, especially the later-round guys. You'd just see a couple sentences like, "Big back who has a little wiggle but needs to show more toughness for a team to give him a look as a short yardage/goal line back. Might not have the speed to get to the edge consistently in the pros." And then you're thinking, "Ah, ok, I see what I'm getting into here," and you check out some clips trying to figure out on your own if you're looking at a Ron Dayne or an Alfred Morris.
This is what I would like to see more of, and it made the site popular.

You may get more hits since the popularity of the draft has increased, if you offer more content in the scouting report you may get more hits.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:07 PM    (permalink
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All he needs to do is scouting reports. That's it. It will bring more hits and fresh blood to his website. Then promoting through podcasts, twitter and videos etc will gather even more steam.

How do you expect to maximize your traffic flow on a DRAFT website without scouting reports? I forgot who said it in the past, but it's like having a porn website without the porn.

Makes no sense. People often don't have the patience or time or accessibility (if they're at work) to listen to a podcast. They want scouting reports.

Why do you think ESPN and other outlets offer draft magazines with scouting reports? Why do you think they go off the shelves and make good money doing it? Bc it's in demand.

I don't get why you wouldn't do scouting reports. That's the whole reason why he has a career in this business to begin with, bc he offered scouting reports to start.

Just imagine how much more he couldve grew his brand if he just continued to add content. He'd be a regular on the NFLN instead of a blip on the radar.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:12 PM    (permalink
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and they don't have to be super duper in depth scouting reports either. I mean, it's almost February and there are 6 scouting reports. I mean, I just don't get it. the thread for prospects per report and whole sub-forum were AWESOME. I was so pumped for that. But that died oh so quickly. I mean, just quick blurbs on the guys. You need to scout them anyway to write mock drafts and do the podcasts and everything, why not bang out scouting reports? Update them like nbadraft.net does (someone mentioned that earlier). I mean, aren't scouting reports and mock drafts the MAIN reason people go to draft sites?

These aren't knocks, just suggestions. I remember I came here for Scott's senior bowl coverage of the Brian Leonard year and loved it and have been here ever since. Just, the scouting reports taking such a massive hit to now being like non-existant, is kinda, really sucky
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BTW, if it's 3rd and 97... I'm throwing a screen pass to Brian Leonard and he will convert.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:17 PM    (permalink
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Scouting reports is probably why all of us from 07 and before are here to begin with. That's what lured us to his website.

So why would you stop? Wouldn't you want to bring more traffic to a website that promotes your brand?

I just don't get it. His lack of scouting reports is actually what led to a rise in his competition. He slept at the wheel and gave his competitors a chance to overtake him.

If he really wants to improve his brand, he needs to put a lot more effort into his main site. But if he's content, then just say it. I'll live with that.

But make a stand one way or another. Don't pull a Dwight Howard.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:39 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SchizophrenicBatman View Post
Damn some people like bbd went in HARD here.

My two cents is that this place peaked four or five years ago as an overall site. I don't blame Scott or anyone else for the forums starting to decline, probably because I have a much better idea of the burden it presents than most other users. I do believe the front page content stagnated, eventually got worse and has never really recovered.

As a draft fan, what attracted me - and from other anecdotal accounts the reason draftcountdown had been the top unaffiliated draft site for years (google placement aside) was the rankings and short scouting reports. Key being short. They were perfectly designed for quick hit and runs in the internet short attention span era. Scott basically invented twitter for scouting years before twitter came around. You got just enough information to know what you wanted about a player and then you could move on. Things like the blogs and other long write ups are heavy time investments for a smaller, hardcore (guys like us who post on the boards) audience. I would always read them, but I'm not the typical drive by consumer. The senior bowl week is big and should stay as is. The rest? It's just not as efficient. The scouting reports were the engine of the site and the engine hasn't been pumping lately.

I don't know why or what is spreading Scott so thin recently but pulling the "watching and gathering tape" excuse is weak. He's always had to do that and, if anything, with each passing year this tape should become more accessible. You have numerous people posting full game tapes on youtube - sure, it isn't coaches tape but it's better than nothing and easily accessible. Hell, I remember four (or however many) years ago you had Josh Johnson's entire senior year freely available. A projected late rounder playing at a DII school!

Back in those days Scott would have scouting reports, even if they were short blurbs, for 7th round/UDFA types. I know for a fact once teams started the UDFA free for all and signings started to be announced on team boards all across the web the first place they would come is here to find out if the #37 ranked WR their team just signed might be a hidden gem!

Maybe Scott is selling scouting info on those deep dive players to pro teams (not necessarily NFL - maybe CFL or UFL teams)? Who knows, I have to think there is some reason he was able to do this years ago without another contributor and it can't solely be due to adding podcasts and a twitter account. Especially since the site layout has been the same for years. It shouldn't take very long to put new pages together with the maturity of the site and many unchanged templates that have been reused. If it isn't, something is wrong.

The only thing I'll back up Scott on is his insistence to keep this his site. First off, it's his baby and he can do what he wants with it. And more importantly, I don't want 50 unpaid teenagers cluttering up the site with useless articles or their (inconsistent) scouting opinions. At least I know what I'm getting with Scott and can adjust based off that. This site isn't bleacherreport and it should stay that way.
Good post.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:03 PM    (permalink
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Just a couple of points.

1) Scouting Reports - I think the reason there weren't as many as usual last year has been addressed, i.e. I had brought someone on who was supposed to take over the responsibility but they strung me along and bailed late in the process. Even so I believe Shane and I still knocked out 150+ when all was said and done. That was a one-year setback though and there should be the usual 300 by the time Draft Day rolls around. Look for them to start rolling out in the next week or so. As for why there aren't more now, it's because I actually take the time to watch the prospects in multiple games to cultivate an informed opinion rather than just regurgitating what others say or viewing highlight videos on YouTube. I'd rather take the time and do it right than just throw something up on the site for the sake of being first.

2) Forums - Someone said they wish I was more active on the forums and I would like to be but I think we all saw how that turned out in the Manti Te'o Girlfriend thread. I was bashed and accused of being biased, even though it turns out I was right. That was a perfect example of why I find it's better to just lurk and read than post.

I understand why some were frustrated with the lack of scouting reports last year and nobody was more bothered by it than I was. However, it was beyond my control (as explained again above) and I don't think one lackluster year in more than a decade of coverage deserves the type of vitriol that some have sent my way. I also truly appreciate those who have defended me and I think anyone who has met or knows me will vouch for my work ethic.

As always I want to thank everyone who has frequented this site over the years. I am extremely grateful for your loyalty and I think it will be rewarded with the type of coverage you've come to expect in the coming months. The gameplan is to update the rankings and mock draft to reflect the all-star games then go right to work on adding more scouting reports. That will be the primary focus leading up to Draft Day with the exception of the Scouting Combine coverage.
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Old 01-29-2013, 02:14 PM    (permalink
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That's all that needs to be said.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:23 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by ThePudge View Post
Whoa buddy, hold on there. Are you implying that pursuing dreams of working in the NFL = branching off? And are you also implying that Scott wouldn't have anything to gain by adding thorough, consistent analysis to the website?
Not exactly, but I think it's pretty obvious that no one is going to make the jump from unpaid contributor at Draft Countdown to an NFL scouting department. You said yourself that you're "finally making money." Had Scott brought you on as a contributor, would you not have jumped at the opportunity to go to a competitor's site for pay? That's rhetorical. Of course you would, I wouldn't blame you. With that said, it doesn't benefit Scott to provide a medium for you to get your "break."


Quote:
Step outside the world of SWDC, take a look around at how Scott's competition operates. I'm not telling you to get your draft info elsewhere, just take a look. 95% of draft websites utilize young, freelance writers looking to make a name for themselves. Many are aspiring NFL scouts like myself, others are aspiring sportswriters. While their future goals may vary, it is their efforts that have given a lot of these sites' readers good, consistent analysis. And before you go there, don't even try to give me the quality or credibility argument. Most of these guys put hours of film work in each week and do a heck of a job. Some are better than others at articulating what they see on tape, but there are plenty that can do both ("scout" and write.) Also worth noting, there tends to be fairly little turnover at most of these sites, despite these guys working hours without pay. Loyalty is a pretty consistent theme of these young aspiring scouts, because they (we) are grateful for being given an opportunity.
I actually do get 99% of my draft info elsewhere and have spent quite a bit of time the past few years watching as much college football as I can to formulate my own opinions. You are actually one of the draft guys I respect the most. I follow you on twitter and have asked you questions every now and then. I also read your stuff on Draft Breakdown over the past couple of years and will probably read your stuff on b/r. I'm no Draft Countdown apologist, but I'm being realistic.

I agree about loyalty, which is why Shane is a perfect fit for the site. He has a regular full-time job and has no aspirations of going elsewhere. Like I said in my first paragraph, with your aspirations, you likely would've left the site as soon as a paying job became available. Draft Countdown is one of the most popular draft websites out there. If a popular contributor left for another site, DC would lose some traffic to one of its competitors (even if it wasn't very much).

Quote:
So, would it hurt Scott's business to add more content by way of talented, unpaid young writers/aspiring scouts? Let me answer that question with another: why would it? It would mean changing what SWDC is, and that is what looks to be the problem. In an ever-changing world, NFL Draft coverage has evolved and expanded incredibly. SWDC on the other hand, with small exceptions over the last seven years, has not. The demand for NFL Draft coverage has increased drastically, but nothing on this site reflects that. In fact, dwindling content would suggest the opposite, no? So let me ask you another question: is that good business? Scott is, as you said, running a business. Is he maximizing profits by steering clear of intelligent, passionate young writers?
Again, your situation is different. Maybe you didn't intend it this way, but your initial post came off as being all about you, not about all young writers. Would it benefit Scott to have intelligent, passionate writers write for the site? Almost certainly. Would it benefit Scott to provide exposure to someone who interested in moving onto bigger and better things? Probably not.

Quote:
The self promo comment irked me as well. Bengals.com contacted me last March to write a draft article for their website due to the absence of full-time writer, Geoff Hobson. They did this not because they thought I was a nice guy, but because they valued consistent content to meet the demands of their reading audience. While that was a great opportunity to get my name out there, they wouldn't have asked me to write an article there if they didn't think it benefitted them. It's not how this site works, but it is how the business works. Would you say Shane Hallam has used his role at SWDC as a means of self promotion? I wouldn't. Obviously the role here has made Shane more visible and respected, but is does than mean he is taking advantage of the Scott? Absolutely not.
Again, different situations. First of all, Bengals.com is the official website for an NFL team. There is absolutely no risk for them to allow someone to write a single article for them. As far as Shane goes, I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's a different situation. Shane is where he wants to be. He has a full-time job as a teacher and this place is something he can do in his spare time. He was never looking for self promotion. How can you say you're not? You said yourself that you left here because you needed to reach a bigger audience. If you're not looking to get your name out there or get your works published on established websites, what is your goal?

Quote:
To address your second paragraph, I did reach out to Scott. I never asked him for any kind of writing role, but the fact that I wanted to make a career of scouting/football was something that was communicated. If you saw my post on the previous page, I shared a story about interviews that I conducted when I was 16 that he would not even let me post on the forums.

I understand that if Scott is reading this post, it probably sounds harsh. My intention is not to throw stones. I would not be where I am today if it were not for Scott Wright. While we personally weren't able to interact much, Scott's work was very influential and inspiring for me. I don't read the mocks like I used to, but he does as well a job as anyone out there (as Shane mentioned.) I do not feel cheated by Scott, I left quietly - not in any kind of blaze of glory. I simply wish I'd have gotten the opportunity here, I would not have asked for a dime and I think anyone that knows me understood that. I still have a lot of respect for Scott as a draft analyst, I just hope he takes the steps to show the awesome community here some love.
Again, I hope didn't offend you. I really do respect your work and, as mentioned, your one of my favorite draft guys. I just think your being unfair to Scott.


EDIT: Sorry, this must have been locked while I was in the middle of writing.
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