Tuesday, December 18, 2007

HSS Draft Project

A little something to take your mind off Sunday's loss to the Jags...

Okay, here's the deal: the Bowl season ramps up Thursday (San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia, woo hoo!) and runs through January 7. For me, the second most exciting part of football season is the draft, but I don't get up to speed on all the draft-eligible players until, oh, mid-March or so. Instead of waiting till the last minute, it probably makes more sense to start looking at guys now. And that's where the Bowl games -- and you -- come in.

I don't know how many diehard college football fans we have, but if you're looking for a reason to watch Memphis and Florida Atlantic this Friday in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, I got one for you: a head start on looking at the 2008 draft class, particularly as it pertains to Pittsburgh's needs.

We all know the Steelers' biggest issue -- the offensive line -- but there are plenty of other needs: the next Chidi Iwuoma, depth along the defensive line, at wide receiver, running back, so on and so forth. But because I'm completely unorganized, I don't have a method to this madness. I was going to suggest compiling a master list of which Bowl teams have players NFL scouts are high on, if they play a position of need for the Steelers (yes, whatever the position), and "scouting them" (watching them while drinking beer) during the Bowl game. And while you're at it, looking out for any late-round gems (the next Michael Turner, preferably).

I subscribe to NFLDraftScout.com and it does all the heavy lifting, giving me top players by school, so that makes things a little easier. But if you're not all that jazzed about spending $20 a year for such stuff, we'll need to find other, freer websites that have that info. (Here's the Rivals.com mock draft, which isn't particularly helpful, but it might be a start.) The ultimate goal is that we'll have a much better idea of the players we're likely to hear a lot more about as spring approaches. This time, though, we won't have to take Mel Kiper's word for it.

Anyway, if people are interested, let me know. We'll need to devise a game plan, as it were (no triple-reverse options on 3rd and 1, please). So let me know if a) this doesn't sound like a completely ridiculous idea, b) you'll be watching any (all) Bowl games, and c) any suggestions you might have to streamline this whole production.