Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Pay attention to pre-draft workouts and visits

The 2012 NFL Draft is just over a month away and teams are beginning to schedule pre-draft visits and workouts with potential prospects.

While this is nothing new, the private meetings and workouts usually give us a good indication of which players teams will target come draft day, especially teams drafting in the top 15.

For the past year, I've kept three of Evan Silva's tweets in my Twitter favorites. Silva is the Senior NFL Editor for Rotoworld and writer for NBCSports.com and Profootballtalk.com. I saved his tweets because they are good reminders as to why it's important to pay attention to these pre-draft visits and workouts.

According to Silva's tweets:
  1. Every player picked in the top nine of the NFL draft had either had a pre-draft workout or a facility visit with the team that picked them.
  2. At least 21 of the NFL's 32 first-round picks had confirmed pre-draft visits and/or workouts with the clubs they were chosen by.
  3. 12. Had NOs on Gabbert, Watt, Pouncey. RT @MattLechner @evansilva re: predraft workouts - how many in the top 15? 

If you had a hard time following that last tweet, that was me asking him how many of the top 15 players drafted in 2011 had pre-draft visits with the team that drafted them. His response was 12 out of 15, with Blaine Gabbert (JAX), J.J. Watt (HOU) and Mike Pouncey (MIA) being the exceptions.

While it's easy to get smoke-screened this time of year, it's important to remember that these pre-draft visits shouldn't go unnoticed.

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