Interview With A Draftophile: The Art of Uncovering the Small School Sleeper

Rutgers v Ohio State
Rutgers v Ohio State / Ben Jackson/GettyImages
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A lot of your peers in the Draftnik community might refer to you as a bit of a savant with respect to the so-called ‘Small School Prospects’ of the Draft - how did your fascination with this cross-section of the Draft begin?

I have been a participant in Steelers message boards (the predecessor to stuff like Twitter or Reddit, for those of you younger than 50), going back to the stone age of the internet--and the site I run had a collection of diehard fans of the draft. Like, guys who were every bit as informed and great at it as the Joel Buchsbaums of the world.

They started a message board draft that I continue to put on 20 years later, and I jumped in to be one of the drafting GMs. They absolutely destroyed me and ridiculed my picks the first year, and I realized a lot of my info was old or I just fell for hype-- in general I immediately realized that I needed an edge if I was going to hang with guys who knew a lot more than I did.

I figured I wasn't ever going to have as much knowledge about the big-name prospects and schools as they would, but maybe I could find some bargains and lesser-known guys. Of course, they made fun of me for that, at first, but even the most anti-small school and sleeper type on there was won over when he realized he had ridiculed me for drafting JC Tretter from Cornell at the same pick the Packers used to acquire him and then seeing he was a terrific NFL player. The rest is history.