Today in our Friday Wrap (you can register for it here), we talk to Drew Boylhart of The Huddle Report. Drew and the site’s founder, Rob Esch, do an incredible job of tracking the accuracy of mock drafts and Top 100 lists across the web every year.
In our newsletter, which will be out in less than three hours, we talk to Drew about how the site got started, how the rankings are set up, and who really rocks at predicting who’s going where. As for the Top 100 lists, Boylhart said Bob McGinn, a veteran of Wisconsin newspapers who launched his own site in 2017, excels.
“This year, Bob McGinn got 86,” Boylhart said. “He’s won it three times, and has an 82.8 average. He was in the 13th spot this year with his five-year average, and was in the top five with his board this year. He’s won it the most, three times. He’s able to call contacts and get names. McGinn has a tremendous amount of contacts and he can call them up and get into, just like Gosselin.
“Rob has had lunch a couple times with (Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, who also excels at predicting picks and players), and McGinn is the same way. They really are interested in what they’re doing and they interact with scouts and GMs, and they keep secrets so they can interact with them.”
Though some are better than others, Boylhart said there’s a fair amount of randomness to the mock draft process.
“Rob himself won it one year,” he said. “It’s like the lottery. Anyone can win. You don’t have to be in the system to win. My 94-year-old mother could win.
“Evan Silva (of Rotoworld) did the best this year. 10 matches, which is highly unusual. He got 28 of 32 players in the first round. He did a really good job this year. But many, many times, you’ll do great one year and bottom of the barrel next year. It’s a real crapshoot.”
Tracking consistency has become difficult because so many sites don’t last long.
“The funny thing about them is, these sites go in and out so fast,” said Boylhart, 66. “These guys are dropping off like crazy. Seems like every 3-5 years, they’ll start a site, and most of these guys are kids, and they think an NFL team is gonna notice them, and their friend who went to college with them is an intern someplace, but they get discouraged after five years.
“It’s a lot of work. Most of them have jobs and want to be successful at their jobs, and after three years, its’ not fun.”
He said it’s also hard dealing with the abuse, particularly on Twitter.
“I can’t tell you the stuff they say to me,” said Boylhart of the controversy his profiles have generated. “I had one person tell me I should have been pulled from the womb of my mother because he didn’t like the profile I did. I had a parent call me at midnight, drunk as a skunk. Twitter is a beast. The stuff they say on Twitter, it’s incredible.”
Boylhart said the key to The Huddle Report’s longevity is that he and his partner take things in stride.
“We’re entertainment,” he said. “I have no agenda, I don’t think I’m gonna be hired by a team. I don’t break down film, and I’m not gonna suggest I’m a scout. I’m probably the furthest thing from a scout. I’m a profiler. I try to profile players on whether they’re gonna be successful or not.”
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