I promised a diary for my Draft Weekend experience of covering the Titans for Bleacher Report. A couple of days after the end of an orgy, um, bad taste, a marathon, no, too soon, a lot of time writing, I can reflect on the experience of posting 14 articles between Thursday morning and Sunday just after midnight.
Wednesday I had two stories to write. There was a seven-round mock and the “living” article, which was my tracker of all the Titans picks. When I initially got the assignment to do it, the instructions were to post a kind of placeholder for what would be analysis of every pick the Titans were going to make over the weekend. It became a quasi-second mock, as I put a list of four to five players the Titans might take at each pick, some of which were also on the seven-round mock. You may not duplicate content at Bleacher Report, but it’s a blurry line sometimes.
I posted the mock and the placeholder tracker after getting up at 5:30 on Thursday morning. After that, I rested, which means I went to work. The day felt like a holiday as we’ve been waiting for this draft for a long time.
I went down to the man cave and started my first draft evening with a Sweet Georgia Brown. I had an hour until the Titans made their first pick. I kind of cursed to myself when they took Chance Warmack, because I had taken him in my mock. After each pick, I had to update the “tracker” article with the guy the team actually picked instead of guesswork and write an article about the player’s “fit” with the team. I realized pretty quickly that I was not going to really “watch” the draft as much as try to mentally catch up once my writing duties were complete. When the first round was over, I had to complete a mock draft for Days 2 and 3. I started working on the mock early, hoping that the players I selected weren’t actually taken in those last few picks. Only after I submitted the mock, which was completely different than the one I posted that morning, did I hear from the editor that we could keep our mock picks as long as we changed the content. My initial second-round mock of Justin Hunter changed to Tank Carradine. It’s not the first time that I would whiff on a DE pick.
I posted at 12:30, and passed out with draft picks floating in my head. On Day 2 I got up, went straight to work and came home in time to warm up some dinner and turn the man cave back into the writing cave. I didn’t even get to eat the dinner right away as the Titans traded up for the second pick of the day. Justin Hunter, just as predicted. Update the tracker, look up scouting reports for information to make myself sound lucid when writing the “fit” article, post and catch up. I repeated this twice more, and after that got to write a Day 3 mock. Because I was busy writing on the Titans’ third-round compensatory pick which was the last pick of the day, my mock didn’t get posted until after midnight again.
Sleeping in on Saturday was really nice. I didn’t know how long the draft was going to be on the final day. I did get a long break between the Titans’ pick early in the fifth and their late sixth-round compensatory pick. As I waited for the Titans to make their last pick of the draft, I noticed that I had to write an undrafted free agent wish list article next. The problem was, teams were signing UDFAs moments after the draft ended. I had to re-write a few slides before posting. I wasn’t finished yet. I had a post-draft depth chart article due at 7 a.m. on Sunday and there was no way that I was going to be awake on Sunday morning. For the third night in a row, I posted my last article of the day after midnight. I was done. I published 14 articles and more than 50 slides.
What was it like? I recall meeting a friend on Sunday night and not being able to tell him more than two of the players that the Bears drafted. Then again, I probably wouldn’t want to just watch the entire draft unfold. I like having the results in front of me.
In case you are sadistic, here are the articles from this weekend.
Titans 2013 Draft Picks: Results, Analysis and Grades (tracker article)
Titans Final 7-Round Draft Predictions (mock posted Thursday morning)