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Deciphering the NFL Draft with News Data

April 27, 2022 (2 min read)

Listen up, football fans. The NFL Draft kicks off on April 28th. Speculation abounds regarding which declared college player the Jacksonville Jaguars will take as the first overall pick. And there’s plenty of churning the rumor mill, analyzing what-if scenarios, and fact checking regarding the other plays and subsequent picks as well. As a result, the worlds of sports journalism and social media are buzzing, with what feels like countless articles and conversations being published and posted by the second.

But hidden within the rapidly accumulating sports analyzes and reporting of professional pundits and hobbyists alike are patterns. Certain topics are rising to the top of the media wave. Others are flying low under the radar, but are forming a pervasive, underlying throughline that could give a sports bettor, Fantasy Football player or even football team trying to strategize for the draft an inside track on what’s likely to happen.

Putting NFL Draft conversations into context

Nexis Newsdesk™ monitors news and media coverage to give users an up-to-date view of which events, topics, and entities are being discussed on local and global levels, and to what length. That includes major sports events like the NFL Draft.

That’s why we created a web dashboard to shed light on the most pressing topics, players and teams in the lead-up to the NFL Draft. There you’ll find interactive charts that put sports media into context, so you can gain fast insight into what’s being talked about and why. These charts are compiled from Nexis Newsdesk to showcase its media monitoring and data visualization capabilities, and they cover a whole range of sports organizations and events – from the NFL and NHL to the PGA and the FIFA World Cup.

Let’s look at some of the topics, themes and takeaways found in NFL Draft news coverage. These findings are based on analysis of pre-Draft activity from 01/01/2022 to 03/18/2022 and 3/18/2022 to present:

  • Defensive players are the focus of this year’s draft with 7 of the top 10 players mentioned after March 18
  • No running backs mentioned with teams in the top 50 overall players
  • Before March 18, media coverage most often associated the top 10 draft prospects with the following teams:
    • Jacksonville Jaguars – Evan Neal (Alabama)
    • Detroit Lions – Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan)
    • Houston Texans – Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)
    • New York Jets – Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)
    • New York Giants – Ikem Ekwonu (NC State)
    • Carolina Panthers – Kenny Pickett (Pittsburgh)
    • New York Giants – George Karlaftis (Purdue)
    • Atlanta Falcons – Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)
    • Denver Broncos – Malik Willis (Liberty)
    • Dallas Cowboys – Kyren Williams (Notre Dame)
  • Following March 18, news coverage shifted slightly and associated the following teams most often with the top 10 prospects as follows:
    • Jacksonville Jaguars – Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan)
    • Detroit Lions – Kayvon Thibodeaux (Oregon)
    • Houston Texans – Kyle Hamilton (Notre Dame)
    • New York Jets – Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)
    • New York Giants – Ikem Ekwonu (NC State)
    • Carolina Panthers – Charles Cross (Mississippi State)
    • New York Giants – Evan Neal (Alabama)
    • Atlanta Falcons – Garrett Wilson (Ohio State)
    • Seattle Seahawks – Malik Willis (Liberty)
    • New York Jets – Derek Stingley Jr. (LSU)

Aside from player and team mentions in the news, Nexis Newsdesk can also help you understand trending topics in the world of sports. For example, the current trending topics are:

  • Concussions
  • Diversity
  • Equal Pay
  • Instant Replay
  • PEDs
  • Player Salaries
  • Salary Cap
  • Ticket Prices
  • Transgender Athletes

See how easy it can be to bring clarity to media coverage. Visit the web dashboard for more NFL Draft news analytics.