NFL Draft Line, formerly Huddle Notes, is an NFL Draft blog written by Paul Emery.
Paul proudly flies the flag for the United Kingdom (thus the “funny” spelling!), where the NFL is currently enjoying an uptick in popularity. He first became interested in the sport in the mid 1980’s, as with many at that time watching highlights on Channel 4 and listening to Armed Forces Radio on a weak MW/AM signal from Germany, where it competed with a Spanish opera signal! His early memories of listening to Jack Buck and Hank Stram commentaries remain his favourite of his time following the game.
Having grown up as a soccer fan, supporting Southampton, the premise of the NFL Draft appealed to him right from the start. When college football highlights made their way across the channel, he started to pick out players and follow their NFL careers. Discovery of OurLad’s guides via the old First Down newspaper added to that interest and started his learning curve, which has continued over the years. A Swiss company offering game videos was almost single handedly kept afloat by Paul, as he was able to watch more games than ever before. The creation of a dedicated American sports channel in the UK, NASN (now ESPN/BT Sport), took that to another level still, before improved internet speed opened up smaller schools.
Up to and including the 2009 Draft, Paul mainly kept this thoughts to himself, just posting on the NFL (UK) forums. After winning a blogging contest (the prize being a Tampa Bay Bucs football), Paul was given the chance to write for the Football Diner site, writing for four seasons before it closed its doors. After a year on a couple of blogging platforms, Robby Esch kindly gave Paul the chance to write for Huddle Notes. After two seasons, the site was rebranded to NFL Draft Line.
Historically, Paul has been more about predicting future NFL success than being correct in mocks or top 100’s. Without a scoring mechanism for this, and as the self-admitted worst self-promoter in the world, Paul decided to take the top 100 seriously – if only to get his name “out there” a bit more. His five-year average is better than NFL Network’s Mike Mayock and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay – and ranks sixth using the Huddle Reports scoring. Mock Drafts are not something Paul has particularly embraced, and after another poor showing in 2017, he elected to remove them from the site completely.
Paul’s process is to watch as much tape as possible. His particular love is small schools, as finding that little known player and watching their career develop is fun and rewarding (e.g. Marques Colston and Brandon Fusco). He has developed his own NFL Combine spreadsheet, which he uses to help with his final rankings and top 100. There is no question the “boom or bust” type has given him the most skeletons in his closet over the years! Paul does not know any of the prospects personally, or have any NFL scouting/GM contacts. He therefore does not factor “character”/”off the field red flags” or medical issues into his final rankings.
If you have any suggestions for the site, wish a particular player to be featured, or write for another Draft site and would like a mention – please contact Paul at:
Or via Twitter: @UKDraftFan
Note for Prospects, Prospect’s Family or Agent
I did four honest scouting reports/interviews (like this one) for the 2017 Draft. As I’m planning to watch less tape for the 2018 Draft, I’ll likely stop doing these. However, if no other outlet is helping and there are at least three games available for me to watch, then I can have a look.
Friends of NFL Draft Line