Draftnik Madness

Even as baseball season and the NBA and NHL playoffs were in full swing, interest in the NFL was on the rise during Week 17 (04/23) as Fantasy Footballers tried to predict who would go where in the 2006 draft. Over 2 million people hit NFL.com in the week leading up to the draft, an increase of 53% over the previous week. Green Bay Packers fans were particularly interested, with 253,591 cheese-heads visiting their team’s site to determine how Brett Favre’s decision to return might affect who the Pack would choose with its first round pick.

But the interest in the draft only tells part of the story. What happens after the names have been called, the contracts signed, the photos taken? What new talent will college teams recruit to replace the stars they lost? To find out, nearly 800,000 hardcore draft geeks visited rivals.com, a site that tracks the top High School atheletes in the country. Can a grammar school talent evaluation site be far behind?