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4th & Goal Films presents
"Auburn's Jason Campbell was decisive in the pocket, and solidified his second round standing."
DVD ReviewOut of the four major professional sports (and, yes, hockey should still be considered one of those), there is no bigger player entry event than the NFL Draft. The NBA's one probably comes in second as far as overall popularity, TV coverage, etc., but the extent of that coverage is much broader than any of the sports, with ESPN televising all seven rounds from beginning to end. NFL Draft projections seem to come out as soon as the college football season ends, while buzz for the NBA, MLB, and the NHL doesn't build until closer to the event itself.
A lot of videos, analysis, and numerous combines come into play for draft preparation, and now, 4th & Goal Films has brought one of these preparation tools into the football fan's living room in the form of their 2005 Draft Preview DVD. While this doesn't feature any footage from the combines or team workouts, there are bios and video clips of the players that their experts deem the most worthy of using as a high draft pick.
The disc is split up into four sections, but there is also a "Play All" button that will play these sections in order. The Top 32 Prospects are the cream of the crop according to 4th & Goal Films' draft experts. This section provides a list of the top 32 players, and clicking on their name brings up their bio, including a "Play Video" option that features full-motion video clips of that player in action during their college career. Herein lies the disc's major strongpoint, which is the creation of the illusion of being an NFL scout.
Not only can you use the 2005 Draft Preview DVD to play NFL scout, but you can also try and get a feel for what player(s) your favorite NFL team might pick, and who you might want them to choose as well. In the next section, Promising But... I even found some mostly unheralded players that I'd love to see my beloved Oakland Raiders take a chance on with their later-round draft picks, even though they may be a big gamble. The same bios and video clips are in this section, as well as in the next section, Hidden Gems. This group of players consists of those guys that might not make a huge impact in their rookie year, but might be perennial Pro Bowlers a couple of years down the road.
The last segment is a brief look at the Senior Bowl, the annual college all-star game that serves as a huge stage for NFL scouts to evaluate prospects in game situations. I was recently at a dinner with Ohio State Football MVP place-kicker Mike Nugent, where he spoke of the varying importance of the Senior Bowl, and what the consequences may be for a kicker who turns in a shoddy performance. Getting a chance to see a clip from that game put Nugent's words nicely into play in front of my eyes.
Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: B-
Image Transfer Review: All of the full-motion video clips are presented in their original full-frame format, and the quality of the video presentations for the individual clips varies greatly depending on the quality of the different source material that the footage was culled from. There are many sequences featuring faded colors and excessive grain, but images remain detailed during most of the clips. Shadow and black levels were consistent throughout, though.
Image Transfer Grade: D+
Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack does its job, mostly consisting of "NFL Films"-esque music cues and sharp, crisply delivered dialogue. The rear speakers do get a bit of a workout during some of the music cues, but there really isn't much call for a great deal of dynamic range on this DVD.
Audio Transfer Grade: C
Disc ExtrasFull Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 56 cues and remote access
Packaging: Keep Case
Extras Review: There are no extras on this disc at all.
Extras Grade: D-
Final CommentsThis DVD doesn't have any extra features and the audio and video are shaky, but the 2005 Draft Preview does its job of providing a nice, interactive draft prospect analysis tool for the average NFL fan.
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