(Originally published April 27; reposted following a SportsRants server issue.)
In a year where there was not as much interest in the top prospects of the NFL Draft as there have been in previous years (like, oh, say, last year), CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora made the revolutionary decision to tweet all picks in the first rounds prior to their official announcement on the podium.
He had previously forewarned his followers that “I have a job to do and if you don’t want the info, that’s cool, I get it, no one has to follow.” Additionally, Yahoo’s Michael Silver also vowed to live-tweet the NFL Draft as yet-to-be-announced picks were confirmed.
But on Friday night, La Canfora particularly ran into a boatload of trouble. Being first with the information is one thing – but ensuring the information is genuine has to be paramount when you wish to be first with said information.
Maybe it’s the hysteria of the draft, and all the phone calls, that may lead someone to send misleading or incorrect information to your followers (whoever didn’t unfollow prior to the draft, anyway), but even at that climate, you have to be on top of your game. And there were several instances during the second and third rounds that La Canfora lacked mustard on his fastball.
It all started with the very first pick on Friday night by the Jacksonville Jaguars:
Okay – to his credit, it was more of a belief than a bonafide report. But certainly, La Canfora had sources that fed him info that Johnathan Banks (who would be drafted later in the second round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) would be the Jags’ pick.
A little later, La Canfora would have an unbelievable NFL Draft brain fart that just so happened to involve more players named Johnathan. At first, La Canfora reported that the New York Giants took running back Johnathan Franklin. He later recanted that report and announced that the Giants actually drafted defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins – yet in the same tweet, La Canfora insisted that the other Johnathan in this equation (Franklin) would be taken by the Chicago Bears with the subsequent pick – they actually drafted linebacker Jon (short for “Johnathan”?) Bostic instead:
As it turns out, Johnathan Franklin would not be drafted until the back end of the fourth round by the Green Bay Packers (125th overall).
Then, as the third round was underway, when it was time for the Cleveland Browns to make their selection at number 68, La Canfora reported that they had actually “traded down” with the Miami Dolphins in exchange for wide receiver Davone Bess, plus other draft picks. While that much was accurate, the Browns had actually kept their pick at that point and drafted cornerback Leon McFadden:
The Browns would eventually deal their fourth and fifth round picks to the Dolphins for Bess, plus the Fins’ fifth and seventh rounders.
Then there was that awkward moment that La Canfora thought the Dallas Cowboys drafted offensive tackle David Thomas from Miami University:
Of course, there was the usual garden variety tweets from folks venting about how La Canfora (and to an extent, Silver, as well) were “spoiling” the draft with their tweets. But in La Canfora’s case, he was tweeting inaccurate information several times on Friday night. And these tweets were retweeted multiple times, as well. (A collection of some of these tweets follows.)
Perhaps we should give Jason La Canfora the benefit of the doubt, since he does have “a job to do,” after all.
But at one of the busiest occasions of the NFL offseason, the quality of the job being performed matters.
“David Thomas”? Really, Jason?
By the way, Jason was kind enough to respond to our item when it was initially posted, and we thank him for that: