NFL Draft 2011: Ranking the Top NFL Picks By Their Social Media Prowess

Jon ParksContributor IApril 25, 2011

SAINT PAUL, MN - APRIL 6: Wide receiver Vincent Jackson (L) of the San Diego Chargers and linebacker Von Miller of Texas A&M, who is entered in this year's NFL draft, leave following a hearing at the U.S. Courthouse on April 6, 2011 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. NFL players have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down last month. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

As draft day quickly approaches, Twitter offers fans the ability to hear directly from the stars of the future like never before, live during the draft.

I decided to take a look at Mel Kiper’s projected top-five picks and rank them on something that no analyst has done to date—their social media skills.

To do so, I took a close look at their Twitter accounts. I started by examining if, in fact it is really them. In other words, have they verified their accounts? I then looked at the number of followers they have and the number of Tweets they’ve published.

Finally, I dissected their recent activity to determine how fan-friendly and how nervous they are about the upcoming draft.

Any questions? Good. Let’s get started…


No. 1 Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

With no signs of free agency opening up any time soon, Gabbert appears to be the QB of choice for the Arizona Cardinals.

If the way Gabbert throws Retweets and replies is any indication of how he’ll throw the football in the NFL, then the Red Birds might have a future Pro Bowler in their sights.

Gabbert uses his account to let fans know what’s going on and makes it a point to help causes he deems worthy by Retweeting them. Blaine is very active with over 1,800 tweets and 15,800 followers.

On Easter, Gabbert tweeted, “I’m about to dominate this Easter egg hunt.” I’m sure the Cards are fine with that, so long as he’s not laying eggs in the NFL.

For his humor, his openness and his numbers, Gabbert earns the No. 1 pick in the Twitter draft.

Followers: 15,857
tweets: 1,831
Verified: Yes


No. 2 A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

Like fellow top-five projected pick, Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green takes the microblogging platform, Twitter, to the extreme with his short two-word responses. A.J. does, however, seem to appreciate the kind words from fellow players and analysts alike.

He has a little more fun with his account, talking about his travels, “I think this whole week I have flown more than most ppl do n their whole life…!!!”

If A.J. is nervous about the draft, he sure hasn’t shown it to his nearly 17,000 followers…yet!

For having the most followers and second-most tweets, A.J. Green is the second pick in the Social Media draft.

Followers: 16,805
Number of tweets: 1,428
Verified: Yes


No. 3 Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

Of the projected top five, Miller definitely stands above the others in his social networking skills. Miller has tweeted over 1,700 times and has the third-most followers of the projected top-five picks.

Miller also lets fans connect with his thoughts with tweets such as, “Wow, the #NFL Draft is 4 days away!!! I’m stomach just dropped! Haha.”

While we’re not sure Miller passed high school English, we’ll go ahead and give him a pass and say he’s nervous/busy/excited.

Plus, those keys have to be awfully small for a 237-pound linebacker with a 9.199” hand size.

For his efforts, Von Miller is the third pick in the 2011 NFL Social Media draft.

Followers: 7,111
Number of tweets: 1,742
Verified: Yes


No. 4 Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

With only 26 tweets, Marcell seems to tweet in spurts. When he does get going, though, he is very interactive with his followers thanking them for their comments and responding to questions all in about two words or less!

The majority of the time, Dareus is a man of few words and could get by on just 14 characters rather than the allotted 140.

Doing more with less is why Marcell Dareus has been selected fourth in the Social Media draft.

Followers: 1,101
Number of Tweets: 26
Verified: No


No. 5 Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Although many, including Mel Kiper, have Cam Newton going No. 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers, Newton isn’t a big tweeter...yet!

Newton sports just 1,715 followers and is keeping his thoughts to himself right now, having not tweeted since April 22.

Cam seems to use his Twitter account more like a MySpace account, to communicate with his female followers and let people know #youdefinatelydeservetobesingle than share his thoughts on the draft or his career.

Because of this social media blunder, combined with having the second-fewest followers and second-fewest tweets, Newton has earned himself a last-place ranking. Then again, maybe Cam has his reasons for being tight-lipped.

Followers: 1,715
Number of tweets: 584
Verified: No

To follow these, and other top NFL draft picks on Twitter, be sure to check out the special NFL draft section of