ST. PAUL, Minn. -- While most college students use spring break to go to tropical places, Shawn Zobel spent his in his apartment at the University of St. Thomas breaking down film of the players eligible for this year's NFL Draft.
Zobel has his fun running his own business, which he started at 17, and his draft website, DraftHeadquarters.com. He breaks down hours of film on hundreds of different players and puts out his own 200,000-word draft guide.
The Minnehaha Acadmey graduate does it all while trying to balance a finance major at St. Thomas.
"In February and March, I go through caffeine like it's my job," Zobel joked.
During that time, he travels to the NFL Combine and the Senior Bowl, using the money he makes off book sales for travel expenses. His profit lines are minimal, but right now, it's about making a name, not making the big bucks.
"In the past five years, I don't make a dime off it," Zobel said. "For me, if I can get an opportunity to work in the NFL, I wouldn't say I would cherish it a little more than others will, but it would mean a heck of a lot more."
But in the business of seeing college talent, one of the most impressive out there may just be Zobel.
In an already oversaturated market of handicappers, accuracy is king. Zobel claims he's averaged more correct picks over the last three years than ESPN pro's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, Jr., including nailing the Vikings pick to take Adrian Peterson in 2008.
So what about this year's purple pick?
"Ideally, they'll take a defensive lineman in the first round where they have a large need and go from there the rest of the draft," Zobel said.
And you can take that to the bank. Because someday, if all goes as planned, Shawn Zobel certainly hopes to.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)