Welcome back to Niners Nation After Dark. Later this week we'll officially be in the final week countdown of the 2011 NFL Draft. The lockout has quieted things down quite a bit leaving us with no free agency or trades to discuss. What's amazing is how this has impacted interest in other areas of the NFL. For example, later today at 4:00pm pacific, the NFL will be releasing the 2011 regular season schedule on the NFL Network and NFL.com.
I know a lot of people are aware of it from twitter, but how many people that normally would be aware of it are surprised to hear me mention this? We'll have an open thread for the schedule release and we'll have the schedule posted as soon as possible thereafter. It's interesting to see the backlash fans have had in often just tuning the NFL out until a deal gets done. I've seen plenty of comments from people saying they've mostly checked out while the lockout continues and we rarely see them around the site. It's a shame the labor dispute is screwing over this website and many others like it.
Speaking of the lockout, the NFL Commissioner is doing conference calls with a few different NFL teams this month, and tomorrow (Wednesday) early evening he'll be conducting one of those calls with 49ers President Jed York and the fans. If you want to take part and ask a question of The Commish, you need to make sure and register for it. I don't know if I'll be able to take part in the call but I'll plan on having an open thread for discussion of the call.
Finally, and unrelated, I wanted to pass along a couple NN links I'd like folks to check out. We run a variety of polls on the site and sometimes people miss them because we've got a lot of content coming down the pike. For earlier today we ran a poll asking people to rank their top five cornerback prospects in the upcoming NFL Draft after Patrick Peterson and Prince Amukamara. We're basically coming up with a positional ranking of different key positions for the 49ers.
The second poll consists of spots 51-55 in our community big board. I know a lot of the names might not be familiar to you, but try and do your best if you get a moment. In the past we've gone all the way to 100, but I'm leaning towards cutting this year's off at 75. I'll probably just play it by ear.