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Apr 27 / King Kaufman

A couple of ledes that get right to the point

Here are a couple of examples of good ledes I came across today that quickly get to the essence of the story. Both are on the types of stories that are common on Bleacher Report.

This ESPN story by Trevor Ebaugh is about how the position of defensive end has evolved over the years in the NFL. Here’s the lede:

In the modern era of the NFL, no more than seven defensive ends have been selected in the first round in a single year. However, ESPN NFL draft insider Todd McShay projects 11 defensive ends to go in the first round next week, which begs the question: Why the sharp increase? Could it be a cyclical result of the teams’ current defensive ends aging, or an unusually deep pool of standout performers in the college ranks? It’s possible, but the likely answer is something even more radical.

The nature of the defensive end is changing.

Notice how he doesn’t lead with background by, say, explaining why the defensive end position is so important or reviewing the top defensive ends in the game today. He gets right to what he’s writing about, what this piece is about.

Here’s an Andrew Perloff piece on that would probably be a slide show on B/R.

He writes about each of the teams with the top 25 picks and why they might pass on Cam Newton. Here’s the lede:

Cam Newton sits atop nearly every NFL mock draft, but there’s no guarantee he will be the first player selected Thursday night. Jimmy Clausen was on the top of some mock drafts last season. Same with Brady Quinn in 2007 and Aaron Rodgers in 2005. They all fell well below the top spot, and the same could happen with Newton.

No question what the rest of this piece is going to be about, right? Perloff gets some names of former draft day free-fallers into his lede without making that lede nothing but a history lesson. The first name you see is Cam Newton, and that first sentence clearly lays out Perloff’s basic point.