The NFL first round draft came and went and not surprisingly the experts’ mock drafts were quite terrible, much worse than I anticipated. One of my biggest complaints about the mock draft is that the experts can’t predict trades, therefore they have no idea how the draft will unfold. There were 6 first round draft trades during the first round involving 9 teams. Out of the 27 mock drafts, none of them predicted any of the 6 trades. Out of the 27 mock drafts, 14 total “mock trades” were made, none of them were correct. In summary, the 27 mock drafts were 0 for 176 on trade predictions.
I tried to come up with a fair scoring system to grade the mock drafts. The goal of the mock draft is to guess which player each team will select (essentially a matching game). This is based on the knowledge of each teams needs and their draft position. The exact draft number for the player is not the ultimate goal. For example, there were 2 mock drafts that predicted Mitch Trubisky would be selected second overall. Even though he was drafted second, he wasn’t drafted by the 49ers as predicted, so only 1 point was awarded. Contrast this with 14 mock drafts predicting that the 49ers would draft Solomon Thomas, which did happen, although with the 3rd pick. Since they correctly picked the team and their pick but did not correctly predict their draft order they received 2 points. Correct team’s draft pick in the correct slot received 3 points. Since 2 teams (Green Bay and Seattle) traded their 1st round picks for high second round picks I included them in the calculation for a max of 2 points each. There was a total possible of 100 points (3 points per 1st round pick, and 2 points for Seattle and Green Bay’s second round pick).
Out of the possible 100 points, the highest score was 25! Congratulations to Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead. The worst score was 5 and belongs to Josh Norris of Rotoworld, Congratulations you win the Sacko award. On average the mock drafts correctly matched a player to a team only 4.7 times (about 15% correct!!). It’s even less if you take into account trades and the incorrect draft slot the player matched with the predicted team. In other words, the next time you see a mock draft (and hopefully never) just know 85% of it is completely wrong. All of the mock drafts would receive failing grades, 25% on a test is an F no matter what class you take. However, I chose to grade on a MASSIVE curve to compare the experts amongst each other.
The point of doing all of this is to shed some light on how ridiculous mock NFL drafts are. We all know the NCCAA tournament is subject to upsets and just assume that experts’ picks may or may not be right because of the unpredictability. However, with the NFL draft everyone is enamored with mock drafts and seeing who the experts think each team will draft. Countless times you hear Mel Kiper, Mike Mayock, etc. has our team taking this player in the first round and people believe it. Why do we believe it? Well because they and the media proclaim themselves as draft experts and we assume they have all of the information possible. They obviously know a lot about every player in the draft which is great, but when it comes to predicting which team will draft them in the first round they know about as much as you and me. If you are truly an expert in something it is important to recognize what you don’t know. And what experts don’t know is what teams will draft which player and when in the first round. Therefore, my recommendation would be to stop making these mock drafts if you want to call yourself or be known as a draft expert. I feel a little better about them ranking players at each position, I can live with that. I can’t live with tv, radio, newspapers, and all other forms of media reporting an “experts’” opinion on who your favorite NFL team will draft with only a 15% chance of being correct. #STOPTHEMOCK
Final Draft Spreadsheet
Josh Norris, Rotoworld: F (5 points)
Josh fell for the Adam Schefter bait as well (see Mel and Todd’s review) and put Mitch Trubisky #1 to the Browns, big mistake. This was by far the worse mock draft this year and maybe ever. Your mock draft was one of the most insanely idiotics things I have ever seen, at no point in your mock draft were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who saw your mock draft is now dumber for having read it, I award you no points and may God have Mercy on your soul.
Steve Palazzolo, ProFootballFocus: D- (6 points)
Second worse mock draft with only 2 correct matches. He had Christian McCaffrey fall to 23, one of many terrible decisions.
Local Sportscasters, Scripps: D- (7 points)
This combined mock draft was from local sportscasters from all over the country that work for Scripps. This group project resulted in the 3rd worse mock draft but hopefully you got it on TV when you could.
Dane Brugler, CBS Sports: D- (7 points)
Another barely above failing grade with only 2 correct matches. Still unsure how people thought McCaffrey would be drafted ahead of Fournette.
Todd McShay, ESPN: D (8 points)
When you finish your test and turn it in you cannot take your test back and change your answers. Once Cleveland.com reported Myles Garrett will be the first pick, Todd tried to change his final mock draft 3 hours before the draft and remove Mitch Trubisky as the #1 pick. Unfortunately for Todd, there is a difference between a mock draft and reporting the news. You have to own it that you and Mel took bad information from Adam Schefter and changed your final mock draft to put Trubisky first overall. Using reported news 3 hours before the draft to change your mock draft is cheating and should result in an automatic failing grade. Todd, there is no such thing as a final final mock draft, this attempt was denied.
Rob Rang, CBS Sports: D (8 points)
CBS sports had a bad showing all together including this mock draft. 3 correct matches and 1 correct match not at the right draft position. I love me some Taco Charlton don’t get me wrong, but going at 11 was a bit too high.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: D (8 points)
See Rob Rang’s review and subtract the Taco comment and replace with, Davis Webb in the first round??
Charlie Casserly, NFL: D+ (9 points)
2 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position. He had the receivers going early (but to the wrong teams), but I didn’t understand having the Jaguars take DeShaun Watson. The Jags didn’t draft a QB with any of their picks.
Bucky Brooks, NFL: D+ (9 points)
3 correct matches, not good enough unfortunately. Having Mitch Trubisky as the 3rd QB taken in the draft to the Redskins was one of the most incorrect picks.
Mel Kiper, ESPN: C- (10 points)
When you finish your test and turn it in you cannot take your test back and change your answers. Once Cleveland.com reported Myles Garrett will be the first pick, Mel tried to change his final mock draft 2 hours before the draft and remove Mitch Trubisky as the #1 pick. Unfortunately for Mel, there is a difference between a mock draft and reporting the news. You have to own it that you and Todd took bad information from Adam Schefter and changed your final mock draft to put Trubisky first overall. Using reported news 2 hours before the draft to change your final mock draft is cheating and should result in an automatic failing grade, however, instead of failing him we just disregard the updated mock draft. Only 3 correct matches.
Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated: C (11 points)
3 correct matches, plus he had Mitch Trubisky going second overall…to the wrong team. Below average score but enjoyed the Trubisky pick.
Mike Mayock, NFL: C (14 points)
4 Correct matches plus had DeShaun Watson going to the Texans in the incorrect draft slot. I watched his picks live on TV and he seemed almost reluctant to do a mock draft because he said people would give him a hard time for wrong picks, well guess what, you got that correct but no points will be added to your score.
Mike Florio, PFT: C (14 points)
4 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position. Good hunch that the Chiefs would take a QB in the first round, but again, another Davis Webb sighting in the first round was incorrect.
Lance Zierlein, NFL: C (14 points)
4 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position, another average draft. Majorly devalued DeShaun Watson having him going last in round 1.
Chris Roling, Bleacher Report: C (14 points)
4 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position, good call on Garrett Bolles going to the Broncos as most other mock drafts had them taking Ryan Ramczyk. Fabian Moreau probably didn’t think Fabian Moreau would go 14th overall (He went 81st).
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: C+ (15 points)
4 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position plus having Solomon Thomas going 3rd put him just above average. Good call on Adoree Jackson and Charlies Harris, bad call on Carl Lawson in the first round (He went in the 4th round).
Peter Schrager, Fox Sports: C+ (15 points)
4 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position. Nailed Marshon Lattimore to the Saints, had the Cowboys taking Chidobe Awuzie at 28. Good thing for Cowboys fans that Peter Schrager is not the GM since they were able to draft Taco Charlton in the first and wait and still draft Chidobe Awuzie at 28 in the 2nd round.
Peter King, MMQB: C+ (15 points)
3 correct matches and 3 matches in the wrong draft position. Correctly predicted DeShaun Watson to Houston and Patrick Mahomes to Kansas City but was 0 for 2 on “mock trades” and had John Ross as the last pick in the first round.
Nate Davis, USA Today: B- (16 points)
5 correct matches, we are slowly moving up to the B’s. Derek Barnett and Garrett Bolles stood out while like most mock drafts had Reuben Foster going too high at 11.
Dieter Kurtenbach, Fox Sports: B- (16 points)
4 correct matches and 2 matches in the wrong draft position. Howard, Harris and McKinley correct. Chidobe Awuzie and Quincy Wilson in the first round incorrect, have to find out where Quincy Wilson got that shirt he wore on Day 2.
Matt Miller, Bleacher Report: B- (16 points)
5 correct matches, above average grade. One of only 2 mock drafts to correctly predict Jonathan Allen to the Redskins. Unfortunately had Cunningham, Awuzie, Wilson, and McDowell in the first round.
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: B (17 points)
5 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position. Jarrad Davis and TJ Watt picks impressed, Davis Webb to the Saints did not. The Saints did not draft a quarterback in the draft.
Daniel Jeremiah, NFL: B+ (21 points)
6 correct matches and 1 match in the wrong draft position. Enjoyed your coverage on NFL network as well as your picks of Haasan Reddick, Derek Barnett, Adoree Jackson, and Jarrad Davis. Alvin Kamara at 27 was probably the biggest head scratcher.
NFL team reporters, ESPN NFL Nation: A- (22 points)
ESPN had an hour long show featuring the local team reporters from all of the teams picking in the first round. Comparatively speaking they did well, 6 correct matches and 2 matches in the wrong draft position, but still 8/32 is only 25% correct. That’s like putting all B’s on your scantron. Jordan Willis went in the 3rd round not in the 1st round at 31.
John Harris, Washington Post: A- (23 points)
John Harris wins the bronze medal in this competition with 5 correct matches and 4 matches in the wrong draft position, combined that is 28% correct. Watson, King, McKinley, and Watt picks stood out. Malik McDowell at 15 and Dalvin Cook at 17 were reaches.
Drafttek: A (24 points)
6 correct matches and 2 matches in the wrong draft position. What stood out though was that this was the only draft to correctly predict the correct order of the first 4 picks. Granted, 2 of them went to different teams, but still that is progress? It’s amazing to think that no one predicted the order of the first 5 picks. DeShone Kizer at 13 brought this draft back down to earth. Silver Medal winner.
Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead: (25 points)
6 correct matches and 3 matches in the wrong draft position plus having DeShaun Watson at #12 gave Jason McIntyre the 1 point win. He matched 5 out of the first 7 picks. He probably should have had Christian McCaffrey to the Panthers as most other mock drafts did. DeShone Kizer in the first round at 25 was probably the biggest reach. Compared the all the other drafts, much better, but still only 28% correct.
Lowest Score: Josh Norris, Rotoworld: F (5 points)
Highest Score: Jason McIntyre, The Big Lead: (25 points)
Average Score: 13.6
Most Accurate Picks: Myles Garrett (24/27), Leonard Fournette (19/27) Christian McCaffrey (18/27)
Least Accurate Picks: (Corey Davis, John Ross, Malik Hooker, Marlon Humphrey, Evan Engram, Gareon Conley, Jabrill Peppers, David Njoku, Reuben Foster, Ryan Ramczyk)
Lowest total matched player team: 2
Highest total matched player team: 9