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Mock Drafts Prove Worthless, Yet Fun

Once the NFL Draft is completed, you rarely hear the track records of the so-called "experts," who predicted time and time again what players would go in what order and to whom. Granted, Mock Drafts usually don't take into consideration the trading that ultimately ends up happening and can significantly alter the selection process. However, we're going to take a look back at the top guys whose ony job is to try to figure out this mess and project which players go to which team and why.

Even if you just stick with our Baltimore Ravens, their picks were amazingly so far off base, mostly because of their trading out of the first round. At the same time, had they stayed at the #25 pick, the guy they said they would have chosen (Tennessee DT Dan Williams) was not on anyone's Mock Draft and the guy they ended up taking in the second round was long gone in pretty much every other Mock Draft you could think of.

The two "Draft Gurus" of the NFL are undoubtedly ESPN's (and Baltimore's own) Mel Kiper and Todd McShay. I just can't put Mike Mayock in this top tier, as he seems to be more of a project by the NFL Network to try to compete with the big boys and is not quite at their level, at least not yet.

It was relatively easy to project the first three picks of last week's draft, and both Kiper and McShay got them right. However, things went downhill sharply from there. No one had the Washington Redskins picking Oklahoma LT Trent Williams over Oklahoma State's Russell Okung. While Kiper did get the first six picks correct, albeit out of order, McShay had the Kansas City Chiefs taking Iowa OT Bryan Bulaga with the fifth pick in the draft and he ended up dropping to the Green Bay Packers with the 23rd pick.

Kiper had the Cleveland Browns taking Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant at #7, but he fell to the Dallas Cowboys, who traded up to grab him with the 24th pick. Likewise, McShay had the Browns taking Tennessee DT Dan Williams at #7, when he would have been taken by the Ravens had we stayed at #25 and ended up dropping to the Arizona Cardinals, who snapped him up right after we traded back with the 26th pick of the first round.

To disparage these two even further (sorry guys), Kiper had the Oakland Raiders taking Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen with the 8th overall pick and he lasted in his free fall until the Caroilina Panthers jumped all over him with the 16th pick of round 2 (48th overall). As far as the Ravens picks ended up, the guy we got with the 43rd overall pick (Sergio Kindle) was projected by Kiper to go to the New England Patriots at #22, while McShay had him going much earlier, 13th to the San Francisco 49ers. McShay also had the Ravens other 2nd round pick (#57 overall), Alabama NT Terrence Cody, going to the San Diego Chargers with the 28th pick of the 1st round, although Kiper correctly did not have Cody being selected on the first night of the draft.

Overall, Kiper got 28 of the 32 picks in the 1st round, but of course not in the correct order. He had Clausen going, but as we mentioned earlier, he feel into the 2nd round. He had the Dallas Cowboys selecting USC OT Charles Brown 27th, but he dropped to the last pick of the 2nd round (64th overall) to the New Orleans Saints. Mel also had USC safety Taylor Mays inthe first round, going to the Minnesota Vikings with the 30th pick, yet he fell to the 49ers in the 2nd round (#44overall).

McShay was worse, with 26 correct and six misses. He had Kindle, Clausen, Brown, Mays and Cody going in the first round. Perhaps the biggest miss of the 1st round in both guy's Mock Drafts was USC DE Everson Griffen, whom Kiper had going 29th to the New York Jets and McShay projected him going to the Patriots with the 22nd selection. However, that sound you heard on day three (!) of the draft was Griffen thudding to earth in the fourth round, the #100 overall selection by the Minnesota Vikings.

In fairness to Mike Mayock, I looked at his final Mock Draft and he got five picks incorrect in the first round, but did get the top 26 right, although in the wrong order. He then missed on five of the last six picks in the 1st round. However, his final Mock Draft was the day before the actual Draft, while Kiper's and McShay's from the Ravens Pre-Draft Media Luncheon Guide was distribute on April 13th and could very have changed significantly in the nine days leading up to the event. For that reason, I did not put Mayock's results in this review.

Giving credit where credit is due, I looked at a total of 20 Mock Drafts that the Baltimore Ravens listed in their Pre-Draft Media Luncheon Guide that they distributed at the event I attended a week or so ahead of the actual 2010 NFL Draft. Of the 20, most were in the 6-8 incorrect picks range in the 1st round, but only Mel Kiper had four incorrect 1st round picks, making him still the uncrowned champion of the Mock Draft.