John Fennelly, Lead WriterAs the NFL’s mock draft season heads into overdrive (or overkill), everyone becomes an expert on which players will be selected when and by whom. Like the NCAA Final Four brackets, very few come close with their predictions – even the experts.
ESPN has the largest national platform when it comes to the NFL Draft, and their two primary experts, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, have a track record of only around 20% on average. That seems low considering these guys do this year round.
Last year, both analysts were able to successfully identify many of the players that would get selected in the first round, but five draft day trades changed the dynamic of both mocker’s predictions. The final tally was McShay with four correct and Kiper with only one.
The below was based on an ESPN mock a few days before the draft. Keep in mind, Kiper and McShay may have made some changes between the time these mocks were released and draft day.
No. 1: Kansas City: Eric Fisher OT C. Michigan.
Both analysts had the Chiefs taking Texas A&M OT Luke Joeckel. Right church, wrong pew.
No. 2: Jacksonville: Luke Joeckel OT Texas A&M.
McShay mocked Fisher here, while Kiper chose BYU DE Ziggy Ansah.
No. 3: Miami (from Oakland): LB Dion Jordan, Oregon.
Neither analyst had Jordan going this high. In retrospect, I think they were both right.
No. 4: Philadelphia: Oklahoma OT Lane Johnson.
McShay nailed it, but Kiper thought the Eagles would go for QB Geno Smith, who the Jets took in Round Two.
No. 5: Detroit: BYU DE Ziggy Ansah.
McShay was right again. Kiper had the Lions taking Alabama DB Dee Milliner.
No. 6: Cleveland: Barkevious Mingo DE LSU.
Kiper had Dion Jordan while McShay had ND TE Tyler Eifert.
No. 7: Arizona: OT Jonathan Cooper North Carolina.
Kiper had Fisher dropping down to here while McShay picked Jordan.
No. 8: St. Louis (from Buffalo). West Virginia WR/KR Tavon Austin.
Kiper had the Bills taking Cooper here. McShay? Well, he thought the Bills would take Syracuse QB Ryan Nassib. We all know where he ended up.
No. 9: Jets: Dee Milliner CB Alabama.
Kiper and McShay both had Mingo mocked to Gang Green.
No. 10: Tennessee: Chance Warmack OL Alabama.
Kiper had Utah ST Star Lotulelei while McShay picked Milliner.
No. 11: San Diego: DJ Fluker OT Alabama.
Kiper had Lane Johnson and McShay picked Cooper.
No. 12: Oakland from Miami. Houston CB DJ Hayden.
McShay had Warmack going here while Kiper had his teammate Fluker.
No. 13: NY Jets: Sheldon Richardson, DT Missouri.
Kiper: Warmack; McShay: Austin.
No. 14: Carolina: Star Lotulelei, DT Utah.
McShay was correct while Kiper picked Richardson.
No. 15: New Orleans: Kenny Vaccaro, S Texas.
Kiper: Jarvis Jones; McShay: Fluker.
No. 16: Buffalo from St. Louis. QB EJ Manuel Florida State.
Kiper felt St. Louis would take Austin here. McShay thought Buffalo would take a QB in Round One, but not Manuel.
No. 17: Pittsburgh: Jarvis Jones, LB Georgia.
McShay was right again with Jones. Kiper predicted Tyler Eifert.
No. 18: San Francisco (from Dallas): S Eric Reid, LSU.
To be fair, no one saw this coming. The only logic here is the 49ers did not feel Reid would be on the board much longer.
No. 19: NY Giants: OL Justin Pugh, Syracuse.
Kiper: Desmond Trufant; McShay: DJ Hayden.
No. 20: Chicago: OL Kyle Long, Oregon.
Both analysts were thinking LB: Kiper, Manti T’eo and McShay, Alec Ogletree.
No. 21: Cincinnati: Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame.
Kiper: Ogletree; McShay: Cordarrelle Patterson.
No. 22: Atlanta (from Washington via St. Louis): CB Desmond Trufant, Washington.
Kiper and McShay thought the Falcons would be looking for O-line help, but Long and Pugh were gone.
No. 23: Minnesota: Sharrif Floyd, DT Florida.
Kiper knew WR Cordarrelle Patterson was high on the Vikings’ list. McShay felt DT Williams would be the pick.
No. 24: Indianapolis: Bjoern Werner, DE Florida State.
Both analysts had FSU CB Xavier Rhodes going here.
No. 25: Minnesota: S Xaxier Rhodes, Florida State.
Kiper: LB Kevin Minter; McShay: T’eo.
No. 26: Green Bay: Datone Jones, DE UCLA.
Kiper predicted the Packers would take RB Eddie Lacy here. They ended up taking him in Round Two. McShay mocked S Matt Elam.
No. 27: Houston: WR DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson.
McShay had WR Justin Hunter going here. Kiper also had a WR – USC’s Robert Woods.
No. 28: Denver: Sylvester Williams, DT North Carolina.
Kiper: Hayden; McShay: Werner.
No. 29: Minnesota (from New England): Cordarrelle Paterson, WR LSU.
The Patriots once again traded down. Kiper had Patterson mocked to Vikings at 23 so we’ll give him a win here.
No. 30: St. Louis (from Atlanta): Alec Ogletree, LB Georgia.
The Rams continued to upset the apple cart with a trade.
No. 31: Dallas (from San Francisco): C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin.
Had the Cowboys stayed put both analysts felt Dallas would go DT, which is why this pick had everyone puzzled at the time.
No. 32: Baltimore: S Matt Elam, Florida.
Both analysts had the Ravens going safety. Kiper had Jonathan Cyprien while McShay mocked Eric Reid.