Mock drafts are difficult, even for the experts

John Fennelly, Lead Writer

As 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.

Michael Stewart
Michael Stewart

With regards to the mock draft. you do your best gathering all the facts, watching video and reading many many scouting reports and get feedback from reliable resources. Aside from that, no one can predict trades (up/down), which absolutely changes the entire formula.


Mike Mayock.was the most accurate 2013 Mock Draft getting 11 Correct compared to McShay 4 and Kiper 1.  He even got Justin Pugh correct for the Giants.

Bottom Line I would look at Mike Mayock Mock Draft before McShay or Kiper

FYR here's Mike's 2013 Mock Draft

1. Chiefs Eric Fisher Correct

2. Jaguars Luke Joeckel Correct

3. Raiders Sharrif Floyd trade to Miami Dion Jordan Incorrect

4. Eagles Lane Johnson Correct

5. Lions Ezekiel Ansah Incorrect

6. Browns Geno Smith Incorrect

7. Cardinals Jonathan Cooper Correct

8. Bills Tavon Austin traded to Rams who selected Austin so Correct

9. Jets Dion Jordan incorrect because of previous trade Dee Milner Incorrect

10. Titans Dee Milner Incorrect

11. Chargers Chance Warmack Incorrect

12. Dolphins DJ Fluker Oakland DJ Milner Incorrect

13. Jets Tyler Eifert Incorrect

14. Panthers Sheldon Richardson Incorrect

15. Saints Barkevious Mingo Incorrect

16. Rams Kenny Vaccaro Incorrect

17. Steelers Jarvis Jones Correct

18. Cowboys Star Lotulelei Traded to 49ers Eric Reid Incorrect

19 Giants Justin Pugh Correct

20. Bears Manti Te'o Incorrect

21 Bengals Eric Reid Incorrect

22. Rams Alex Olgatree trade to Atlanta Desmond Trufant Incorrect

23. Vikings Cordarelle Patterson Somewhat Correct traded down to  and took him

24. Colts D.J. Hayden Incorrect

25. Vikings Sylvester Williams Incorrect

26. Packers Eddie Lacy Correct

27. Texans Justin Hunter Incorrect

28. Broncos Bjoern Werner Incorrect

29. Patriots Xavier Rhodes traded to Vikings Cordarelle Patterson Incorrect

30. Falcons Desmond Trufant traded to Rams Alex Olgatree So Correct

31. 49ers Zach Ertz traded to Dallas Travis Frederick Incorrect

32. Ravens Matt Elam Correct

James D Kimberlin
James D Kimberlin

The thing about a mock draft is you are never off by just 1. the minimum it can be is 2. But every pick affects every other pick on down the line, exponentially. I'd rather see a draft where your picking 3 or for guys at every slot. As an example non of us know exactly which direction the Giants will go but we kind of assume Tackle or TE. Well give us those picks plus a contingency pick or 2 in case the T and TE's are gone...


1. LT- T.Lewan -- DT- A.Donald -- WR- M.Evans

2. C- M.Martin -- TE- T.Niklas -- WR- M.Bryant

3. WR- D.Moncrief -- C- T.Swanson -- CB- S.Jean-Baptiste

4. WR- B.Coleman -- DT- A.Johnson -- C- B.Stork

5. RB- T.West -- RB- C.Sims

5c. CB -- DE

6. DE -- CB