Monday, April 30, 2007

So, How Did Those Expert Mock Drafters Do?

Well, I don't really know. OK, I guess. Depends what your standards are; personally, I think if you devote your year - or, um, your life - to something, you should get at least a 50% return. But that's just me.

If you are using, say, batting average as your standard, the fellas did pretty well (minus one glaring exception). I think guessing who a team is going to pick - in just the first round - is slightly harder than hitting a professional curve ball, but I could be wrong. Doubt it, but I could be.

To see whom Mel, Todd, Pete and Rick thought were the correct first round picks in nice, neat little side by side columns (plus some yahoo blogger's), click here.

So who did the best?

As far as matching the pick with the correct player at the correct spot in the draft (like, say, Russel, at No. 1, to the Raiders; sounds like
Clue) Mel did the best. He perfectly nailed the trifecta on 10 picks, not quite a third of the picks correct. (Start, All Programs, Accessories, Calculator informs me that Mel got 31.25% correct.)

Todd and Rick were right on his heels, correctly identifying 9. Somehow, I guessed 7. Peter King, however, got just 3 right.
Three. Out of 32. I am not entirely sure how that is possible. He does cover football for a living, after all. Keep in the back of your mind: this is the beginning of a pattern.

If we are being a little more generous, and just matching player to team, the scores go up a little bit: Todd jumps into the lead with 11 overall (Jarvis Moss, Reggie Nelson) and Rick ties Mel at 10 (Jarvis Moss). Unbelievably, I also jumped up to 10 correct picks (Quinn, Moss, Nelson) to tie Mel (who didn't get any bonus points).

Peter gets credit for Brady Quinn to the Browns at 22, bringing his first round total up to four. He talks to people that know about this stuff on the phone, right? He is always saying he is. Again, the fact that the most read football writer on the planet could only guess four right astounds me. I still am not sure what to make of this...maybe that during all
those intimate, 45-minute phone conversations he says he is having, he is being like to for 45-straight minutes. By everyone. That's all I can come up with.

Or he is chewing so damn loud he can't hear whatever they're saying. Kellogg's should get him to fill in for that guy who is eating the crunchy cereal and can't hear shit but somehow keeps getting a raise.

Everyone did a pretty good job of identifying those going in the first round. Mel missed 4, Todd 3, Peter 4 (of course) and Rick missed 3. David Harris, Alan Branch, and Chris Houston screwed everyone over, pretty much, and Paul Posluszny was confusing for some people as well.

Who missed most egregiously? Mel had David Harris going 12th to the Bills and he lasted all the way to the 57 picks. He was only off by (hang on...start, all programs, accessories, calculator....) 45 spots. What is that saying about horse shoes and hand grenades? Everyone had him going pretty high, though; Mel just happened to have him going the highest. Still, he screwed up the worst. Such is mocking, I suppose.

To be fair, Mel did nail the first seven picks, in order. No one else did that, so props to The Hair. No wonder h
e had that shitty grin plastered on his mug for the first hour and a half of the draft. Couldn't have lasted too long, though. He got only 3 of the next 25.

The worst pick of the draft goes to Rick Gosselin, who proclaimed that Amobi Okoye was destined to fall to the Chiefs at 23. Points for word association, though. ("Rick, say the first word that comes to mind: Kansas City Chiefs?" "

The worst picks of the draft? Peter King, in a landslide.

I will admit freely that there are terrific football writers out there that I am not aware of. Hey, I wish I knew them (and if you have any suggestions, I am all ears). I was only made aware of Gosselin recently, and I gather that is one of the most respected writers in the biz. So I am not the most informed kid on the block. But Peter King is
the NFL writer, right? He is more widely read and his opinion (on football, not The Sopranos or colonoscopies or double-mocha lattes) is given more credence that anyone else, right? On the national scene, at least?

If any of that is even close to being true, how can he only get the first two right (which were basically written in stone) get the fourth right (carved in wood) and then just take the rest of the draft off? Why even do a mock draft if you have no idea what the hell you are talking about? Why tarnish your credibility like that? Why not just write a column about all the GMs you talked to and their tone of voice during said conversation, make a list of people you want to cheer for, and compare every team to a different piece of food on a buffet?

Hell, just write what you think teams
should do. That might even be interesting.

He seems like one of those Wilbon-type guys who think the draft gets
waaay too much play and that the coverage is excessive, etc. If he abstained from doing a mock, I don't think he'd catch too much flak. And if he did, a simple "Hey, I write about people currently getting paid" would quell most complaints, I think.

But he posted his mock draft, even had it as the lead story on And he got three (or four) right. And if you look closely, he screwed it up even worse than you'd think.

Besides the obvious 1st, 2nd and 4th picks, there were five picks that Kiper, McShay and Gosselin all agreed on: Thomas to the Browns, Landry to the Skins, Willis to the Niners, Timmons to Pittsburgh and Grubb to Baltimore. These were essentially locks; Anytime those three picked the same guy, that's who was actually picked. Money in the bank.

King went the other way on all five of them. Of course he did.

And not even a mention of this catastrophe in his MMQB column. I just don't get it, Peter.

Enough of Peter: are the rest of these guys worth having around? I mean, I never would have come close to getting 10 right if they weren't there listing the highest rated players. So they are good for that, which is something.

But they got 10 right. Just 10. That ain't good. They are good for something to base your own mock draft on, and give you an idea of who is going to go where, but when it comes to bottom lines results, it isn't worth your time reading them. It just isn't. No one got more than a third correct.

My question is this: shouldn't someone ask them about this? Why do they get to perform miserably and then "give their grades" for the next week? Why doesn't someone give them grades? Like, say, some random blogger?

Mel Kiper: F+

Todd McShay: F

Rick Gosselin: F-

Point 23: G-

Peter King: Z------------------------------------

(Aside from making his predictions, which were as good as anyones, I loved Todd McShay. He may not have always been right - I think he was most of the time, for whatever that is worth - but he always gives two or three rational reasons for why he felt the way he did. I don't think you can ask for much more than that from any analyst. Plus, he never just screams at me, which is awesome. He's the best. Is there anyway we can get him to replace Stink on NFL Live? Or Mark May?)

2 comments so far. Might as well add your own.:

grittysquirrels said...

I had a pretty extensive and time-consuming 1st round mock myself and I was ok through like the first 12 picks and then my picks just really fell off the map. With all the trading and whatnot it's just too hard to predict these days.

-The Sports Flow-

point 23 said...

Yea, its impossible...which is why it is crazy to me that these guys get so much play for months before the draft. They end up not even being close AND ruining suspense. I just don't get it.

Here's a question: what is harder to fill out: a first round mock draft or a march madness bracket?