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Draft Chatter: Where do mock drafts go wrong?

Apr 25, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

Goodell-at-NFL-draft

This is the time of year where we hear many firm declarations by draft prognosticators, both paid and unpaid, about what will unfold when the draft starts.

“There’s no chance that Player X gets past Team Y.”

“He’s a surefire first-round talent.”

“Team A has absolutely no interest in player B; he’s not a fit for them.

Then the draft starts and Team Y bypasses Player X, Mr. Surefire gets taken somewhere in the third round, and Team A trades up to make sure it gets Player B.

And this isn’t because the Mel Kipers and Mike Mayocks of the world are dumb. It’s just that they can’t possibly know everything.

In an article on the National Football Post, agent Jack Bechta outlines a few things that cause players to rise or drop on draft boards. And he’s talking about the real draft boards, the 32 that reside in NFL team facilities, not in the home office or basement of some self-styled draft “expert”.

Medical condition—Players’ medical data from college, from the combine, and from visits to individual teams is supposed to be kept confidential. Usually, it is. That will often explain why that “surefire” first rounder languishes on the board until Saturday.

Character—There is more to character than just staying off of the police blotters. Work ethic and love of the game are variables that count a lot in the eyes of some teams. NFL teams have the resources to dig deep into the backgrounds of potential draft picks. Draftniks, even those who work for major media outlets, don’t.

Football IQ and fit—Many pros who work for teams have difficulty figuring this out for their own teams. “Most draftniks don’t have the personal experience and football IQ to project a player to be a fit for all 32 teams,” said Bechta.

There are more details in the post, take a look.

  1. kenlinkins - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    Oh sure, now you tell me (after about 600 mock simulator runs). They were fun and gave me some insight into what go’s on in an NFL War Room on draft day. I am sure that no one has ever had even the first two rounds 100% correct. Oh wait, maybe you did tell me, like about five times a week since Feb 1, 2014. Rich, IYO Which on the three listed carries the most weight with GM’s?

    • Rich Tandler - Apr 25, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Injuries. If they think the risk is too high they other factors don’t really matter.

      > >

      • alextwrs - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:28 PM

        It’s crazy because c Thompson, reed and b Jenkins came in injured. I remember telling my buddies about who we drafted and someone said it sounds like we drafted a bunch of injury problems but then I said that’s why they fell tibia because the Lu were hurt. Omen panned out of the three year one, not high on c Thompson, but i love b Jenkins off the edge.

        • alextwrs - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:29 PM

          Sorry for the autocorrect can’t stand touch phones

  2. jaxjoe - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    For me, Football IQ tops forty times and height / weight stats. That’s why I like the David Amerson and Phil Buchanon picks last year. A guy with that many interceptions is a man who is smarter than athletically gifted. Senses where the play is going, senses where the ball is, and makes a play.

    A more current example is Rashede Hageman being mocked to go mid to late first round. If you look at game tape on DraftBreakdown.com it’s astonishing what little plays this guy makes. But because most “unpaid” amateurs fall in love with a guys height / weight and 40 yd times, he’s obviously a first rounder, right?

    Then you go look at game tape of a guy like DaQuan Jones from Penn St playing in the same division and this guy, who up until a month ago was mocked as a late fourth rounder, is all over the field making plat after play. What gives?

    Another player I see as drafting higher than mocks is Max Bullough. Academic Big Ten, finalist up to the Butkus award, great size, etc., yet he’s projected as a seventh rounder? Sheesh.

    Look out for DT/NT Ryan Carrethers too. I think he’s one of the strongest players in the combine. Is described at NFL.com/combine as he can move houses. That’s the kind of guy I want in the middle; especially if he’s slated to go in the sixth.

    • jaxjoe - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:32 PM

      I meant Phil Thomas.

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