Do you Actually Believe NFL Mock Drafts?
So, yes, for the last couple weeks I've tried to avoid the elephant in the room, it's the end of April, which for football fans means only one thing---NFL Draft.
I'm not going to lie, I do occasionally look at "Mock Drafts" for my favorite team, the Miami Dolphins. And I check out the projections for the local Atlanta Falcons too.
But referring back to the headline of this story---no, I don't believe what I read. In any way, shape or form.
Listen---Mel Kiper Jr, Todd McShay, Jason LaCanfora and the NFL Network guys have made a cottage industry of projecting their thoughts on the draft. Trying to predict who goes where and when.
And for the most part---they're wrong.
The draft rarely plays according to script with trades and the sometimes not-so subtle deception teams use. Uber paranoid coaches and team management will purposely float names they have no intention of picking to clear the way for someone else to be available.
It's a largely mental exercise to try and make sure their guy is available when it comes there turn to pick.
You can keep track of who predicts whom if you'd like, I'd love to see their "Batting Average" or success rate on picks:
Kiper and McShay's picks are HERE (pay wall)
CBS Sports picks them all RIGHT HERE
SB Nation actually did a compilation of everyone's picks and made a projection from the list HERE
Then there is Bleacher Report--though you actually have to do some clicking to get there since they are focused on NBA and soccer coverage
This link will get you to at least 4 of the 800 "Experts" at NFL.com who do "Mock Drafts"....
Yeah, sure, I get it. There are half a zillion NFL fans who fall all over themselves drooling over the "Buildup" to the draft. And for pretty much every team in the league it is important for them to find players to help them fill holes on the roster, strengthen areas of weakness and get them over the hump and into the Super Bowl.
But it also isn't the single, solitary thing which will change your life. There are far, far too many stories of guys who came in as Heisman Trophy guys or workout wonders and they never make it off the bench and become a trivia question a few years later.
There are also guys like Tom Brady who barely sneak into the bottom end of the draft and turn into a generational star. But those are rare.
Bottom line kids is simple: The draft, much like everything else in sport, is not an exact science. In this case it is more like a best guess.
Much in the same way College Football recruiting is a bit of a crapshoot---you have no way of knowing how a kid without much life experience, will adjust to moving to the next level. Jumping from High School to College, you are trying to predict how an 18-year old will adjust to being away from home for the first time.
Not so much in jumping from College to the Pros. But the transition is more abrupt for some guys who go from playing against kids their age---to playing against "Grown-Ass Men" and not everyone is able to adjust.
Which is why trying to predict what happens in a draft can be fun. Don't take it as the "Be All, End All".
I'm sure most of you will probably watch---so pop a can of beer, get some chips, and enjoy...