How good are media mock drafts - you'll be surprised! Plus a handful of interesting plus interesting 07 draft facts (1 Viewer)

Geldo

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Last draft there was some really intense debate about how seriously we should take the mock drafts. A lot of people wrote that we draftniks relied far too heavily on 'name' players from big colleges - overrating them and underrating small school prospects or 'best-kept' secret types.

There were a lot of people here who really slated the media drafts, particularly the huge ones with 500+ players saying they could not be taken seriously - so I kept a record of the best-known of them all (ESPN's huge pre-draft prediction) and and analysed how closely their selections tallied with those of the NFL front office experts.

(And before anyone says anything I don't work for or even subscribe to ESPN - I just used their draft card as my primary source last year)

ESPN was almost spot on for identifying the top 50 players! When it was wrong it was normally the GMs who were wrong!

44 of the players ESPN said would go in the top 50, got picked that early. Of those six, three were taken in the next nine picks (51st, 53rd and 59th overall).

The other three were Marcus McCauley (picked 72nd) who played 16 games, made 63 tackles and defended eight passes; Trent Edwards (picked 92nd) who ended up as the starting QB for the Bills achieved a passer rating of above 70 and threw for more than 1600 yards; and Ray McDonald (picked 97th) who had only a bit-part role with the 49ers.

ESPN did almost as well picking the top 100 with a 82 per cent success rate - and again the guys who fell often played like top 100 picks.

Yep, 82 of ESPN's top 100 were taken that early. If you allow a 10 per cent error margin 87 per cent of ESPN's picks were drafted by pick 110.

At least seven players who 'fell' out of the top 100 definitely deserved to be there. They are:

Tanard Jackson, (picked 106) 16 games, 56 tackles, 2 ints and 13 Passes defended.
Aundrae Allison, (146) NFC's top regular kick returner with an avg of 28.7 yards, 1 TD.
Brandon Siler (240) 15 games, 25 tackles.
Stephen Nicholas (109) 13 games, 33 tackles 1 sack.
Fred Bennett (123) 13 games, 62 tackles, 3 ints 2 FF, 14 passes defended.
Mason Crosby (193) 31 of 39 Field goals, 3 successful 50+ kicks.
Brian Robison (102) 24 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 1 FF.

Other key facts:

Only 10 players taken in the top 100 picks of the NFL draft were NOT in ESPN's top 120 prospects.

Only 16 of the players ESPN predicted would be drafted in the first five rounds were not drafted at all.

Only six of ESPN's top 150 prospects were not drafted, five appear to have at least made a practice squad. Of these the best were Darius Walker who played the last four regular season games for the Texans and rushed for 264 yards at 4.6 yards a carry, and Tony Taylor who played 16 games with the Flacons and made 11 tackles.

Got a bad character and a great talent - don't worry the NFL doesn't really care.

ESPN identified 24 of the top 300 prospects as having 'character issues/concerns'. 17 were drafted, three in the first round, one in the second and two in the third.

NFL scouts didn't even care if the players were borderline talents. Four players rated between 250-300 were still drafted, and four who ESPN predicted would not be drafted also got picked (including one by our beloved Saints who made a big thing about character in the run up to the draft).

So basically when you get your hands on those big media draft guides the lesson seems to be - take them seriously, because if the NFL scouts aren't reading them - they're at least picking up the same information themselves.

The cream rose to the top - so unless you were a special teams fan day two was largely a waste of time.

Sorry no amazing revelations here - the best players of 2007 were almost all taken in the first two rounds.

Check out most of the all-rookie teams and the only 'late round' players you'll see making the grade in most of them will be:
1. Trent Edwards QB (round 3)
2. Brian Robison DE (round 4)
3. Clifton Ryan DT (round 5)
Special teamers are a little different of course so it's worth mentioning....
4. Daniel Sepulveda P (round 4)
5. Mason Crosby K (Round 6)

And finally...what the hell do the scouts know....

Marques Colston (round 7 2006); Pierre Thomas (undrafted free agent 2007).
After the debacle of 2007 maybe we should let the (presumably) low-level scout who found these two stunning sleepers take over the whole draft this April.

 
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Gideon

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nice work, but one point

I think there's a general consesus over about 90% of the prospects who would go in the first round (with the error margin there largely compensating for subsequent rounds - ie. guys slipping and guys rising will make it balance mostly) so to say they got it right for who was in the first 50 or first 100 is good, but not totally awe inspiring.

What people are largely interested in is seeing who goes where, and this breakdown doesn't really address how well ESPN did there.
 

SoggyBottomBoy

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nice work, but one point

I think there's a general consesus over about 90% of the prospects who would go in the first round (with the error margin there largely compensating for subsequent rounds - ie. guys slipping and guys rising will make it balance mostly) so to say they got it right for who was in the first 50 or first 100 is good, but not totally awe inspiring.

What people are largely interested in is seeing who goes where, and this breakdown doesn't really address how well ESPN did there.
Great job, Geldo. Like Gideon said, those ranges are broad, but it was interesting to see those percentages that high. Many of those ranked players were shuffled and went to teams not predicted to draft them,so is that an indication of how big a role BPA plays in the draft?

It would be interesting to see how ESPN's top 50/100 stacks up against other mocks, especially Detillier.
 

kooldak

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...And finally...what the hell do the scouts know....

Marques Colston (round 7 2006); Pierre Thomas (undrafted free agent 2007).
After the debacle of 2007 maybe we should let the (presumably) low-level scout who found these two stunning sleepers take over the whole draft this April.
Well....

Except that the scouts who found these guys didn't recommend that they be taken higher. They saw them as 7th and UDFA talent, the same way most people saw them. We were just fortunate enough to be the team that took a chance and selected them late on day 2. We weren't the team that rated them higher than everyone else. :shrug:
 
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Geldo

Geldo

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Well....

Except that the scouts who found these guys didn't recommend that they be taken higher. They saw them as 7th and UDFA talent, the same way most people saw them. We were just fortunate enough to be the team that took a chance and selected them late on day 2. We weren't the team that rated them higher than everyone else. :shrug:
I'm an optimist - I like to think they were playing the old - we know they're great but if no one else does we can sneak 'em in cheap :)

The thing that always surprises me when I analyse the draft each year is how (if you look hard enough) there are always one or two analysts/armchair pundits who spot these guys.

Jahri Evans got rave reviews from one site which said he was an amazing prospect who would be a long-term NFL starter if he got a good mentor and coach.

PFW spotted almost all the great qualities in Marques Colston but were then put off because of concerns over his habit of dropping balls and his courage over the middle (which seem laughable now).

Even I nailed one this year - I checked my notes and found I'd rated Matt Moore as well worth drafting in the 7th round.

But for all that I thought John Abbate would be a starter in our defence by now and was worth a 5th rounder :)

The point about the general shift to BPA is interesting though, I think it means its now harder than ever to guess which player is going where - but perhaps a little easier to tell who is going in what round.

The latter may simply be due to the professionalisation of the college game and the wall to wall coverage it gets. A player like Rueben Mayes running for a gazillion yards in a small college will never go unnoticed in this day and age and escape to round three.
 

sycamoresaint

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i like your point. i tried last year to see what past mock drafts were the most accurate, and i couldn't really find any sites to show projection to reality percentages.
 

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