Mel Kiper’s Mock Draft is given a lot of attention and while Kiper was major in growing the popularity of the draft, this attention is completely unjust. In my opinion, one that is shared amongst many within the draft community, Kiper has been resting on his laurels and not been doing his job very well at all. It shows in his mock drafts.
Starting with pick number 1
Kiper had Josh Allen, Quarterback out of Wyoming going number 1 overall. This is priceless in it’s comedic value and given the incompetence of the Browns’ organization is not entirely impossible, but given where we are now, Kiper should not be mocking Josh Allen this high, and certainly not ranking him as his number 1 quarterback. There are a plethora of quarterbacks in this draft that are better than Allen right now, and while Allen may have more upside than most of them, he is not anywhere close to as polished as the many other quarterbacks. Kiper said that “the other quarterbacks have warts” and while this is true, if the others have warts then Allen must be a leper.
Leaving out Lamar
This one I can leave to an article that I wrote completely about Lamar, which you can read here.
Kiper has Minkah Fitzpatrick being taken at 6th overall as a cornerback. This probably isn’t smart because Fitzpatrick didn’t play much on the outside at Alabama and if he were elite out there he probably would have. Joshua Jackson is the best cornerback in this class. He is a big-time playmaker and has the length and athleticism for the NFL. Kiper has him as the third cornerback off the board. Big media scouts seem obsessed with Ohio State’s Denzel Ward because he is expected to run a fancy 40 time (in the 4.3’s or possibly 4.2’s) and has very fluid hips. The problem is that Ward isn’t much of a playmaker, isn’t great in coverage, gets bullied at the college level, and is only 5’10” or 5’11”. Ward projects to be a less polished, faster Vernon Hargreaves. Translation: he can be decent, but not someone you want to take in the top 20.
Roquon Smith at Inside
Kiper mocks Roquon Smith to the Raiders calling him a “force in the middle”. Roquon Smith is a really good linebacker and could potentially go in this draft range, but he is NOT a force in the middle and is NOT an inside linebacker. He is not strong enough to get off blocks in the middle of the field. He would be best in a 4-3 scheme as an outside linebacker.
…..and the rest is…..interesting
I honestly have no idea what to say about the second half of this mock because it just makes no sense.
Kiper’s Laurels and Education Yourself on the Draft
Mel Kiper seems to have given up on actually watching film. He makes takes that pretty clearly could not have been derived from film. Kiper, McShay, Matt Miller and the rest of the major media scouts are NOT reliable sources for actual football knowledge. They can sometimes give insight into the thoughts of league sources, but their opinions on prospects are frequently mislead. Good sources for draft knowledge can be seen on SFE’s Harun Muhamed’s twitter account @AboutTheScout but the best way is to simply watch film yourself. My favorite sources outside of the SFE network include Voch Lombardi on Youtube (@VochLombardi on twitter) and Derrick Klassen of B/R (@QBKlass on twitter).
SFE has a couple of it’s own mock drafts by people who actually watch film. Nick Holcolme’s Draft is here. Harun, Jon and I made a collaborative mock here. MJ made his mock draft on youtube here. Enjoy and happy draft season.