Draft Analysts Have No Idea What They’re Doing

As if we needed proof that the three months of journalistic masturbation that leads up to the NFL Draft is pointless, the first two rounds proved yet again that all the mock drafts and preparatory analysis does little — if anything — to make the draft day picture clearer for fans. In fact, if you go by the percentage of picks that ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay — and the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock — get right, you’d be convinced that you, too could be a highly paid NFL Draft analyst.

mark sanchez combine jets draft

(Analysts on Sanchez: 33 percent right.)

How bad were they? Well, as you can see after the jump, there were only three picks in which all three analysts agreed on the selection … and in which they were correct. Mayock was significantly off throughout — largely because he picked the wrong spot for Sanchez, despite being closer to Sanchez’s actual selection than McShay — and McShay had moments where he completely failed to read between the line (despite the fact that both ESPN analysts cleverly adjusted their drafts to include a Chiefs pick of Tyson Jackson).

For the record, here are the official Round 1 picks as they actually happened, while these are the picks that Kiper, McShay and Mayock drew up days before the draft began. What you’re seeing listed below are some of the greatest misses.

  • No. 3 — Kiper: Tyson Jackson (correct); McShay: Tyson Jackson (correct); Mayock: x-Aaron Curry
  • No. 4 — Kiper: Aaron Curry (correct); McShay: Aaron Curry (correct); Mayock: x-Michael Crabtree
  • No. 5 — Kiper: Mark Sanchez (correct, and inspiringly so); McShay: x-B.J. Raji; Mayock: x-B.J. Raji
  • No. 7 — Kiper: x-Eugene Monroe; McShay: x-Michael Crabtree; Mayock: Darius Heyward-Bey (correct, and like the Sanchez pick, inspiringly so)
  • No. 8 — Kiper: x-Michael Crabtree; McShay: Eugene Monroe (correct); Mayock: x-Mark Sanchez
  • No. 9 — Kiper: B.J. Raji (correct); McShay: x-Brian Orakpo; Mayock: x-Eugene Monroe
  • No. 10 — Kiper: x-Jeremy Maclin; McShay: x-Michael Oher; Mayock: x-Michael Oher (actual pick was Michael Crabtree)

As you can see, in the first 10 picks alone,  only three were correctly called by all three analysts. One, No. 10, was missed by all three. Only Kiper batted above .500, and these are the top 10 picks! You know, the ones that are supposed to be the most obvious. As you can imagine, the percentages go way down from there.

So, what should we make of this? Well, we should start our own draft analysis company, that’s what we should make of it. After all, who needs Scouts Inc. when we can do the heavy lifting ourselves … or at least throw darts at a board and get just as close as the NFL analysts.