The WIP and CSN talker (on right in photo with Ike Reese) got everything wrong, followed closely by the mock drafts, which were typically 10 percent accurate
By Theodore N. Beitchman
One of the drawbacks of moving the draft from April to May was undoubtedly the level of blather that permeated the airwaves and blog posts with predictions about what would happen.
Of course, no one in Philly blathered more embarrassingly than the tedious and silly Michael Barkann, of WIP and Comcast SportsNet. It’s a good thing he has experts like Ike Reese on the radio and Ray Didinger and Derrick Gunn on TV to keep him honest.
Barkann kept insisting that since Birds coach Chip Kelly had recruited Johnny Manziel for Oregon, only to lose him to Texas A&M, that was a tell that Kelly would draft Johnny Football for the Eagles.
Employing his skills at reading Kelly’s body language and “reading between the lines,” Barkann kept stirring the “Manziel is coming to Philly” pot right up until the draft started Thursday night.
Of course, Barkann was wrong, as he often is.
But no group of “experts” was more spectacularly wrong on a grand scale than the manufacturers of mock drafts.
In the weeks leading up to the draft, avid fans fill the hours studying the estimated 769,000 mock drafts that exist online, eager to learn who their team will take. But after a few hours of Roger Goodell reading names from a podium, almost all of these mock drafts will prove completely worthless.
To determine just how inaccurate mock drafts are, the Wall Street Journal’s Geoff Foster cross-checked the results of Thursday’s first round with the predicted results from 50 prominent mock drafts from draft blogs, national news outlets and local newspapers in NFL cities.
The results were grim. The average mock draft was correct—matching a player with a team in the right draft slot—on 3.92 of 32 picks. If you don’t count the first two picks, which many pundits handicapped, the average number of correct picks was 2.38 per mock draft. The overall winner was year-round draft site WalterFootball.com, which had eight perfect picks.
Before you blame this on trades, though, consider there were four teams that selected in their expected slot that not a single mock draft predicted accurately. The biggest surprise was the Giants. Not only did no one predict they would pick wideout Odell Beckham Jr., but no one even had them picking a receiver.
There were some small triumphs. One mock draft of the 50 accurately guessed that the Jacksonville Jaguars would take quarterback Blake Bortles at No. 3. Fittingly, that prediction was courtesy of Jacksonville.com.