Even by the lowly, pathetic standards of the mock-draft "pundits," the 2008 NFL draft proved a humiliating experience, with reality pouring its icy vodka martini of truth all over their well-coiffed hair and sheer-thin facade of knowledge.
Now, like all the other hideous creatures in the Star Wars Cantina
of gridiron analysis, we can only point and laugh at them.
Join us, won't you?
Our six resident mock draft "experts" – including some of the most noted national draft "authorities" – combined to nail just 19.9 percent of first-round picks (37 of 186) this year. As we said before, we don't care what line of business you're in, a failure rate of 80 percent does not make you an "expert."
And that was the highlight of their day: Some "pundits" issue mock-drafts beyond the first round. They generally get zero picks correct in any round from the second and beyond.
Of the six "pundits" we looked at, only Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin accurately predicted more than 25 percent of his first-round picks (8 of 31). That's actually something of a vindication for the Cold, Hard Football Facts. We added Gosselin to our mock-draft review list a couple years ago, after he was recommended to us as one of the more consistently accurate mock-drafters in the nation. As usual, our source was correct.
Even more impressive, Gosselin actually has other responsibilities, like covering the Cowboys. Mel Kiper & Co. focus on the draft 24-7-365, yet still have no clue when the real draft rolls around.
We judged only the final first-round mock drafts each "pundit" published on Saturday (or the closest one to Saturday). Here's a look at how these final mock drafts performed:
2008 MOCK DRAFT SCORECARD
Saddest note of the day: our own Bonzo the Idiot Monkey got two picks correct
, and he's an imaginary monkey who pulled names out of a hat. Yet Sister Prisco, allegedly a functioning human with large cranial cavity, got just four picks correct.
We should all have it so good as the mock-draft "expert": if these guys were writing about a coach who won just 20 percent of his games, or a quarterback who completed just 20 percent of his passes, the pigskin "pundit" would be ruthless in his attacks. In fact, the "pundit," as history has proven, would probably make every effort to run said coach or quarterback out of town, as if the guy sitting at the typewriter is the judge, jury and executioner.
Naturally, the "pundit" should be held to the same standards.
But the "pundit" picks are even worse than these lowly, pathetic numbers would indicate. Everybody knew Jake Long was going with the No. 1 pick to Miami because, well, he signed with the Dolphins four days before the draft. Hell, even our own Bonzo the Idiot Monkey got that one right
. And they all predicted Chris Long would go to St. Louis with the second pick.
After that, it was a complete cluster-f*ck for the "pundits," as they combined to accurately predict just 14.4 percent (25 of 174) of first-round picks beyond the second selection.
And all but Sister Prisco accurately predicted that Felix Jones would go to Dallas with the 22nd pick, after the Cowboys telegraphed their desire for the Arkansas running back so loudly it was picked up on the International Space Station. Most also knew that the Raiders would grab Darren McFadden with the No. 4 pick, after Al Davis' love letters to the Arkansas running back were published in the Oakland Tribune.
So, the two Longs and the two Arkansas running backs combined to provide 21 of the combined 37 picks our six mock-draft "experts" got correct. Other than those four players, they were just 16 of 162 (9.9 percent) through the rest of the first round.
Sure, teams jockeyed for first-round position with an unusually high number of draft-day trades. But that's the whole point: nobody knows what's going to happen in the draft, so mock drafts are useless. As always, the Cold, Hard Football Facts confirm the uselessness of the mock draft.
Plus, we give credit to the "pundits" if they have the right player going to the right team, if the teams switch positions. It's only fair. If "Pundit" A says Team B is going to take Player C with Pick 4, and Team B trades down and takes Player C with Pick 8, "Pundit" A still gets credit from us.
For example, most draft "pundits" thought that New England would take Sedrick Ellis with the No. 7 pick and that New Orleans would take Leodis McKelvin with the No. 10 pick. However, the two teams switched first-round positions. The Saints took Ellis, but nobody thought they were going to take him. The Patriots, meanwhile, took Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo. Again, nobody thought New England would take him, either. Clearly, the Patriots didn't want Ellis – as all the experts thought they did – or they wouldn't have traded out of a spot to grab him. Had the Patriots picked Ellis at No. 10, and the Saints picked McKelvin at No. 7, the "pundits" would have been given credit for being correct.
But those are just minor errors. There were some truly major gaffes – places where the "pundits" collectively had no clue what was going to happen. And it all began to unfold as high as Atlanta's No. 3 pick.
Falcons fans are so desperate for a franchise quarterback that they give out hand jobs in dark alleys. Naturally, Atlanta selected Matt Ryan out of Boston College, the top quarterback on the board.
Yet somehow, everybody missed this most obvious pick. Almost all the "pundits" on our board had Atlanta taking LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, with Ryan falling to Baltimore's No. 8 pick.
Bottom line: mock drafts are useless. They serve no purpose. If you want to educate yourself about the draft, study the most highly rated players at each position and then study team needs and draw your own conclusions. Do not waste another second of your life on the mock draft.
They'll only treat you wrong. The Cold, Hard Football Facts, however, will always treat you right ... kind of like a Falcons fan looking for a quarterback.