Grading the 2020 NFL mock drafts: How did Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Peter King & other experts fare?

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Grading the 2020 NFL mock drafts: How did Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Peter King & other experts fare? 1

A friendly reminder: nobody knows a thing.

While projecting the NFL Draft is a fun exercise, we simply cannot predict the future. The only way someone would ever get close to figuring the draft out is if one of these analysts actually has a copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac. So, really, there’s no shame in getting a mock draft wrong.

Reminder: A lot of these guys study hours of tape, know the backstories and abilities of hundreds of prospects and play out every imaginable scenario in their head, so it’s not like Daniel Jeremiah and a band of jamokes put out drafts and steal money. 

That all said, as much fun as it is to dissect a mock draft, it’s also interesting to see where mocks went wrong. To that end, more often than not, mock drafts are very, very wrong. The 2020 NFL Draft proved to be fools of us all, once again proving that nobody knows a thing.

So here are some of the bigger mock drafts from the experts and just how wrong they were:

MORE 2020 NFL DRAFT:
Full results | Team-by-team grades | Winners & losers

Vinnie Iyer’s mock draft (Sporting News)

Sporting News’ last mock draft, a three-round edition, was unveiled on April 20. Here’s how the first round broke down:

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Cincinnati BengalsJoe BurrowQBLSU
2Washington RedskinsChase YoungDEOhio State
3Detroit LionsJeff OkudahCBOhio State
4New York GiantsTristan WirfsOTIowa
5Miami DolphinsJustin HerbertQBOregon
6Los Angeles ChargersTua TagovailoaQBAlabama
7Carolina PanthersIsaiah SimmonsS/LBClemson
8Arizona CardinalsJedrick WillsOTAlabama
9Jacksonville JaguarsCJ HendersonCBFlorida
10Cleveland BrownsAndrew ThomasOTGeorgia
11New York JetsMekhi BectonOTLouisville
12Las Vegas RaidersCeeDee LambWROklahoma
13San Francisco 49ers (from Colts)Derrick Brown DTAuburn
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersJerry JeudyWRAlabama
15Denver BroncosHenry Ruggs IIIWRAlabama
16Atlanta FalconsJavon KinlawDTSouth Carolina
17Dallas CowboysK’Lavon ChaissonEDGELSU
18Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)Xavier McKinneySAlabama
19Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears)AJ TerrellCBClemson
20Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)AJ EpenesaEDGEIowa
21Philadelphia EaglesKenneth MurrayLBOklahoma
22Minnesota Vikings (from Bills)Justin JeffersonWRLSU
23New England PatriotsTee HigginsWRClemson
24New Orleans SaintsJordan LoveQBUtah State
25Minnesota VikingsJeff GladneyCBTCU
26Miami Dolphins (from Texans)D’Andre SwiftRBGeorgia
27Seattle SeahawksYetur Gross-MatosEDGEPenn State
28Baltimore RavensPatrick QueenLBLSU
29Tennessee TitansZach BaunEDGE/OLBWisconsin
30Green Bay PackersRoss BlacklockDTTCU
31San Francisco 49ersTrevon DiggsCBAlabama
32Kansas City ChiefsCesar RuizOLMichigan

Picks correct: 6/32

Takeaways: The second half of the 2020 NFL Draft was truly, truly unpredictable, so to see our own misses after No. 11 is no surprise. After all, the draft featured surprise picks like Jordan Love to the Packers and CeeDee Lamb to the Cowboys, so everyone on this list deserves some slack.

NFL POWER RANKINGS:
Buccaneers, Bills join top tier; Patriots, Bears fall behind after 2020 draft

Mel Kiper’s mock draft (ESPN)

Kiper’s final mock draft was released on April 23.

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Cincinnati BengalsJoe BurrowQBLSU
2Washington RedskinsChase YoungDEOhio State
3Detroit LionsDerrick BrownDTAuburn
4New York GiantsTristan WirfsOTIowa
5Miami DolphinsTua TagovailoaQBAlabama
6Los Angeles ChargersJustin HerbertQBOregon
7Carolina PanthersIsaiah SimmonsS/LBClemson
8Arizona CardinalsJedrick WillsOTAlabama
9Jacksonville JaguarsJeff OkudahCBOhio State
10Cleveland BrownsAndrew ThomasOTGeorgia
11New York JetsMekhi BectonOTLouisville
12Las Vegas RaidersCJ HendersonCBFlorida
13San Francisco 49ers (from Colts)Jerry JeudyWRAlabama
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersJustin JeffersonWRLSU
15Denver BroncosCeeDee LambWROklahoma
16Atlanta FalconsK’Lavon ChaissonOLBLSU
17Dallas CowboysXavier McKinneySAlabama
18Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)Javon KinlawDTSouth Carolina
19Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears)Jordan LoveQBUtah State
20Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)Austin JacksonOTUSC
21Philadelphia EaglesKenneth MurrayLBOklaho,a
22Minnesota Vikings (from Bills)Henry Ruggs IIIWRAlabama
23New England PatriotsCesar RuizOLMichigan
24New Orleans SaintsBrandon AiyukWRArizona State
25Minnesota VikingsJaylon JohnsonCBUtah
26Miami Dolphins (from Texans)Josh JonesOTHouston
27Seattle SeahawksTee HigginsWRClemson
28Baltimore RavensPatrick QueenLBLSU
29Tennessee TitansYetur Gross-MatosDEPenn State
30Green Bay PackersCole KmetTENotre Dame
31San Francisco 49ersAntoine Winfield Jr.CB/SMinnesota
32Kansas City ChiefsJonathan TaylorRBWisconsin

Picks correct: 6/32

Takeaways: While some positions were right — the Vikings after a corner back, the Chiefs taking a running back — the spot and players were wrong. The Chiefs took LSU back Clyde Edwards-Helaire with No. 32, while the 49ers traded out of the 31 spot, giving the Vikings that pick, who selected Jeff Gladney out of TCU. In all, a pretty average showing for the godfather of mock drafts. The Mockfather, if you will.

Todd McShay’s mock draft (ESPN)

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Cincinnati BengalsJoe BurrowQBLSU
2Washington RedskinsChase YoungDEOhio State
3Detroit LionsJeff OkudahCBOhio State
4New York GiantsIsaiah SimmonsLB/SClemson
5Miami DolphinsTua TagovailoaQBAlabama
6Los Angeles ChargersJordan LoveQBUtah State
7Carolina PanthersDerrick BrownDTAuburn
8Arizona CardinalsTristan WirfsOTIowa
9Jacksonville JaguarsJustin HerbertQBOregon
10Cleveland BrownsJedrick WillsOTAlabama
11New York JetsJerry JeudyWRAlabama
12Las Vegas RaidersCeeDee LambWROklahoma
13San Francisco 49ers (from Colts)Henry Ruggs IIIWRAlabama
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersMekhi BectonOTLouisville
15Denver BroncosAndrew ThomasOTGeorgia
16Atlanta FalconsJavon KinlawDTSouth Carolina
17Dallas CowboysCJ HendersonCBFlorida
18Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)Xavier McKinneySAlabama
19Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears)Antoine Winfield Jr.SMinnesota
20Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)Brandon AiyukWRArizona State
21Philadelphia EaglesPatrick QueenLBLSU
22Minnesota Vikings (from Bills)Justin JeffersonWRLSU
23New England PatriotsAJ EpenesaDEIowa
24New Orleans SaintsKenneth MurrayLBOklahoma
25Minnesota VikingsTrevon DiggsCBAlabama
26Miami Dolphins (from Texans)Joshua JonesOTHouston
27Seattle SeahawksK’Lavon ChaissonEDGELSU
28Baltimore RavensRoss BlacklockDTTCU
29Tennessee TitansYetur Gross-MatosEDGEPenn State
30Green Bay PackersTee HigginsWRClemson
31San Francisco 49ersAJ TerrellCBClemson
32Kansas City ChiefsD’Andre SwiftRBGeorgia

Picks correct: 6/32

Takeaways: Really, on par with everyone else on this list, McShay got most of his damage done in the first 10 picks. Again, some positions were right, but players were off. Also, McShay was determined to get Jordan Love drafted higher than Justin Herbert. Both were first-round picks, but Herbert went much higher (No. 6 overall to the Chargers).

Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft (NFL Network)

Daniel Jeremiah released his final mock draft on Wednesday, April 22.

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Cincinnati BengalsJoe BurrowQBLSU
2Washington RedskinsChase YoungDEOhio State
3Detroit LionsJeff OkudahCBOhio State
4New York GiantsTristan WirfsOTIowa
5Miami DolphinsJustin HerbertQBOregon
6Los Angeles ChargersTua TagovailoaQBAlabama
7Carolina PanthersIsaiah SimmonsS/LBClemson
8Arizona CardinalsJedrick WillsOTAlabama
9Atlanta Falcons (from Jaguars)Derrick BrownDTAuburn
10Cleveland BrownsAndrew ThomasOTGeorgia
11New York JetsMekhi BectonOTLouisville
12Las Vegas RaidersCeeDee LambWROklahoma
13San Francisco 49ers (from Colts)Justin JeffersonWRLSU
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersJerry JeudyWRAlabama
15Denver BroncosHenry Ruggs IIIWRAlabama
16Jacksonville Jaguars (from Falcons)Javon KinlawDTSouth Carolina
17Dallas CowboysCJ HendersonCBFlorida
18Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)Austin JacksonOTUSC
19Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears)AJ TerrellCBClemson
20Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)K’Lavon ChaissonEDGELSU
21Philadelphia EaglesKenneth MurrayLBOklahoma
22Minnesota Vikings (from Bills)Jaylon JohnsonCBUtah
23New England PatriotsCole KmetTENotre Dame
24New Orleans SaintsJalen ReagorWRTCU
25Minnesota VikingsYetur Gross-MatosEDGEPenn State
26Miami Dolphins (from Texans)Cesar RuizOLMichigan
27Seattle SeahawksTrevon DiggsCBAlabama
28Baltimore RavensPatrick QueenLBLSU
29Tennessee TitansIsaiah WilsonOTGeorgia
30Green Bay PackersBrandon AiyukWRArizona State
31San Francisco 49ersJeff GladneyCBTCU
32Kansas City ChiefsRoss BlacklockDTTCU

Picks correct: 6/32

Takeaways: Of all these mock drafts, Jeremiah wsa the only one who had Reagor going in the first round. Reagor ended up going in the first round, but not to the Saints as was mocked. Instead, Reagor went to the Eagles at No. 21 and the choice was met with lots and lots of criticism.

Peter King’s mock draft (NBC Sports)

Pick No.TeamPlayerPositionSchool
1Cincinnati BengalsJoe BurrowQBLSU
2Washington RedskinsChase YoungDEOhio State
3Miami Dolphins (from Lions)Justin HerbertQBOregon
4New York GiantsTristan WirfsOTIowa
5Detroit Lions (from Dolphins)Jeff OkudahCBOhio State
6Los Angeles ChargersAndrew ThomasOTGeorgia
7Carolina PanthersDerrick BrownDTAuburn
8Arizona CardinalsIsaiah SimmonsS/LBClemson
9Jacksonville JaguarsCJ HendersonCBFlorida
10Cleveland BrownsJedrick WillsOTAlabama
11New York JetsMekhi BectonOTLouisville
12Las Vegas RaidersCeeDee LambWROklahoma
13New England Patriots (from 49ers)Tua TagovailoaQBAlabama
14Tampa Bay BuccaneersJavon KinlawDTSouth Carolina
15Denver BroncosJerry JeudyWRAlabama
16Atlanta FalconsK’Lavon ChaissonOLBLSU
17Dallas CowboysXavier McKinneySAlabama
18Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)AJ EpenesaEDGEIowa
19Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears)Kristian FultonCBLSU
20Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)Justin JeffersonWRLSU
21Philadelphia EaglesHenry Ruggs IIIWRAlabama
22Minnesota Vikings (from Bills)Trevon DiggsCBAlabama
23San Francisco 49ers (from Patriots)Joshua JonesOTHouston
24New Orleans SaintsAJ TerrellCBClemson
25Minnesota VikingsTee HigginsWRClemson
26Miami Dolphins (from Texans)Austin JacksonOTUSC
27Seattle SeahawksYetur Gross-MatosEDGEPenn State
28Baltimore RavensKenneth MurrayLBOklahoma
29Tennessee TitansIsaiah WilsonOTGeorgia
30Green Bay PackersMichael Pittmann Jr.WRUSC
31Dallas Cowboys (from 49ers)Cesar RuizOLMichigan
32Kansas City ChiefsJeff GladneyCBTCU

Picks correct: 9/32

Takeaways: Well, well, what have we here? King has the most right picks with nine, and he gets partial credit for the Lions taking Jeff Okudah, though he had a mock trade happening between Detroit and Miami to get that to happen. He also had the Dolphins taking Austin Jackson, but at No. 26, not 18 as they did.

But King, not particularly known for his mock draft takes, still did best of all the experts listed here, living up to his last name.


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