Well, folks, after years of grading many of the most well known mock draft "pundits," we think we've finally found the King of the Mock Draft.
His name is Nolan Nawrocki, and he's a columnist for Pro Football Weekly. We'd never included him on our mock draft scorecard in the past, mainly because we didn't know of his success. Our bad. But also because, as you know, with all due respect to Nawrocki, his is not the face shown 24x7 on the NFL Network and ESPN discussing his mock draft each spring.
But maybe it should be. He tied for the top of our list this year, a very tough year for the mock drafters, with 10 of 32 first-round picks correct. Last year, he nailed 15 of 32 picks! That's 25 of 64 (39%) over the past two years. We've rarely found anybody who's hit more than 25 percent over a two-year span, let alone nearly 40 percent.
Nawrocki fans came out of the woodwork this year to champion his cause after we published our 2009 mock draft scorecard in the days before the 2010 draft.
Even his own editor from PFW, Eric Edholm, wrote to us back on April 18: "You guys need to check the record of Nawrocki. Last few years, he clearly has been the best. And he will again this year."
Hey, it ain't braggin' if you back it up.
Nawrocki's fans are international, too. We got this email from Rob Y. of Canada the other day: "First, love CHFF, the most objective and unique football writing on the net as far as I'm concerned. Second, why not add PFW columnist Nolan Nawrocki to your list of mock draft 'experts?' The man puts the arrogant douche bags like Mayock and Kiper to shame."
Well, he's on the list now, folks. Thanks for the tips.
Elsewhere in the seedy underworld of mock draftery, as we noted earlier this year, Kiper actually had a very good year by his lowly standards. He also got 10 of 32 correct. It was a rare year of success for a guy whose mock drafts muddle along the sandy bottom of mediocrity each year.
Kiper also hit the first six picks in a row, but then just four of the final 26. (Thanks to alert reader Ian Baumeister for sending us the Kiper picks, which are password-protected by ESPN ... we refuse to pay for lousy mock drafts. Sorry.)
We're still adding additional results as we go. Peter King of Sports Illustrated, who topped our mock draft scorecard last year, hit 8 of 32 first-round picks correct. Everybody else pretty much sucked.
Cold, Hard Football Facts did its first ever mock draft this year, basing our picks solely on each team's need. Of course, bad teams tend to make back picks, and that was the case this year, too, such as the Lions failing to take a defensive back with either of its two first-round picks.
But, regardless, our mock draft went about as poorly as expected: just 4 of 32 correct. However, that was better than Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, normally one of the most reliable mock drafters in the mockish business. He got just three correct, and one of them was the team he covered: Dez Bryant to Dallas. The Cowboys actually moved up to get Bryant. But Gosselin gets credit for that pick. As always, the players don't have to go in the order predicted by the mock drafters. We give credit as long as the right player ends up with the right team.
Gosselin got Sam Bradford to St. Louis corrrect. But so did our own Bonzo the Idiot Monkey. After the top pick, Gosselin's mock draft was a disaster, as it was for most draft "experts" this year.
OurLads.com is another normally reliable mock draft. It had one of its worst years ever, and by the lowly standards of mock drafts, that's hard to do. OurLads is devoted to the mock draft, and even they got just five correct: the first three, and then just two of the final 29 first-round picks.
We didn't follow the conventional wisdom, because we looked at need. So we got just two correct in the first half of the first round, but also two correct in the second half.
CHFF, King and Kiper all had Florida quarterback Tim Tebow being selected in the first round. Most others saw him falling to the second, third or even fourth round.
We still have a lot more mock drafts to size up today.
Mock drafter
Picks correct
10 of 32
Mel Kiper
10 of 32
8 of 32
Our Lads
5 of 32
Pete Prisco
5 of 32
4 of 32
Rick Gosselin
3 of 32
1 of 32