They're fun. They give you an idea of what players might get selected in the first round. But ultimately, they are mostly wrong.
We're talking about mock drafts. Yes, they give us a gauge. And the media loves the clicks they generate. But the information is at best based on semi-educated hunches more than what's really on the draft boards of NFL teams.
There are multiple reasons why you should take their info with a grain of salt.
According to NFL.com there have been an average of six trades in the first round on opening night of the draft in the last decade. This doesn't include trades in the years, months and weeks heading into the first round. This means the mock you read is likely wrong the moment the first trade occurs.
2. Multiple Mocks
This is like filling out several NCAA Tournament brackets. How can you claim you 'got it right' if you take five shots at it? I understand how things change with Pro Days (do they really though?). Stick to your guns and see how you do.
3. Consider the Source
It's one thing if you read a mock from a guy like John Harris, who played, coached and watches more video than TMZ staffers combing through celebrity social media. But a lot of the mock draft writers are just scribes who saw games on ESPN and are ready to overuse phrases like 'twitch' and 'stiff hips' to attempt to prove their knowledge.
4. 'Sources' Might Have Ulterior Motives
Let's say a writer gets a tip from a GM about a top player on their board. Who's to say the GM isn't trying to sandbag to generate trade interest or deflect from their real choice? I just read a Bleacher Report mock from 2014 that had Teddy Bridgewater going to Jacksonville at number three and Johnny Manziel to the Browns at 4th overall. A 2018 mock had Sam Darnold to the Browns at number 1.
If you're bored and want entertainment, go back and Google old mocks. Wrong picks for days! It's really entertaining to see what might have been. And you get how difficult this stuff really is to predict.
Of course I'm still working on my final VanderMock and always encourage you to check out the John Harris mock. Because, hey, you never know – we might get it right!
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