Grading the Gurus: Mel Kiper

NFL Draft season is in full swing. Every major outlet claims to have their very own "draft guru" who provides fans with the inside scoop as to who their favorite team will draft. These "gurus" will reference stats, quote sources and break every player down till no stone is left uncovered. These guys can sure talk a good game, but how well do they make picks? The editorial staff dug through the past five years of first round mock drafts from the top "gurus" in the business to find out just how good (or bad) these experts really are.

Part 1: Mel Kiper (ESPN)
First Half (Picks 1-16) v. Second Half (Picks 17-32):
    Kiper is tops amongst his peers at predicting the top picks in the draft, correctly picking 46.3% of the selections. The second half of the draft hasn’t been nearly as kind, however. He is predicting a mere 10.1% of picks correctly. Kiper has had 3 drafts in the past five years with one or less correct prediction. 2009 was particularly tough for Kiper; he went 0 for 16 with his picks in the second half of the first round.

    Come draft day, you can trust Kiper with predicting offensive tackles. He picks the right guy at the right spot 35% of the time and correctly guesses which teams will pick a tackle 57% of the time. Kiper is unreliable in predicting which exact player will be selected at defensive end and quarterback; however, he is effective in predicting which team will select a defensive end (43.5%) or quarterback (46.2%).

    Kiper struggles when predicting wide receivers (17.6% correct) and tight ends (0/4).

Bad Calls:

  • 2007: Brady Quinn (QB) Notre Dame
    • Predicted: #9 to the Miami Dolphins
    • Actual: #22 to Cleveland
    • About: Quinn had one of the biggest draft stock collapses in the history of the NFL Draft, and fans everywhere watched him suffer the humiliation in the players’ lounge. His time in the NFL has been just as humiliating, warming the bench for much of his career and bashing America’s favorite quarterback, Tim Tebow.
  • 2008: Jonathan Stewart (RB) Oregon
    • Predicted: #25 to the Seattle Seahawks
    • Actual:#13 to the Carolina Panthers
    • About: The Panthers at the time seemed to overestimate the value of Stewart, but in return received a running back that has set multiple team records and has become a solid NFL running back alongside teammate DeAneglo Williams.
  • 2011: Cameron Jordan (DE) California
    • Predicted: #9 to the Dallas Cowboys
    • Actual: #24 to the New Orleans Saints
    • About: Jordan was at one point considered the top defensive end, but dropped to #24. His rookie season with the Saints wasn’t that impactful, but he has shown some potential.

Predicted Packers Picks:

  • 2007 (#16): Marshawn Lynch (RB) California
    • Lynch went #12 to Buffalo, four spots before the Packers could select him. Lynch was traded in 2010 and has made a name for himself with his punishing runs and quirky personality.
    • Packers Selected: Justin Harrell (DT) Tennessee
      • When Harrell wasn't on IR, he was effective at making almost no impact on the defensive line. The Packers and Harrell parted ways after four seasons in which Harrell played a total of 14 games.
  • 2008 (None): Packers traded this pick to the New York Jets.
  • 2009 (#9): B.J. Raji (DT) Boston College - Correctly Predicted
    • Day-of-Draft Trade (#26): Clay Matthews (OLB) USC
  • 2010 (#23): Mike Iupati (G) Idaho
    • Iupati was scooped up by the San Francisco 49ers at the seventeenth pick, six picks before the Packers could select him. Iupati has been a solid guard in the NFL and has been a starter since day one.
    • Packers Selected: Bryan Bulaga (OT) Iowa
      • Bulaga has become a mainstay on the Packers' line and looks to have a bright future with the team.
  • 2011 (#32):Danny Watkins (G) Baylor
    • Watkins was selected #23 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles. After being benched to start the season, Watkins finally made his first start in week 5 and played well enough to hold onto his job the rest of the year.
    • Packers Selected: Derek Sherrod (OT) Mississippi State
      • The jury is still out on Sherrod. The coaching staff shifted him to guard in training camp and watched him struggle for weeks hoping he could make the adjestment. They finally switched him back to his natural position of tackle, but limited playing time and a gruesome leg injury leave Sherrod as somewhat of an unknown commodity.

Grade: B-minus
   When it comes to predicting where each player will be selected (adjusted to take draft day trades into account), he holds a 33% success rate. In almost every other profession, getting one in three correct is not a good thing; however, when it comes to draft gurus, Kiper is the best in the business. Kiper also has proven to possess a good sense of what position each team will target; he correctly predicts the position of each pick at a 47% clip (adjusted). Despite Kiper’s annoying attitude and goofy haircut, he is the king of the NFL draft, and has the best rate of correct predictions among the top dogs in the industry.



Kiper is ok .Entertainment factor is good. He completely missed on my boy Sammy Bradford though

How does the article give Kiper get a B minus...vs. a B for McShay and then Kiper gets King of the draft. Shouldn't he receive a higher overall grade than McShay?

You get to me at times because you are so opinionated!

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