Well, the real NFL Draft finally took place this past weekend and that means the only thing left to mock are the mock draft picks themselves.
In this brief-running series we’ve taken a look at the mock picks of three professionals (Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com, and Don Banks and Peter King of Sports Illustrated), as well as some dude who thinks he knows what he’s talking about (that would be me), in relation to the Patriots and who those prognosticators thought would be drafted by the Pats.
As I kept mentioning in my earlier pieces anything can and usually does happen in the playoffs and as we saw, if you watched the three-day draft event, the unexpected did happen.
So, let’s see how the mock drafts shaped up to the actual draft picks made.
We didn’t get a chance to go over the final mocks handed in by both Banks and Kiper but I’m going to go with their final mock picks that weren’t talked about in this series. (The) King and I only made one mock draft apiece so those are easy to compare.
All right, let’s do this!
In his final mock draft released before the start of the draft, Mel Kiper Jr. had the Patriots coming away with DL Muhammad Wilkerson from Temple at 17 with their first 1st round pick and with their second 1st round pick of the night at 28, Kiper had the Patriots taking RB from Alabama, Mark Ingram.
Don Banks settled on DE Da’Quan Bowers from Clemson at 17 and Ingram at 28.
We already knew that King’s mock had the Patriots taking Florida OL Mike Pouncey at 17 and then trading their 28th pick to the Tennessee Titans who would take Florida State QB Christian Ponder.
My glorious and most obviously correct, at the time, anyway, mock draft picks had the Patriots taking DE from Wisconsin, J.J. Watt, with their 17th pick and I also predicted the Pats would trade their 28th pick, like Peter King, to the Titans, which they would use to take either TCU QB Andy Dalton or Ponder.
The actual picks? None of us were really on the mark. With the 17th pick, the Patriots took OT Nate Solder from Colorado and then trading out of the 28th spot to the New Orleans Saints to take Ingram.
So, let’s see what we got right…
None of us were anywhere close to picking the 17th selection correctly. King, who picked Pouncey, went 15th to the Dolphins, Watt, who I chose, was selected 11th overall by the Texans, Bowers, who Banks predicted would be chosen 17th by the Pats, went 51 to the Buccaneers, and Wilkerson, Kiper’s choice, went 30th to the Jets.
The second 1st round mock pick at 28 was a mixed bag. Both Banks and Kiper mocked Ingram at the 28th overall pick, but not to the Saints, who traded up to grab him. While (the) King and I both mocked a trade at 28, between the Patriots and the Titans, the trade partners where actually the Patriots and the Saints. And we both had the Titans taking a QB, either Ponder who went 12th to the Vikings, or Dalton, actually taken 35th by the Bengals, not Ingram, who the Saints actually chose.
I think the one thing we can take away from the above mock draft picks is that the only people who know who’s going to be picked are the coaches and general managers of each respective team making the pick. That doesn’t mean partaking in mock drafts is any less fun though.
Mock drafts provide us with a chance to be a general manager and try our hands at one of the toughest jobs in sports. Just because I was absolutely dead wrong in my mock picks this year doesn’t mean I won’t try my hand at it again next year. Bring on the 2012 mock draft season!