I sometimes have to laugh at mainstream media and their insatiable appetite to break a story. They’ll chase any lead, real or false, and then put it out there to give them some kind of competitive edge.
Sometimes the news is real. Sometimes it’s qualified with some cleverly scripted language like, “According to a source speaking on the condition of anonymity…” And sometimes the “news” is intended to throw off a false scent – a red herring of sorts.
Agents will filter news about their clients to achieve a premeditated effect. Some teams might also do the same.
Maybe a team GM knowing that a particular beat writer or columnist has a solid following might let it out that they plan to move up in the draft to select a certain player.
In both scenarios the journalist becomes a pawn in the agent’s or GM’s scheme.
Does anyone really think the Ravens would let out their draft plans in Round 1?
All of this gamesmanship reminds me of snowball fights when I was a youngster. One guy on our side would throw a snowball as high as he could as the “enemy” watched the snowball in flight, the rest of us would throw fastballs hoping to drill them while they admired the lofty toss.
Given the lack of genuine blue chip talent in the 2014 NFL Draft and the plethora of similarly graded players (we’ve seen Sammy Watkins as high as No. 2 and as low as No. 16) expect a ton of smoke and mirror deception prior to this year’s draft.
And all of those mocks will wig out accordingly.
Last offseason I listed the 2012 mock drafts of some well known mockers and compared them side-by-side (see below). It’s interesting to see how these mockers regularly update their mocks even though not a down of football has been played.
Sure I get that they are just trying to factor in the combines, how teams have augmented their rosters through free agency, the reported results of the individual workouts and the rumored visits by draft eligible players to various teams that sometimes never even happen.
Maybe they should do just one mock after all the draft dust has settled, don’t you think? Oh well, I guess it gives us something to talk about other than watered down college hoops and Googling players the Orioles have signed that most have never heard of.
In the comparison below, the players in green represent players that a “mocker” nailed right on the nose (although let’s be real here…EVERYONE knew the first 2 picks); those in red represent players who were picked to go in Round 1 by the mockers but never did; the players in blue were those selected in the first round that none of the mockers projected.
So in total of the 96 mock picks, the mockers hit on 14 (14.6%), 6 of which were gimmies. They made 11 (11.5%) picks that never landed on the day 1 draft board; 4 players were picked that none of the mockers had on their boards (4.2%). In other words, the number of players they all missed on plus the number of players they picked that were ignored by all 32 teams, added up to more than those they hit on even with the gimmies.
Go ahead, mock away!