2017 NFL Mock Draft Recap: Which Experts Are The Realest?
Do you want to know which experts you should listen to for your 2018 NFL Mock Draft? So do I. That’s why I’m not just content to have some publication or some company tell me that their guy is an expert- I test them. I want to know how all the experts stack up, when their 2017 NFL mock drafts are entered into Thunderdome.
In this case, 40 experts enter… 1 expert leaves.
I dug up 40 of the most respected voices (well, 39 respected voices and my little voice thrown in to help everyone else with the curve) in mock draftology and ran their final mock drafts through our official scoring system to see who was the best. Who was the worst? And what were some notable picks these guys could hang their hats on?
For the sake of suspense, I will start with the LOWEST score then work my way down, where I will crown a 2017 NFL mock draft expert the champion.
Warning: some of these results may shock you.
40) Steve Palazzolo – 44 points
The only pick Steve got right after Myles Garrett was predicting Taco Charlton to the Cowboys. Also of interest… Steve came in last place in my 2016 NFL Mock Draft Expert rankings as well! He’s got nowhere to go but up in 2018.
39) Cris Collinsworth – 50 points
Misery loves company. Taco to the Cowboys was also the only pick Collinsworth totally nailed, though he did score 6 points for having Solomon Thomas go to the 49ers at pick 2.
38) Dane Brugler – 56 points
Brugler got McCaffrey to the Panthers (a very popular pick) and 6 pointers predicting Corey Davis to the Titans and Solomon Thomas going 3rd overall. Other than that? Not much to celebrate this year.
37) Danny Kelly – 57 points
Jamal Adams to the Jets and McCaffrey to the Panthers were the only picks he got any piece of.
T-36) Todd McShay – 58 points
Nailed both Fournette and McCaffrey (something you will hear often from here on out) and got half-points by pairing Corey Davis with TEN and Deshaun Watson with HOU (man, the AFC South was really good to him!) but that was all he got. He really missed out though when he predicted Trubisky would go #1 overall to Cleveland. He was the only expert to miss the top pick.
T-36) Charley Casserly – 58 points
Pretty much the same as McShay, but instead of getting Fournette right (he had him going to the Jets) he got Garrett right.
T-34) Chad Reuter – 59 points
Got both RBs right, and also predicted Trubisky would go #2 overall.
T-34) Doug Farrar – 59 points
Knows his defenders, pegging Lattimore to the Saints and Barnett to the Eagles.
T-34) Jason Boris – 59 points
Only got McCaffrey and Charles Harris to MIA correct, but didn’t fall any further because he was tied for correctly predicting the most first rounders, getting 29 of the 32 first round draft picks right.
31) Pete Prisco – 60 points
Got Garrett, the RBs and 6 points for Thomas to SF. A very down the line mock draft.
30) Rob Rang – 61 points
Got exactly the same hits as Prisco, but got one more first-rounder than Petey did.
T-29) Micky McKeon – 62 points
I know it’s a little unfair for me to compete against experts here- I knew I was playing a game, and the experts didn’t. I predicted multiple trades to try and hedge my bets and to nail a Trade Bonus, while most experts just went with the official draft order. Yes, I should have done better than this. But I’d also like to argue that there are two sides to this story. I wasn’t trying to come in 20th place or 10th place- I was trying to win. Going for first means swinging for the fences, so while everyone else got singles and doubles, I struck out. My contrarian strategy didn’t work this year, and my only hits were not trades- Adams to the Jets and Davis to the Lions. We’ll see how I do in 2018. But at least I tied with the most famous of them all…
T-29) Mel Kiper – 62 points
Kipey’s big hits were the RBs and Davis to the Lions. Not much else to see there.
T-29) Don Banks – 62 points
One of the few experts to predict Watson would be selected at pick 12 by someone other than Cleveland, though he only netted 6 points for it, as he had the Jets trading back rather than Houston moving up.
26) Rob Staton – 68 points
My boy Rob Staton didn’t have the best showing, but he did at least get both RBs, and paired Thomas to SF and Takk to Atlanta, though neither of those last two involved trades in his mock.
T-25) Lance Zierlein – 71 points
Both RBs is pretty standard from here on out, but Zierlein added Barnett to Philly and also got a piece of Thomas to SF.
T-25) Mike Mayock – 71 points
The reigning champion from 2016, Mayock had a far less impressive 2017 mock draft. At least he was one of the few to nail Adoree Jackson to TEN and to predict Watson to HOU, though at their original pick.
T-25) Will Brinson – 71 points
Riding the Adoree Jackson to TEN train, Brinson called it, and also got Charles Harris to Miami, but sadly missed on the McCaffrey to CAR pick everyone else took advantage of at this level.
22) Evan Silva – 72 points
Pretty much the same mock as Mayock, getting the RBs, Adoree and Watson. This is another example of why every. single. first round pick prediction matters. Silva beat Mayock because he got one more dude correct, and in a tournament of thousands of entrants, one point can mean the difference between a glorious win and a devastating loss.
T-21) Forrest Long – 73 points
Forrest had a really interesting draft. He got the RBs, sure, but he got BOTH Watson to HOU and Mahomes to KC. Thing is, he didn’t predict any trades, so he just got 6 points each for those. Had he predicted those as trades, he would have scored 113 points, good for a second place finish.
T-21) Mike Florio – 73 points
The RBs and Barnett were hits, and the rest were 6 pointers and first rounders. Solid, if unspectacular.
19) Derek Whoolery – 77 points
The National Mock Drafts scout had a pretty decent showing. Getting the standard RBs was good, getting 6 pointers from Solomon Thomas and Corey Davis helped, but nailing Bolles to DEN is what earned hm a spot in the top half of our expert rankings.
T-18) Ben Standig – 78 points
Bolles and the RBs were hits, Thomas and Watson were 6 pointers, and a whole bunch of first rounders round out the mock.
T-18) Peter Schrager – 78 points
Lattimore to NO and Bolles to DEN were solid picks, but getting Tre-Davious White at pick 26 was the fortuitous selection in this mock draft. 6 lucky points on that one, but of course you take them where you can get them.
16) John Laub – 81 points
Hit many of the popular picks, but the real gem of this mock draft was correctly predicting TEN would grab Corey Davis… AT PICK 5. Very few people saw such an early selection on him coming, so Laub should be proud of that pick.
15) Jimmy Kempski – 84 points
Hit all the standard picks and got a few 6ers in there, but where Kempski really excelled was in predicting Humphrey to BAL, and by tying for the most correct first round picks, with 29.
T-14) Matt Miller – 86 points
Played all the big hits at RB and gobbled up some 6ers, but also walked away with his head held high after correctly sending Jonathan Allen to WAS and Jarrad Davis to DET.
T-14) Dan Kadar – 86 points
Kadar was solid throughout the whole first round, but really put the feather in his cap when he bypassed sending Watt to GB along with everyone else, instead correctly slotting him in to PIT.
12) Nick Klopsis – 92 points
Klopsy had an incredibly strong start to the draft, nailing 5 of the first 14 picks, including Adams to NYJ and Barnett to PHI. Unfortunately, Barnett would be the last pick he nailed, though he also had the smarts to send Watson to HOU and Mahomes to KC. The Trade Bonus could have really helped some experts in this contest…
11) Kevin Hanson – 93 points
Hanson made his noise by hitting the halvsies, getting 6 points for Thomas at 3, Watson to HOU and Takk to ATL, to go with his solid chalk picks throughout.
10) Enoch Autry – 94 points
Here we are in the top-10, starting with the final expert who correctly predicted 29 of the 32 first rounders. He’s higher on this list than the others because he also hit on the RBs, Bolles, Jarrad Davis, and the Watson/Mahomes combo without trades. Everyone whose draft was better than this impressive one should be very proud.
T-9) Mike Loyko – 96 points
You know what’s intimidating to your opponents? When you nail three consecutive picks, BoomBoomBoom like Loyko did. 20, 21, 22, Bolles, Harris, Davis, blam and thank you and good night.
T-9) Daniel Jeremiah – 96 points
Jeremiah really excelled at guessing some pairings that a lot of experts missed on, not least of which was Reddick to ARI. Nailing Barnett, Adoree, and Jarrad Davis as well? That shows why he’s one of the best in the business.
T-9) Jon Dove – 96 points
WOOP! WOOP! We got a Trade Bonus here! First one of the contest. Having HOU trade up for Watson catapulted Dove into the top-10, but let’s not ignore him nailing Allen to WAS or Harris to MIA either. Dove owned the middle of the draft.
6) Eric Galko – 97 points
Galko must have sensed how good it felt for Dove to get that Trade Bonus, as he claimed one of his own. I have to give a little extra credit to Galko though, as he was banging the Mahomes drum LONG before most casual draft fans had even heard of him. He really stuck his neck out there with Mahomes, so getting the Trade Bonus from him had to feel like great confirmation. The next time Galko starts talking up one particular prospect… I’m listening.
5) Joe Marino – 98 points
Marino’s was a very well-rounded mock draft, getting 5 picks completely right and got another 4 picks half-right, all of which were Player-Team matches rather than the often less predictable Player-Pick.
4) Jason LaCanfora – 106 points
Five direct hits is pretty good, but how about LaCanfora getting SEVEN picks totally right, and another two 6ers to cement himself as a force in the mock draft community!
3) Jason McIntyre – 107 points
I almost want to give Jason here the win based SOLELY on the pick that most surprised me- sending Mike Williams to LAC. That was… insane. And he called it. Sure, his score was nice because he also got Adams and Lattimore and Bolles and a few others… but he should be publicly recognized for calling Williams to LAC. Nobody else had that.
2) Logan Fredrickson – 111 points
Juuuust missing the crown was Logan, who racked up 7 direct hits and 3 6ers. Reddick, Barnett, Bolles, and Watt are the highlights of the Best In Class: No Trade Bonus edition of the 2017 NFL Mock Draft Experts Contest.
1) Brendan Donahue – 114 points
There was no way this expert contest wasn’t going to be won by someone taking advantage of the Trade Bonus. And this is how Brendan Donahue was the best expert of the year. He got all your typical hits (Garnett, Fournette, McCaffrey, Bolles, J Davis) and a couple 6ers (Solomon and Takk) but the Trade Bonus Mr. Donahue grabbed for predicting HOU would trade up for Watson was the jetpack that blasted him up to the top of the mountain and onto his gilded throne. Congratulations, Brendan Donahue! You were the winningest expert!
*that said, our single-entry contest winner scored 121, and our main contest winner scored 129. From the thousands of entries, a select few have proven themselves to be JUST as authoritative as the authorities. Watch your back, experts. They’re coming for you…
photo: Rainier Ehrhardt, AP Photo