Even though the continuous stream of speculation can get a little annoying, draft day itself is always exciting and compelling. And while every updated NFL mock draft immediately becomes moot after the first few picks are announced, they are fun projections to look at as we all try to predict with some semblance of clarity what might happen on Saturday. (Why anyone would even try to predict what will happen on Sunday is beyond me.)
Over the past few days I have found myself bouncing back and forth between Todd McShay’s updated NFL mock draft, Don Banks’ updated NFL mock draft, and countless others. The problem, at least for me, is that I never feel like I’ve really achieved any sense of clarity by just looking at one of them.
There needs to be an NFL mock draft compiler that takes in hundreds of expert mock drafts and then spits out the most likely outcome based on that input. Perhaps there is something like this out there. If anyone knows where to find it, please let me know. For this NFL Draft Guide, I decided to do this on a very small scale. And when I say very small, I mean infinitesimally small, at least in comparison to what I just described.
We’ll get to that in a second. First, your 2009 NFL Draft Guide quick info:
2009 NFL Draft Guide
- NFL Draft Start Time on Saturday, April 25th: 4:00 PM ET on ESPN
- NFL Draft Start Time on Sunday, April 26th: 10:00 AM ET on NFL Network
- Quick Preview: NFL Draft TV Schedule, Draft Order, and Links
- Latest NFL Draft info on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ProFootballTalk
- NFL Draft Live Updates: NFL.com Draft Tracker
- NFL Draft Humor: The Funniest Name in NFL Draft History
- NFL Draft History: All-Time List of First Overall NFL Draft Picks
- NFL Draft History: Unsuccessful History of Drafting Underclassmen QBs in Round 1
- NFL Tickets: Great deals on NFL Tickets from StubHub
So, now that you know what time everything starts, how to follow the action, and have a gained a small bit of historical perspective, let’s get back to the fun of trying to predict what that action will be.
Since we all know the NFL Draft is a decidedly inexact science, I decided to be decidedly unscientific in offering this snapshot projection. And I won’t even pretend that I know enough or have studied this stuff enough to offer my own mock draft. Still, I think there is some value in being able to see a few updated mock drafts stacked side by side. If nothing else, it provides a general consensus on the current trends as to what two or three players individual teams are targeting, as well as what two or three teams individual players are likely to end up with.
Below you will see the table, which lists the first round mock drafts of six NFL experts with varying levels of expertise. You’ll notice that Mel Kiper Jr. is conspicuously absent but Todd McShay is represented. This is not me choosing sides in the McShay-Kiper fued, but rather because I could only find Kiper’s mock draft updated as of 4/10. Obviously a lot has happened in the two weeks since then. Hell, a lot has happened just today. Most of the mock drafts below do not even take into account the Tony Gonzalez trade to Atlanta that went down today (hence, why so many of the experts have Atlanta picking Brandon Pettigrew).
Anyway, here are the six updated mock drafts chosen for the purposes of this post, with links to the sources so you can actually read the descriptions and reasoning (which is probably more valuable than just seeing the list of picks you get here).
Updated NFL Mock Drafts
- Updated NFL Mock Draft – Todd McShay, ESPN.com – current as of 4/21/09
- Updated NFL Mock Draft – Don Banks, SI.com – current as of 4/23/09
- Updated NFL Mock Draft – Pat Kirwan and others, NFL.com – current as of 4/21/09
- Updated NFL Mock Draft – ProFootballTalk’s inside source “Mr. X” – current as of 4/24/09
- Updated NFL Mock Draft – WalterFootball.com – current as of 4/23/09
- Updated NFL Mock Draft – Robert Littal, Black Sports Online – current as of 4/22/09
And a bonus mock draft that I had planned on including before I ran out of room:
- Updated NFL Mock Draft – NFLDraftBible.com – current as of 4/23/09
2009 NFL Draft Projections - Updated NFL Mock Drafts Compiled
|Pick||Team||Todd McShay||Don Banks||Pat Kirwan||PFT's "Mr. X"||WalterFootball||Robert Littal|
|1||Lions||M. Stafford||M. Stafford||M. Stafford||M. Stafford||M. Stafford||M. Stafford|
|2||Rams||J. Smith||J. Smith||E. Monroe||E. Monroe||E. Monroe||J. Smith|
|3||Chiefs||A. Curry||A. Curry||A. Curry||J. Smith||A. Curry||A. Curry|
|4||Seahawks||M. Sanchez||M. Sanchez||J. Smith||A. Curry||M. Crabtree||M. Sanchez|
|5||Browns||B. Raji||B. Raji||B. Orakpo||B. Raji||B. Orakpo||M. Crabtree|
|6||Bengals||E. Monroe||E. Monroe||A. Smith||A. Smith||J. Smith||E. Monroe|
|7||Raiders||J. Maclin||J. Maclin||M. Crabtree||Heyward-Bey||Heyward-Bay||J. Maclin|
|8||Jaguars||M. Crabtree||A. Smith||M. Sanchez||M. Sanchez*||M. Sanchez||A. Smith|
|9||Packers||A. Smith||T. Jackson||T. Jackson||M. Crabtree||T. Jackson||B. Raji|
|10||49ers||M. Oher||M. Crabtree||J. Maclin||M. Oher||M. Oher||A. Maybin|
|11||Bills||B. Orakpo||B. Orakpo||M. Oher||J. Maclin||A. Smith||B. Orakpo|
|12||Broncos||T. Jackson||R. Ayers||B. Raji||T. Jackson||B. Raji||R. Ayers|
|13||Redskins||A. Maybin||M. Oher||E. Brown||E. Brown||A. Maybin||E. Brown|
|14||Saints||M. Jenkins||B. Cushing||B. Cushing||M. Jenkins||M. Jenkins||M. Jenkins|
|15||Texans||R. Ayers||M. Jenkins||M. Jenkins||R. Maulaluga||C. Matthews||M. Oher|
|16||Chargers||C. Wells||K. Moreno||R. Maulaluga||K. Moreno||E. Britton||B. Cushing|
|17||Jets||J. Freeman||J. Freeman||J. Freeman||H. Nicks||C. Wells||T. Jackson|
|18||Broncos||E. Brown||A. Maybin||R. Ayers||P. Jerry||E. Brown||L. Delmas|
|19||Buccaneers||B. Cushing||C. Matthews||P. Jerry||J. Freeman||J. Freeman||J. Freeman|
|20||Lions||P. Jerry||B. Pettigrew||A. Maybin||R. Ayers||W. Beatty||E. Britton|
|21||Eagles||K. Moreno||D. Brown||K. Moreno||B. Pettigrew||R. Ayers||K. Moreno|
|22||Vikings||Heyward-Bey||E. Britton||E. Britton||C. Matthews||D. Butler||P. Harvin|
|23||Patriots||C. Matthews||D. Butler||C. Matthews||B. Orakpo||R. Maulaluga||C. Wells|
|24||Falcons||B. Pettigrew||P. Jerry||B. Pettigrew||B. Cushing||B. Pettigrew||B. Pettigrew|
|25||Dolphins||V. Davis||K. Britt||H. Nicks||K. Britt||V. Davis||C. Matthews|
|26||Ravens||K. Britt||R. Maulaluga||Heyward-Bey||C. Wells||J. Maclin||R. Maulaluga|
|27||Colts||P. Harvin||E. Hood||E. Hood||J. Laurinaitis||P. Jerry||L. English|
|28||Bills||E. Britton||P. Loadholt||L. English||A. Smith||M. Johnson||V. Davis|
|29||Giants||H. Nicks||H. Nicks||K. Britt||D. Brown||K. Moreno||K. Britt|
|30||Titans||R. Maulaluga||A. Smith||A. Smith||D. Moore||S. Smith||H. Nicks|
|31||Cardinals||D. Brown||C. Wells||C. Wells||A. Maybin||D. Brown||D. Brown|
|32||Steelers||M. Unger||M. Unger||P. Harvin||E. Hood||A. Mack||J. Peria|
* – In his latest mock draft, “Mr. X” has the Jets trading up with the Jags to select Mark Sanchez at #8.Â He thinks the Jags will still pick Hakeem Nicks at #17, which he previously had the Jets doing.
A few observations:
- A few things seem pretty well agreed upon at the top of the draft: Matthew Stafford will end up going #1; the Chiefs will end up with Aaron Curry at #3; the Rams and Bengals will be drafting an offensive lineman; the Raiders want a WR for JaMarcus Russell to throw to; Mark Sanchez has become a top-10 pick; the Broncos are going defense; and Josh Freeman is going to the Jets or Buccaneers.
- Projections for Ohio State RB Beanie Wells are all over the place. Todd McShay has Wells going at #16 to the Chargers while two other mock drafts have him going at #31 to the Cardinals.
- Projections for Brian Orakpo are all over the place too. Two mocks drafts have the Browns picking Orakpo at #5 while PFT has him going at #23. Same thing with Rey Maulaluga. Pat Kirwan has him at #16 to the Chargers, PFT has him at #15 to the Texans, yet Todd McShay has him lasting until #30 with the Titans.
And I’m sure I could go on and on with similar observations. At the end of the day, the value of the table above is finding your team or a player you are following and seeing what the general consensus (or lack thereof) is as of April 23.
The first round does not commence until about 40 hours from now, so obviously a lot could change between now and then and probably will. But as of right now, these are the projections of many of the people who have spent the most time studying this stuff.
I am thinking about live blogging during the draft on Saturday. I’ll let you know ahead of time if that will be the case. In the meantime, check out the MSF Mothers Day Contest if you haven’t had a chance yet. We’re looking for the coolest sports mom ever. Do you have a nominee?