Special thinks to John Lund of Sports Radio in Detroit for this work. It is pretty outstanding.
Check out the below articles and mock drafts from the so called "experts" about what was going to happen or predictions of greatness for players drafted:
*Mel Kiper on Joey before the 2002 draft: (There is a special section on Mel a little further down) "Possesses all the intangibles; demonstrates leadership qualities and an ability to rally the troops. He's a clutch fourth-quarter quarterback who deals well with pressure. He has a presence and an aura about him in the huddle. He commands respect from his teammates. He is mobile and has above-average arm strength. And he's proven he can play in adverse weather conditions....Will be a solid pick."
*Pat Kirwan a former NFL scout who now writes for NFL.com and used to be with SI.com, in his evaluation of the Lions pick of Joey in the 2002 draft the night of the draft: "Detroit finally came to their senses and took the right player to rebuild the Lions franchise. Many of the quarterback coaches I talked to feel he has the intangibles of Brett Favre and Joe Montana."
*Unfortunately for SI's Peter King, SI.com leaves old archives on the net. Among his more memorable quotes during draft day blogs....I think ...I think he was wrong:
*After the Bears made Cade McNown (out of football) the 12th pick in the '99 draft: "I think Cade McNown’s going to be good. Really, Really good. Even in wind-whipped Chicago." (McNown NFL stats: 2 seasons, 16 TD's 19 ints, 67.7 rating)
*More King from '99 draft: " I think I'd feel a lot better about the Donovan McNabb pick if he'd played well against Miami and in the Syracuse bowl game." (138 career TD's, 5 Pro Bowls)
*King during the 1998 draft: " I think everyone is forgetting one thing about Randy Moss. It isn't only that Moss could leave a team in the lurch if he implodes in a year or two. It's the salary cap consequences. If, say, some team gives Moss $4 million to sign over five years, and this team has to cut him after one year, then all the prorated signing bonus (about $3.2 million) immediately comes due on that team's cap. So it's pretty dangerous to take a guy who, if he's not trustworthy, could really hurt your cap. " (90 career TD's in 7 seasons)
*Another King gem from '98 draft: " I think (Peyton) Manning is 3 percent better than Leaf and will be, long term, a better pro, but Leaf will be good too." (3% BETTER???... Manning: 216 career TD's, 92 rating, Ryan Leaf: 14 TD's 36 ints. 3 seasons....What kind of percentage is that?????......50 BAZILLION%????)
YOU DIDN'T THINK WE WOULD FORGET MEL KIPER DID YOU???
Mel Kiper in an ESPN chat April 18, 2001:
batman: How does the Chiefs running back situation look, do you think they will draft a running back like (LaDanian) Tomlinson or (Duece) McAllister, or will they sign someone like Priest Holmes?
Mel Kiper Jr.: I don't think Priest Holmes is feature back material. RB is certainly a need, as is QB. It will be interesting to see if the Trent Green situation takes place. (As a Chief, Holmes has 70 TD's and over 5,000 yards rushing in 4 seasons)
Mel on Kalimba Edwards before the 2002 draft: "Edwards flies out of the blocks, has improved his pass-rush technique over the years, will be a 10-sack type guy and always hustles on plays directed to the opposite side of the field."
Kiper on the 1998 draft debate of Manning or Leaf? "He isn't John Elway, Dan Marino or Jim Kelly, but he's as good as it gets in college football," Kiper said of Manning. "A lot of these teams in the NFL are desperate for quarterbacks and he's the best out there, with Ryan Leaf a real close second."
*Check out Mel Kiper going 0 for 31 in the 2001 NFL draft in his mock posted a week before the draft! (He got Michael Vick as the #1 pick but to the Chargers, not the Falcons...that was as close to a right pick as Mel Hair got in 2001)
*Mel got 5 right in this 2004 mock draft 3 weeks before the draft! (That's 6.4%)
*Here is SI's 1999 mock draft where they went 1 for 31 (Tim Couch to Cleveland with #1 pick...that's 0.3%) It had Lions taking Jevon Kearse with 9th pick.
I'm not making fun of these guys, the point is this: The NFL draft is one of the least understood days in sports from the GM's to the mock jockeys on the net. Take a look at the post on the blog which explains that almost 50% of top ten picks from 1990-2000 were busts! The numbers decline from there. (We'll talk about it on Thursday's SNL Show.) Teams have their boards, Mel slicks his hair with cement and ESPN makes a male soap opera out of the whole thing. It's a slick production, but it's closer to a game of Russian Roulette than anything else.
*NFL DRAFT: DID YOU KNOW?
at the 1979 Fall meetings, NFL owners unanimously (28-0) rejected the idea of allowing upstart network ESPN to televise the Draft
George Grande, Bob Ley and former NFL General Manager Joe Thomas anchored ESPN's inaugural Draft coverage in 1980
Mel Kiper, Jr. joined the ESPN crew in 1984
--The SNL Crew