Grading the 2020 NFL mock drafts: How did Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Peter King & other experts fare?



A friendly reminder: nobody knows a thing.

While projecting the NFL Draft is a fun exercise, we simply cannot predict the future. The only way someone would ever get close to figuring the draft out is if one of these analysts actually has a copy of Gray’s Sports Almanac. So, really, there’s no shame in getting a mock draft wrong.

Reminder: A lot of these guys study hours of tape, know the backstories and abilities of hundreds of prospects and play out every imaginable scenario in their head, so it’s not like Daniel Jeremiah and a band of jamokes put out drafts and steal money. 

That all said, as much fun as it is to dissect a mock draft, it’s also interesting to see where mocks went wrong. To that end, more often than not, mock drafts are very, very wrong. The 2020 NFL Draft proved to be fools of us all, once again proving that nobody knows a thing.

So here are some of the bigger mock drafts from the experts and just how wrong they were:

MORE 2020 NFL DRAFT:
Full results | Team-by-team grades | Winners & losers

Vinnie Iyer’s mock draft (Sporting News)

Sporting News’ last mock draft, a three-round edition, was unveiled on April 20. Here’s how the first round broke down:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow QB LSU
2 Washington Redskins Chase Young DE Ohio State
3 Detroit Lions Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
4 New York Giants Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
5 Miami Dolphins Justin Herbert QB Oregon
6 Los Angeles Chargers Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
7 Carolina Panthers Isaiah Simmons S/LB Clemson
8 Arizona Cardinals Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
9 Jacksonville Jaguars CJ Henderson CB Florida
10 Cleveland Browns Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
11 New York Jets Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
12 Las Vegas Raiders CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
13 San Francisco 49ers (from Colts) Derrick Brown  DT Auburn
14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
15 Denver Broncos Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
16 Atlanta Falcons Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
17 Dallas Cowboys K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU
18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers) Xavier McKinney S Alabama
19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears) AJ Terrell CB Clemson
20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) AJ Epenesa EDGE Iowa
21 Philadelphia Eagles Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
22 Minnesota Vikings (from Bills) Justin Jefferson WR LSU
23 New England Patriots Tee Higgins WR Clemson
24 New Orleans Saints Jordan Love QB Utah State
25 Minnesota Vikings Jeff Gladney CB TCU
26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans) D’Andre Swift RB Georgia
27 Seattle Seahawks Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Penn State
28 Baltimore Ravens Patrick Queen LB LSU
29 Tennessee Titans Zach Baun EDGE/OLB Wisconsin
30 Green Bay Packers Ross Blacklock DT TCU
31 San Francisco 49ers Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
32 Kansas City Chiefs Cesar Ruiz OL Michigan

Picks correct: 6/32

Takeaways: The second half of the 2020 NFL Draft was truly, truly unpredictable, so to see our own misses after No. 11 is no surprise. After all, the draft featured surprise picks like Jordan Love to the Packers and CeeDee Lamb to the Cowboys, so everyone on this list deserves some slack.

NFL POWER RANKINGS:
Buccaneers, Bills join top tier; Patriots, Bears fall behind after 2020 draft

Mel Kiper’s mock draft (ESPN)

Kiper’s latest mock draft was released on April 14 .

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow QB LSU
2 Washington Redskins Chase Young DE Ohio State
3 Detroit Lions Derrick Brown DT Auburn
4 New York Giants Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
5 Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
6 Los Angeles Chargers Justin Herbert QB Oregon
7 Carolina Panthers Isaiah Simmons S/LB Clemson
8 Arizona Cardinals Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
9 Jacksonville Jaguars Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
10 Cleveland Browns Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
11 New York Jets Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
12 Las Vegas Raiders CJ Henderson CB Florida
13 San Francisco 49ers (from Colts) Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Justin Jefferson WR LSU
15 Denver Broncos CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
16 Atlanta Falcons K’Lavon Chaisson OLB LSU
17 Dallas Cowboys Xavier McKinney S Alabama
18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers) Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears) Jordan Love QB Utah State
20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) Austin Jackson OT USC
21 Philadelphia Eagles Kenneth Murray LB Oklaho,a
22 Minnesota Vikings (from Bills) Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
23 New England Patriots Cesar Ruiz OL Michigan
24 New Orleans Saints Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State
25 Minnesota Vikings Jaylon Johnson CB Utah
26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans) Josh Jones OT Houston
27 Seattle Seahawks Tee Higgins WR Clemson
28 Baltimore Ravens Patrick Queen LB LSU
29 Tennessee Titans Yetur Gross-Matos DE Penn State
30 Green Bay Packers Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame
31 San Francisco 49ers Antoine Winfield Jr. CB/S Minnesota
32 Kansas City Chiefs Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin

Picks correct: 6/32

Takeaways: While some positions were right — the Vikings after a corner back, the Chiefs taking a running back — the spot and players were wrong. The Chiefs took LSU back Clyde Edwards-Helaire with No. 32, while the 49ers traded out of the 31 spot, giving the Vikings that pick, who selected Jeff Gladney out of TCU. In all, a pretty average showing for the godfather of mock drafts. The Mockfather, if you will.

Todd McShay’s mock draft (ESPN)

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow QB LSU
2 Washington Redskins Chase Young DE Ohio State
3 Detroit Lions Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
4 New York Giants Isaiah Simmons LB/S Clemson
5 Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
6 Los Angeles Chargers Jordan Love QB Utah State
7 Carolina Panthers Derrick Brown DT Auburn
8 Arizona Cardinals Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
9 Jacksonville Jaguars Justin Herbert QB Oregon
10 Cleveland Browns Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
11 New York Jets Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
12 Las Vegas Raiders CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
13 San Francisco 49ers (from Colts) Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
15 Denver Broncos Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
16 Atlanta Falcons Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
17 Dallas Cowboys CJ Henderson CB Florida
18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers) Xavier McKinney S Alabama
19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears) Antoine Winfield Jr. S Minnesota
20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State
21 Philadelphia Eagles Patrick Queen LB LSU
22 Minnesota Vikings (from Bills) Justin Jefferson WR LSU
23 New England Patriots AJ Epenesa DE Iowa
24 New Orleans Saints Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
25 Minnesota Vikings Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans) Joshua Jones OT Houston
27 Seattle Seahawks K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU
28 Baltimore Ravens Ross Blacklock DT TCU
29 Tennessee Titans Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Penn State
30 Green Bay Packers Tee Higgins WR Clemson
31 San Francisco 49ers AJ Terrell CB Clemson
32 Kansas City Chiefs D’Andre Swift RB Georgia

Picks correct: 6/32

Takeaways: Really, on par with everyone else on this list, McShay got most of his damage done in the first 10 picks. Again, some positions were right, but players were off. Also, McShay was determined to get Jordan Love drafted higher than Justin Herbert. Both were first-round picks, but Herbert went much higher (No. 6 overall to the Chargers).

Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft (NFL Network)

Daniel Jeremiah released his final mock draft on Wednesday, April 22.

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow QB LSU
2 Washington Redskins Chase Young DE Ohio State
3 Detroit Lions Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
4 New York Giants Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
5 Miami Dolphins Justin Herbert QB Oregon
6 Los Angeles Chargers Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
7 Carolina Panthers Isaiah Simmons S/LB Clemson
8 Arizona Cardinals Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
9 Atlanta Falcons (from Jaguars) Derrick Brown DT Auburn
10 Cleveland Browns Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
11 New York Jets Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
12 Las Vegas Raiders CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
13 San Francisco 49ers (from Colts) Justin Jefferson WR LSU
14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
15 Denver Broncos Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
16 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Falcons) Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
17 Dallas Cowboys CJ Henderson CB Florida
18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers) Austin Jackson OT USC
19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears) AJ Terrell CB Clemson
20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU
21 Philadelphia Eagles Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
22 Minnesota Vikings (from Bills) Jaylon Johnson CB Utah
23 New England Patriots Cole Kmet TE Notre Dame
24 New Orleans Saints Jalen Reagor WR TCU
25 Minnesota Vikings Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Penn State
26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans) Cesar Ruiz OL Michigan
27 Seattle Seahawks Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
28 Baltimore Ravens Patrick Queen LB LSU
29 Tennessee Titans Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia
30 Green Bay Packers Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State
31 San Francisco 49ers Jeff Gladney CB TCU
32 Kansas City Chiefs Ross Blacklock DT TCU

Picks correct: 5/32

Takeaways: Of all these mock drafts, Jeremiah wsa the only one who had Reagor going in the first round. Reagor ended up going in the first round, but not to the Saints as was mocked. Instead, Reagor went to the Eagles at No. 21 and the choice was met with lots and lots of criticism.

Peter King’s mock draft (NBC Sports)

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow QB LSU
2 Washington Redskins Chase Young DE Ohio State
3 Miami Dolphins (from Lions) Justin Herbert QB Oregon
4 New York Giants Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
5 Detroit Lions (from Dolphins) Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
6 Los Angeles Chargers Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
7 Carolina Panthers Derrick Brown DT Auburn
8 Arizona Cardinals Isaiah Simmons S/LB Clemson
9 Jacksonville Jaguars CJ Henderson CB Florida
10 Cleveland Browns Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
11 New York Jets Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
12 Las Vegas Raiders CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
13 New England Patriots (from 49ers) Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
15 Denver Broncos Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
16 Atlanta Falcons K’Lavon Chaisson OLB LSU
17 Dallas Cowboys Xavier McKinney S Alabama
18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers) AJ Epenesa EDGE Iowa
19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears) Kristian Fulton CB LSU
20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) Justin Jefferson WR LSU
21 Philadelphia Eagles Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
22 Minnesota Vikings (from Bills) Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
23 San Francisco 49ers (from Patriots) Joshua Jones OT Houston
24 New Orleans Saints AJ Terrell CB Clemson
25 Minnesota Vikings Tee Higgins WR Clemson
26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans) Austin Jackson OT USC
27 Seattle Seahawks Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Penn State
28 Baltimore Ravens Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
29 Tennessee Titans Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia
30 Green Bay Packers Michael Pittmann Jr. WR USC
31 Dallas Cowboys (from 49ers) Cesar Ruiz OL Michigan
32 Kansas City Chiefs Jeff Gladney CB TCU

Picks correct: 8/32

Takeaways: Well, well, what have we here? King has the most right picks with eigh, and he gets partial credit for the Lions taking Jeff Okudah, though he had a mock trade happening between Detroit and Miami to get that to happen. He also had the Dolphins taking Austin Jackson, but at No. 26, not 18 as they did.

But King, not particularly known for his mock draft takes, still did best of all the experts listed here, living up to his last name.





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