Pigskin power tools sputter again

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Apr 29, 2006



The gridiron garage here at Cold, Hard Football Facts.com is filled with tools.
 
Out in Detroit, we have shovel-head Matt Millen, who buried his career and the hopes of Lions fans everywhere by drafting three straight first-round wide receivers from 2003 to 2005. None have fulfilled their promise and the Detroit passing game remains one of the worst in football.
 
Up in Boston, there's hatchet man Ron Borges of the Boston Globe, who for years has taken wild swings at a New England organization that currently stands as a model NFL franchise. Borges has missed badly, chopping the head off his own credibility in the process. (However, Borges, as you will see, actually earns what passes for Cold, Hard Football Facts kudos this week.)
 
And in Green Bay, there are the hammer-head fans who believe Brett Favre can still play football and have welcomed him back as he attempts to add to his illustrious collection of interception records.
 
But these tools are downright quaint compared to the noxious-fume-spouting two-stroke pigskin power tools who profess to be draft "pundits."
 
Year after year, we watch as the draft "experts" purport to have inside information on how the draft will go down. Year after year, they put their expertise on the line through the most useless activity on Planet Pigskin, the mock draft.
 
Year after year, they fail miserably. The 2006 draft was no exception.
 
Our take on the exercise in futility that is the mock draft was first chronicled last year. It's a scandal that so much time, energy, emotion and ink – by "pundits" and by fans – is devoted to something destined to fail.
 
For the second year in a row, we looked at the mock drafts of six pigskin "pundits." Our list included three draft specialists (Mel Kiper, Ourlads.com and Scouts Inc.) and three general football writers or publications (Borges, Pete Prisco of CBS Sportsline and FoxSports.com).
 
We looked at the ability of these "pundits" to accurately predict the exact player a team would take in the first round. We also looked at their ability to identify the position a team would fill with their first-round pick – regardless of the player actually chosen.
 
Here's how our six "pundits" stacked up in both categories:
"Pundit"
Correct Players
Correct Positions
9 of 32 (28.1%)
12 of 32 (37.5%)
Ron Borges*
8 of 32 (25%)
16 of 32 (50.0%)
8 of 32 (25%)
13 of 32 (40.6%)
7 of 32 (21.9%)
12 of 32 (37.5%)
Scouts Inc.
6 of 32 (18.7%)
11 of 32 (34.4%)
4 of 32 (12.5%)
9 of 32 (28.1%)
* The Boston Globe published Borges' mock draft Saturday, after Houston already announced that it would take N.C. State DE Mario Williams over USC RB Reggie Bush. Borges, not so coincidentally, is the only "pundit" who predicted that Houston would take Williams. He did not have the stones to report in his mock draft that Houston had already made its pick. We did not count this among his accurate selections.
 
The complete mock drafts of all six, along with the actual selections, can be seen in the charts below. Keep in mind that this is not an attempt to embarrass the "pundits." It's merely an effort to prove the uselessness of the mock draft.
 
When it comes to predicting the outcome of the draft, we could do no better than any of these "pundits."
 
That's why we don't bother. We have better things to do. You know, like being the most entertaining and most accurate Web site in the history of pigskin-kind, something we do quite well.
 
When examining these six mock drafts, we looked only at the first round. Few mock drafts go much beyond the first round. And they grow increasingly inaccurate the longer they go. Even by the end of the first round, mock drafts are hopelessly inaccurate. It's simply not worth going beyond that to prove our point.
  • Our six "pundits" (combined) accurately predicted just 42 of 192 first-round picks (21.9 percent).
  • They accurately predicted 29 of 96 picks (30.2%) in the first half of the first round.
  • They accurately predicted 13 of 96 picks (13.5%) in the second half of the first round.
Mel Kiper has made a living by fooling people into thinking he knows something about the direction of the draft. This year, he failed to accurately name a single selection beyond the 13th pick of the first round.
 
Think about that next time you hear a sentence that begins: "Mel Kiper says..."
 
Here's a look at the player each team picked and the mock drafts of all six of our "pundits." The first chart shows how the draft specialists fared. The second list shows how the football generalists fared. Correct players and positions are denoted by bold text. (For the record, when teams traded positions, we gave the "pundit" credit for listing the right player with the right team.)
 
DRAFT SPECIALISTS MOCK DRAFTS
Team
Actual Pick
Scouts Inc.
Houston
Willliams, DE
Bush, RB
Bush, RB
Bush, RB
NO
Bush, RB
Williams, DE
Williams, DE
Williams, DE
Tennessee
Young, QB
Leinart, QB
Young, QB
Leinart, QB
NY Jets
Ferguson, OT
Ferguson, T
Ferguson, T
Ferguson, T
Green Bay
Hawk, LB
Hawk, LB
Hawk, LB
Hawk, LB
San Fran
Davis, TE
Davis, TE
Davis, TE
Davis, TE
Oakland
Huff, S
Young, QB
Sims, LB
Young, QB
Buffalo
Whitner, S
Bunkley, DT
Bunkley, DT
Ngata, DT
Detroit
Sims, LB
Huff, S
Huff, S
Huff, S
Arizona
Leinart, QB
Sims, LB
Leinart, QB
Sims, LB
St. Louis
Cutler, QB (Denver)
Hill, DB
Cutler, QB
Greenway, LB
Cleveland
Ngata, DT (Baltimore)
Wimbley, DE
Wimbley, DE
Wimbley, DE
Baltimore
Wimbley, DE (Cleveland)
Ngata, DT
Ngata, DT
Bunkley, DT
Philly
Bunkley, DT
Justice, T
Greenway, LB
Justice, T
Denver
Hill, CB
(St. Louis)
Lawson, LB
Holmes, WR
Jackson, WR
Miami
Allen, CB
Allen, CB
Cromartie, CB
Holmes, WR
Minnesota
Greenway, LB
Cutler, QB
Allen, CB
Cutler, QB
Dallas
Carpenter, LB
Whitner, S
Lawson, LB
Whitner, S
San Diego
Cromartie, CB
McNeil, T
Justice, T
Joseph, CB
KC
Hali, DE
Williams, DB
Joseph, CB
Hill, CB
NE
Maroney, RB
Greenway, LB
Williams, RB
Cromartie, CB
San Fran
Lawson, LB
Cromartie, CB
Hill, CB
Lawson, LB
Tampa
Joseph, G
Jackson, WR
McNeill, T
Williams, CB
Cincy
Joseph, CB
Joseph, CB
Whitner, S
Lewis, TE
NY Giants
Holmes, WR (Pittsburgh)
Holmes, WR
Moss, WR
Carpenter, LB
Chicago
McCargo, DT (Buffalo)
Ryans, LB
Jackson, WR
Youboty, CB
Carolina
Williams, RB
White, RB
Lewis, TE
Williams, RB
Jax
Lewis, TE
Carpenter, LB
Mangold, C
Kiwanuka, DE
NY Jets
Mangold, C
Williams, RB
Carpenter, LB
Maroney, RB
Indy
Addai, RB
Maroney, RB
Maroney, RB
White, RB
Seattle
Jennings, CB
Jennings, CB
Williams, CB
Marshall, CB
Pittsburgh
Kiwanuka, DE (NY Giants)
Marshall, CB
White, RB
Allen, S
 
FOOTBALL GENERALISTS MOCK DRAFTS
Team
Actual Pick
Borges
Houston
Willliams, DE
Bush, RB
Williams, DE*
Bush, RB
NO
Bush, RB
Hawk, LB
Ferguson, T
Leinart, QB
Tenn.
Young, QB
Leinart, QB
Young, QB
Young, QB
NYJ
Ferguson, OT
Williams, DE
Leinart, QB
Ferguson, T
GB
Hawk, LB
Sims, LB
Hawk, LB
Williams, DE
SF
Davis, TE
Davis, TE
Davis, TE
Hawk, LB
Oak.
Huff, S
Young, QB
Bush, RB
Huff, S
Buffalo
Whitner, S
Ferguson, T
Huff, S
Davis, TE
Detroit
Sims, LB
Huff, S
Sims, LB
Justice, T
Arizona
Leinart, QB
Justice, T
Cutler, QB
Ngata, DT
St. L.
Cutler, QB (Denver)
Hill, CB
Bunkley, DT
Bunkley, DT
Cleve.
Ngata, DT (Baltimore)
Bunkley, DT
Ngata, DT
Wimbley, DE
Balt.
Wimbley, DE (Cleveland)
Ngata, DT
Jospeh, CB
Cutler, QB
Philly
Bunkley, DT
Greenway, LB
Justice, T
Sims, LB
Denver
Hill, CB
(St. Louis)
Maroney, RB
Maroney, RB
Jackson, WR
Miami
Allen, CB
Holmes, WR
Whitner, S
Williams, CB
Minn.
Greenway, LB
Cutler, QB
Greenway, LB
Greenway, LB
Dallas
Carpenter, LB
Whitner, S
Wimbley, DE
Allen, S
SD
Cromartie, CB
Cromartie, CB
Cromartie, CB
Hill, CB
KC
Hali, DE
Lawson, LB
Lawson, DE
Jospeh, CB
NE
Maroney, RB
Williams, RB
Mangold, C
Carpenter, LB
SF
Lawson, LB
Joseph, CB
Carpenter, LB
Lawson, LB
Tampa
Joseph, G
Winston, T
Williams, CB
Holmes, WR
Cincy
Joseph, CB
Wimbley, DE
Hill, CB
Youboty, CB
NYG
Holmes, WR (Pittsburgh)
Williams, CB
Allen, S
Williams, RB
Chicago
McCargo, DT (Buffalo)
Lewis, TE
Ryans, LB
Whitner, S
Carol.
Williams, RB
Addai, RB
White, RB
White, RB
Jax
Lewis, TE
Hodge, LB
Lewis, TE
Cromartie, CB
NYJ
Mangold, C
Carpenter, LB
Hali, DE
Mangold, C
Indy
Addai, RB
Drew, RB
Williams, RB
Maroney, RB
Seattle
Jennings, CB
Jackson, WR
Marshall, CB
Jennings, CB
Pitt.
Kiwanuka, DE (NY Giants)
White, RB
Holmes, WR
Bing, S
* The Boston Globe published Borges' mock draft Saturday, after Houston already announced that it would take N.C. State DE Mario Williams over USC RB Reggie Bush. Borges, not so coincidentally, is the only "pundit" who predicted that Houston would take Williams. He did not have the stones to report in his mock draft that Houston had already made its pick. We did not count this among his accurate selections.
 
 

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