It is mock draft season. It’s also January. That means mock drafts are going to be wrong. Perhaps wildly wrong. Maybe even comically wrong.
Let’s look at some mock drafts who were bold enough to make mock drafts this time of the year. We’re not here to make fun of the mock drafters (there will be other opportunities for that), we’re here to make fun of the process. We’ll see that the mock drafts were not wrong, but they were wrong.
DJ is the best in the business, which isn’t a surprise given he was an actual scout. His first mock draft of 2019 was, well, bold. He had Kyler Murray going 32nd. One of his first rounders went in the 5th round. Nine of his 1st rounders didn’t go in the 1st round, but seven of those did go in the 2nd. Compared to April mock drafts this is bad, but it’s not the worst we’ve seen.
For the Eagles, he had them taking DT Christian Wilkins, who went 13th to the Dolphins. He did note that he felt Wilkins was worthy of being picked higher.
So here’s a mock drafter who is at the top of his profession, has a stronger background than any of his peers, plenty of industry contacts, and puts together a mock draft that four months before the draft holds up better than some that were put up four days before the draft... and he’s Josh Allen level of inaccurate. This does not bode well for the rest of the list.
McShay has his doozies, but he’s generally pretty accurate come April. His first mock dropped in December of 2018, and his second in February of 2019, we’ll take the latter as it’s more informed with new coaching staffs and front offices, and which underclassmen declared.
McShay had the Eagles taking DT Dexter Lawrence, who went 17th to the Giants.
Brooks, like Jeremiah, also worked as a scout, and like McShay also had the Eagles taking Lawrence.
Noticing a trend here? DT was an area of need for the Eagles in January of 2019. Giving them one in the first round was logical. But in March, when the Eagles signed Malik Jackson, so it was no longer a priority for April.
He didn’t have the Eagles taking a DT, but Easterling stayed on the defensive side of the ball with CB DeAndre Baker, who went 30th to the Giants.
Miller also had the Eagles taking a CB, having them select Byron Murphy, who went 33rd to Arizona.
SB Nation’s resident mock drafter had the Eagles taking DE Montez Sweat, who was selected 26th by Washington.
Then, a couple of weeks later, he had them taking OT Greg Little, who went 37th to the Panthers. That’s getting closer.
Did anyone see the Eagles taking Andre Dillard?
Yes! CBS’s Chris Trapasso had the Eagles taking him in his mock draft on January 25th. A month later he had Dillard off the board by 25, which was correct, although he had him at 18 to the Vikings. Well, you can’t win them all.
I could give you a dozen more and they’d all be wrong, usually having the Eagles take a defensive lineman or cornerback. It’s hard to fault any of them. Free agency dramatically changes the draft needs of a team. The Senior Bowl, Combine, pro days, and individual workouts had yet to happen, all tools to help shape the draft board. Drafting is an inexact science, mock drafting is guessing at that, especially in January.
But give the mock drafters this: the players the Eagles were being given in mock drafts in January were for the most part 1st rounders. So long as the position priorities don’t change, which they easily could (though the short and long term needs at WR and CB means those could still be high on the Eagles list come April), this year’s early mocks might actually look pretty good. They’re at least names to watch for a short list.
Most likely, they’ll be completely wrong again. But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them.