Mel Kiper has been the face of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for years but he isn’t infallible. Here are five things he got wrong in his most recent mock draft.
NFL mock drafts are an inexact science for everyone. That includes ESPN expert Mel Kiper Jr. The industry veteran recently released a two-round mock (subscription required) and it’s filled with questionable projections.
The purpose of this piece is to identify where Kiper got things wrong. That doesn’t mean he didn’t nail some potential selections ahead of April’s draft, but there are absolutely some noticeable misses. The list begins with a serious error about arguably the top left tackle in this year’s draft class.
Biggest mistakes in Mel Kiper’s latest NFL Mock Draft: 5. Paris Johnson won’t last until No. 19
The Buccaneers should do backflips if Paris Johnson falls all the way down to them with the No. 19 overall selection. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.
The Bears are a serious threat to snap the former Ohio State star up when they go on the clock at No. 9. They need a left tackle to keep Justin Fields clean in the pocket. If he falls past Chicago then he’ll gain serious consideration from the Eagles at 10 and the Jets are 13. It’s hard to envision a scenario where he falls past New York.
Even if Johnson does manage to slip past the 13th pick he will draw a lot of interest from teams that might want to trade up to nab a potential franchise left tackle on a rookie deal. The idea that multiple right tackles will go ahead of Johnson just isn’t sensible. He’ll go off the board well ahead of Kiper’s projection at 19.