Over the last several months anyone and everyone was coming up with their own mock drafts. Now that the first round of the draft is over its time to look back at some of those mock drafts and see if anyone's predictions were actually worth a damn. The table below examines the accuracy of 12 mock drafts.
You can see that in terms of predicting the exact draft pick Dane Brugler of CBS and Don Banks of SI did the best, each correctly slotting seven of the 32 first round picks, solid but not exactly otherworldly. As far as nailing picks on the head, their coworkers Rob Rang and Peter King, along with Chad Reuter of NFL.com did the worst.
Of course, slotting a pick in the exact right spot is not the only measure of the success of a mock draft. Particularly with all the trades this year it would be very hard for these prognosticators to know who is going to go exactly where. As far as the worst mock, Russ Lande of Sporting News did not include nine of the players selected in the first round in his mock, over a quarter of the picks.
The biggest surprise of the draft was clearly WVU OLB Bruce Irvin going 15th to Seattle. Only one of the 12 mock drafts had Irvin in the first round at all, Rob Rang of CBS Sports. In addition no mocks had Illinois WR A.J Jenkins or Virginia Tech RB David Wilson (who went 30th and 32nd respectively) in their mock drafts.
In addition to Irvin the biggest misses of the draft were National Football Post's Wes Bunting projecting Bills' 10th pick South Carolina Stephon Gilmore to go 32nd and Russ Lande projecting Buccaneers' 7th pick Mark Barron to go 30th overall.
It's impossible to say who had the 'best' mock draft with so many variables, but in my opinion Don Banks was the most impressive. In addition to his seven correctly slotted players, of the six players selected in the first round but not included in his mock, five of those were the last five picks of the round.