As the draft approaches, “Don’t trust a mock draft that…”
During this past weeks episode of The Scho Bro Show podcast, we were discussing the topic of mock drafts and the red flags which one should note in order to determine the trustworthiness of the source. While some of these items dealt specifically with the Steelers, others did not.
While there is not problem with reading and enjoying mock drafts, putting too much faith in them can create a problem. Here is a list of six types of mock drafts you may want to steer clear of…
1. Don’t trust a mock draft that… doesn’t have the 49ers picking third
This is just one example, but would be the first one you could come across when looking at a mock draft. If they don’t have the right teams picking at the right spots, nothing else they say matters. Whether they’ve missed a trade, missed the team having to forfeit a pick (such as the New England Patriots), or don’t have the Steelers making the correct number choices (assuming there are no trades), nothing that is projected can truly be trusted.
2. Don’t trust a mock draft that… doesn’t have Trevor Lawrence going first overall
For this one, it speaks more to the creator than anything else. Whether they’re trying to get too cute with their draft, completely overthinking it, or merely searching for clicks, it’s likely not that the author has some great inside information but instead is completely misguided.
3. Don’t trust a mock draft that… has 12 trades in the first round
Yes, there are going to be trades in the NFL draft. In fact, there have already been several including the Dolphins, Eagles, 49ers, and Ravens. And there will likely be plenty more on draft night. But if you’re pushing it to where half the picks are dealing with trades, it’s simply not going to happen. I would personally trust the mock draft that has few or no trades as being able to project them is extremely difficult to get them all right.
4. Don’t trust a mock draft that… has the Steelers taking an edge rusher with both of their first two picks
Yeah. I saw it. And it was ridiculous. Not only that, not a single running back or center had been drafted when the Steelers were picking in the second round at number 55, yet they still thought the best bet was another edge rusher. Perhaps they thought he would knock off T.J. Watt on the depth chart.
5. Don’t trust a mock draft that… has the Steelers taking a defensive tackle early
Not only is this one of the weakest defensive tackle draft classes in many years, the Steelers are returning all seven players from the interior defensive line from the 2020 season. Just returning players isn’t always a big deal, but when they are one of the best, if not the very top, in the NFL, thinking this is how the Steelers should use their draft capital shows that they really don’t have a clue what’s going on in Pittsburgh.
6. Don’t trust a mock draft
Seriously, don’t trust any of them. Yes, it’s a fun exercise to see who could possibly be available for the Steelers with each of their picks. Read them, learn from them, and enjoy. But don’t trust them. Like an NCAA bracket, no one‘s ever going to get it completely right. Players are going to go higher than expected while other players fall. For example, last year many mock drafts had the Steelers drafting safety Tanner Muse out of Clemson in the sixth round. Did the Steelers get Muse in that position? No, he was pick 100 and was taken three spots before Alex Highsmith in the third round. Had the Steelers truly wanted Muse, they would have had to drafted him with their second-round pick, which happened to be their first selection, in place of Chase Claypool. As you can see, too many unexpected things occur to take any mock draft too seriously.
So there are some things to help out when viewing a mock draft to see how truly reliable it is. As stated with the last item, we must remember that none of them are truly reliable. But I will admit, any mock draft that fits into the category of the top five items does take it to a whole new level.
So how do I do? Did I hit the major points of mock drafts not to trust? Are there any others I missed? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.