Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How NOT to do a mock draft story (Part II)

In this chapter of the mock draft follies we expand our view to the national sports outlets where the Yahoo! based Shutdown Corner blog has presented this stinker by Eric Edholm.

In his blog, Edholm tries a novel approach to draft prognosticating, telling us who he thinks the teams will pick, and then who he thinks they should pick.  This is all well and good, except that Edholm's logic goes missing on quite a few picks.  Take the Vikings who Edholm says should pick Johnny Manziel:
We admit: We just want to see what a Manziel-Mike Zimmer-Adrian Peterson-Cordarelle Patterson-Norv Turner situation would produce. It would be fascinating and get people pumped about the Vikings again.
No, it wouldn't be fascinating, it would be a disaster.  Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has already publically displayed his disgust with Manziel and, while that could all be misdirection, it's never a good idea to project a team pick just for the entertainment value.

The funny thing is that Edholm spends half of his post complaining about people "flaming" him for his picks.  Well, when you make picks based on logic this faulty you're bound to get flamed.

Turning back to ChronBlog we find that they've done it wrong again. Not only was McClain's Mock Draft 2.0 presented AGAIN in reverse slide-show fashion (32-1 instead of the normal 1-32 format) in a blatant grab for 32 page views but, according to talk radio (no, I didn't click through all 32 photos) he's changed his Texans pick from Bortles to Manziel.

When you consider that both Manziel and Bortles had equitable pro days, that little has changed since McClain's mock 1.0 and it's obvious that McClain has absolutely NO inside information coming from the new regime, it's very clear that the Manziel pick was only selected for publicity's sake.  Again, that's a horrible reason to do a mock draft.

The REAL problem here is that there are too many people with no idea what they're doing dipping their toes into the mock-draft kiddie pool.  Beyond that, mock drafts are useless in their entirety, even the best prognosticators get less than 50% of the picks correct year after year.  They also rarely take into consideration trades, which can (and do) throw everything off.  There are people I like to go to for draft analysis, Mike Mayock, Todd McShay etc. but there are very few mock drafts that I take all that seriously. Neither should you.

On a (sort-of) related note: Last week I tried my hand at handicapping the Texans' first round pick. I might be at a point where I'm going to adjust those odds based on Coach Bill O'Brien's comments at an event re: Jadeveon Clowney that included specific ways the team might use him in their defense. That being said, I'm going to give it a day or two to see how O'Brien addresses Bortles and Bridgewater to see if stating details such as this is just his style, or if there's meaning there.  If O'Brien doesn't offer the same detailed analysis of the other first-pick contenders after meeting with them, I might be making some changes.

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