In Mel Kiper’s first mock-up of the 2012 draft last January, his top-5 looked like this:
1) Andrew Luck
2) Justin Blackmon
3) Matt Kalil
5) Trent Richardson
The college season had just ended, and he had all the right names listed (though not in all the right spots.) He made some tweaks as the draft got closer — moving RGIII up, taking Blackmon out and putting Morris Claiborne in — but he had it surrounded. The general accuracy that he (and many prognosticators) demonstrated spoke to how clear-cut the top of the class was.
This season, Kiper has already changed three of his original top 5. Geno Smith went from out of the first round to the Eagles’ selection at four. His No. 2 pick is now projected be be taken late in the second round. It is all over the place.
Here is a side-by-side comparison between Kiper’s first mock (done on January 16) and his most recent. It helps illustrate the amount of uncertainty that surrounds this draft. It is also interesting to see how opinions shaped primarily by game tape can change through the pre-draft process.
|1||OT Luke Joeckel||Luke Joeckel|
|2||DE Damontre Moore||Ezekiel Ansah|
|3||DT Star Lotulelei||Sharrif Floyd|
|4||CB Dee Milliner||QB Geno Smith|
|5||LB Jarvis Jones||Dee Milliner|
|6||DE Bjoern Werner||Dion Jordan|
|7||OT Chance Warmack||Eric Fisher|
|8||LB Manti Te'o||Jonathan Cooper|
|9||DE Barkevious Mingo||Barkevious Mingo|
|10||DE Dion Jordan||Chance Warmack|
|11||OT Eric Fisher||OT Lane Johnson|
|12||WR Cordarrelle Patterson||D.J. Fluker|
|13||LB Alec Ogletree||Star Lotulelei|
|14||DT Sheldon Richardson||Sheldon Richardson|
|15||DT Johnathan Hankins||Jarvis Jones|
|16||S Kenny Vaccaro||WR Tavon Austin|
|17||LB Ezekiel Ansah||Tyler Eifert|
|18||G Jonathan Cooper||DT Sylvester Williams|
|19||DE Sam Montgomery||CB Desmond Trufant|
|20||TE Tyler Eifert||Manti Te'o|
|21||RB Montee Ball||Alec Ogletree|
|22||OT D.J. Fluker||Kenny Vaccaro|
|23||WR Terrance Williams||Cordarrelle Patterson|
|24||OT Menelik Watson||Xavier Rhodes|
|25||DT John Jenkins||Kevin Minter|
|26||TE Zach Ertz||RB Eddie Lacy|
|27||WR Keenan Allen||WR Robert Woods|
|28||CB Xavier Rhodes||CB D.J. Hayden|
|29||LB Kevin Minter||WR Justin Hunter|
|30||DT Sharrif Floyd||OL Kyle Long|
|31||WR DeAndre Hopkins||Margus Hunt|
|32||DE Margus Hunt||S Jonathan Cyprien|
— Smith was originally not listed as a first-round pick. Same with teammate Tavon Austin and Alabama’s Eddie Lacy.
— Damontre Moore started out in the second slot. Kiper now has him going 58th to the Broncos. Moore racked up 21 sacks over the last two seasons for Texas A&M.
— Dion Jordan moved up most boards post-Combine, including Kiper’s.
— Speaking of movement, how about Sharrif Floyd going from 30 all the way to 3?
— Luke Joeckel (1), Barkevious Mingo (9) and Sheldon Richardson (14) were the only three to stay put.
— This reminds us how much Manti Te’o has fallen in the mock world since his personal life became the focus.
— Lane Johnson is one of the hottest names out there; some even project him landing with the Eagles at 4. Not to be found on the first mock.
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