Mel’s Mock: Then And Now

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 JoeckelLuke Joeckel
2 DE Damontre MooreEzekiel Ansah
3DT Star LotuleleiSharrif Floyd
4CB Dee MillinerQB Geno Smith
5LB Jarvis JonesDee Milliner
6DE Bjoern WernerDion Jordan
7OT Chance WarmackEric Fisher
8LB Manti Te'oJonathan Cooper
9DE Barkevious MingoBarkevious Mingo
10DE Dion JordanChance Warmack
11OT Eric FisherOT Lane Johnson
12WR Cordarrelle PattersonD.J. Fluker
13LB Alec OgletreeStar Lotulelei
14DT Sheldon RichardsonSheldon Richardson
15DT Johnathan HankinsJarvis Jones
16S Kenny Vaccaro WR Tavon Austin
17LB Ezekiel AnsahTyler Eifert
18 G Jonathan CooperDT Sylvester Williams
19DE Sam MontgomeryCB Desmond Trufant
20TE Tyler EifertManti Te'o
21RB Montee BallAlec Ogletree
22OT D.J. FlukerKenny Vaccaro
23WR Terrance WilliamsCordarrelle Patterson
24OT Menelik WatsonXavier Rhodes
25DT John JenkinsKevin Minter
26TE Zach ErtzRB Eddie Lacy
27WR Keenan AllenWR Robert Woods
28CB Xavier RhodesCB D.J. Hayden
29LB Kevin MinterWR Justin Hunter
30DT Sharrif FloydOL Kyle Long
31WR DeAndre HopkinsMargus Hunt
32DE Margus HuntS Jonathan Cyprien

Some observations:

— 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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