At this point, it is accepted by pretty much everyone involved that no matter how much tape is watched, data is analyzed, and college coaches are consulted; the NFL Draft will NEVER become a perfect science. Especially not when Mel Kiper is picking!
We’ll admit, the ESPN NFL draft “expert” does get some of his predictions right… but we’re not interested in the GOOD Mel Kiper here…
We want the bad stuff!
So here it is: Every NFL team’s draft pick that Mel Kiper was horribly wrong about.
Arizona Cardinals: Andre Wadsworth
Andre Wadsworth was a great story. Despite only getting recruited to play at one mid-major college, Stony Brook University in New York, Wadsworth threw caution to the wind – and went to Florida State as a walk on. While there, he turned himself into an All American performer. And heading into the ’98 NFL Draft, he was a surefire top 10 pick.
Wadsworth ended up going third overall to the Cardinals, but Kiper actually had him as the top ranked player in the draft…ahead of Peyton Manning! And he compared him to Bruce Smith!
It’s a good thing the Colts didn’t listen to Kiper, as Wadsworth lasted just three seasons in the league, while Peyton went on to become one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in league history.
Atlanta Falcons: Julio Jones
Julio Jones has been on the short list of “best receivers” in the NFL – ever since the Falcons traded up to take him sixth overall in the 2011 Draft.
He has led the league is receiving yards twice and was named to an All Pro team five consecutive seasons… Not bad for a guy that Kiper claimed was not “sure-handed” enough to trade up for…
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson
Okay, while many of Kiper’s snafus are understandable given the unpredictable nature of evaluating college athletes – this one was inexcusable. Kiper took to national television and used Lamar Jackson’s accuracy statistics to critique him, but was quick to turn around and say stats are for losers when analyzing Josh Allen.
Does this make any sense to you?
Something’s gotta give here Mel!
Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen
Obviously, there was just something about Josh Allen that had Mel Kiper hot and bothered.
Between the contradictory analysis we just touched on, and his willingness to declare Allen the number one talent in a draft loaded with quarterbacks, it seemed odd that Kiper was buying so much stock in the University of Wyoming product.
While Allen has looked decent in his first few seasons, it is already pretty clear he should never have been a number one overall pick – like Kiper thought he should be.
Carolina Panthers: Jimmy Clausen
Alright… This one is a little bit of low hanging fruit, but it is too good not to use, as it may be the most dramatic, incorrect draft prediction of all time. Ahead of the 2010 NFL Draft, Kiper and Todd McShay were debating the future of former Notre Dame star, Jimmy Clausen.
Kiper, unprompted, went out on a limb and said, “If Jimmy Clausen is not a successful quarterback in the NFL, I’m done. That’s it. I’m out.”
Well, its been 10 years and Clausen hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015. Hey Mel, does seven career touchdowns and 14 interception qualify as “success?”
Maybe you should join Clausen in early retirement!
Chicago Bears: Mitch Trubisky
This one I will never really understand, but somehow the hype train went all in on Mitch Trubisky – in a draft class that featured the likes of Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes…