Every year leading up to the NFL draft, national experts like ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay offer mock draft after mock draft, flooding the internet with so many predictions it’s hard to keep track.
One of the go-to draft prognosticators — Main Line native Mike Mayock — left the NFL Network to work in the draft room of the Oakland Raiders, which surprised everyone by selecting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 pick. Mayock was ably replaced by longtime NFL Network analyst and former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah, who in his final draft had Ferrell going to the Eagles, at pick No. 25.
The 2019 draft wasn’t quite as chaotic as last year, but it did have its fair share of surprises, like the New York Giants drafting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick while Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was still on the board. And the Eagles surprised many by trading up a few spots in the first round to select Washington State left tackle Andre Dillard, one of the team’s top 10 players entering the draft, according to my colleague Zach Berman.
Speaking of Berman, it might be time for fans across the country to add his mock drafts to their must-read lists. For the second year in a row, Berman bested Kiper, McShay, and Mayock/Jeremiah by successfully predicting 10 of the 32 first round picks in his mock draft. Last year, Berman predicted that the Eagles would trade out of the first round, and in 2017 he was right on the money about the Birds drafting Tennessee defensive end Derek Barnett with the No. 14 pick.
One again, McShay proved why he’s one of the top national draft experts, predicting nine picks in his final mock draft, posted Thursday morning.
Despite not being part of ESPN’s coverage last night (he’ll man the desk tonight for rounds two and three), McShay made his feelings known when the Raiders surprised everyone by taking Ferrell so early. “I thought Mayock was supposed to be the rudder for Jon Gruden,” McShay said. He also harshly criticized the Giants for selecting Jones with the No. 6 pick, calling it a “big mistake” and a “massive reach.”
Jeremiah had a strong debut as the NFL Network’s new lead draft analyst, tying McShay on Thursday night by predicting nine of the first round’s 32 draft picks in his final mock draft Wednesday night.
Jeremiah was the only one of the three experts to predict that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would select LSU linebacker Devin White (thought interestingly, all four of our Eagles beat writers correctly predicted that pick). Jeremiah summed up his experience with three words on his Twitter account
ESPN’s resident draft expert, covering the event for the 35th year, finished behind his contemporaries with seven correct picks in his final mock draft, which posted Thursday morning.
Unlike McShay and Jeremiah, Kiper predicted that Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown would be selected with the No. 25. pick. But Kiper thought it would be the Eagles taking Brown, not the Baltimore Ravens, who traded with the Birds Thursday night.