Shutdown Corner - NFL

This time of year, mock drafts are nearly as common as claims of deviant sexual behavior made against Ben Roethlisberger. Every blog has one (or twenty), and your bigger sports sites like or could be home to somewhere around 35,829 mock drafts.

But by the time the first round is over and Friday's upon us, you'll hear about how no one's mock draft was right, or even close to right. The most first-round picks anyone will get right is probably eight or nine out of 32, and then we'll deride the mock drafts and all who penned them as ignorant, useless wastes of precious internet space.

If doing that makes you happy, fine, but I think you're kind of missing the point. No one does a mock draft with the goal of getting 32 picks right -- we're all well aware that that's not going to happen (except for this one; it might be exactly right). I honestly think you'd have a better chance of filling out a perfect NCAA bracket or guessing the precise number of chest hairs on Jeff Fisher.

This isn't to say that mock drafts are worthless. In fact, I love them. Chances are, you do, too. If you didn't, there wouldn't be so many out there.

They're fun, quick, easy reads. If they're done well, by guys who are truly experts on these college players, you'll get a good idea of what guys are projected to go in what areas of the draft, and the strengths and weaknesses they bring. That's what mock drafts offer you. No more, no less.

They'll make you a better-educated fan on draft day. No matter how much fun it is to make fun of him, it is a fact that Mel Kiper knows more about the college football players being drafted than you do. And he's not alone in this.

Don't judge a mock draft after the draft, by how many picks they got right. Judge a mock draft immediately after you read it on whether or not it entertained you, educated you, or made you better prepared and/or more excited for Thursday night's shindig. That's the point.

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