ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay offer their latest first-round draft projections. Where do they agree? Where do they differ What trends can we spot? We dig into all of it.
Silly season starts in earnest once the clock strikes April, but mock drafts remain the most entertaining and engaging draft content out there. Whether you love them or hate them, you’ll always scroll down to your team to decide whether to be excited or disappointed.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has taken some heat for his inconsistency on accuracy related to Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, but he remains one of the pillars of Big Draft, and one of the more connected guys in the business.
Meanwhile, McShay brings the perspective of a younger generation and will push back against some of Kiper’s hotter (read: worst) takes.
They started to release dueling mocks, so we can see where they agree, where they differ, and easily identify trends on what to expect come April 26.
5. Top of the draft taking shape
The two don’t exactly agree on their first four picks, but they have the same four players: Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Josh Rosen, and Saquon Barkley going, which suggests these are the consensus favorites at the top.
While Kiper has Allen going first and Darnold second, McShay has the reverse, but they agree on Rosen to the Jets and Barkley to the Browns at four. It seems clear, at this point, the first three picks are going to be quarterbacks and it’s going to Darnold, Rosen and Allen in some order, but the teams are TBD.
Cleveland will take one to start the draft. The Jets will take whoever is left (increasingly this looks like Rosen) and the Giants could stand pat and draft one, or trade out. But whoever picks second, will likely snag a quarterback. Particularly if the Browns tab Allen, the Giants, who love Darnold, may not be willing to deal with a team like the Bills who will want to move up for a quarterback as well.