After the War: Why We Must Destroy the NFL Mock Draft - Rolling Stone
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Death to the NFL Mock Draft

We’ve got to kill the NFL mocks before they kill us

Johnny Manziel NFL DraftJohnny Manziel NFL Draft

Johnny Manziel, the number 22 overall pick to the Cleveland Browns with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the NFL Draft.

Tomasso DeRosa/AP Photo

The year is 2045. A father and son are watching Day 13 of the NFL Draft. It is Round 125.

The event is being televised from a vessel submerged 4,500 feet below sea level, after spending the last few days in space and the days prior to that in a volcano. It can never stay in one place for too long. It’s not safe anymore.

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Without warning, the boy, wan and frail— he has not seen the sun in nearly two weeks — ends the silence.

“Papa,” the boy croaks. “What were mock drafts like?”

The father, fixated by the authenticity of the Chris Berman hologram flickering to life in their dark, subterranean bunker, frees himself of his trance. His body tightens.

“We don’t speak of NFL mocks in this household,” the father proclaims gravely. “Not after they became self-aware in 2024.”

The two return to silence. Hologram Berman screams about Applebee’s. Soon, the sentinels will begin their nightly hunt, and father and son will huddle together in the darkness. They will never speak of this conversation again.

This is going to happen. It already is. Mock drafts, exercises in futility and ego that see so-called “experts” attempt to predict the unpredictable, are taking over. And despite having an accuracy rate that hovers somewhere between Congressional approval ratings and the Mendoza Line, they are growing more powerful and preposterous with each passing year. Some now mock every single selection in the NFL draft, and use research to back up their blind guesses.They are on every screen, and in your blood stream. You have been infected. Please inform your loved ones.

We are slaves to their nonsense, and some day, we will probably be their actual slaves. Unless we decide to take a stand, right here, right now. How? Well, let’s start with some empirical evidence: Namely, how spectacularly most mock drafts failed when it came to predicting the actual 2014 NFL draft.

In the weeks before it, pretty much every mock draft had South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney going first overall to the Houston Texans. He did. After Clowney, most mocks anticipated that the St. Louis Rams would select former Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson with the No. 2 pick. On Thursday night, that’s exactly what transpired.

Things were progressing swimmingly, and then Jacksonville dropped a turd in the prediction punchbowl. Once the Jaguars selected former Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles third overall, mock drafts became decorative toilet paper. But the destruction wasn’t complete.

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The Buffalo Bills traded up to No. 4 by offering the Cleveland Browns two first-round picks and a case of Genesee. The Bills then took former Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins and pushed these exercises over the cliff. And, as is typical with these mocks, once they go south, they really go south.

And south it went for a trio of mock-draft masters after pick four. draft expert Mike Mayock had five correct predictions out of the 32 selections in his final first-round mock. draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay each bested Mayock by nailing six of the 32 picks in round one. If you don’t have a calculator handy, that translates to 15.6 and 18.75 percent accuracy, respectively. And, no, this wasn’t a bad year, this was typical year: None of the three have hit on more than 30 percent of their predictions since 2010.

Yet that didn’t stop these paradigms of the profession from blabbing about their mocks to anyone who would listen. But maybe it’s time we plug our ears. For those new to the NFL mock draft phenomenon, bless your souls. Leave as quickly as you can and pour gasoline on the carpet as you exit. Throw your computer through the nearest window and never speak of this place again. Save yourselves.

For the rest of you — the lost souls submitting to the drivel each and every year — now is the time to take back your dignity. It has gone on long enough. In order to avoid a Terminator takeover (the rise of the click-bait brutes) let us unite to ban mock drafts from civilization. They are worthless. They have no place here, not anymore, not ever. It will take restraint, willpower and you might have to speak to loved ones rather than wasting away your life on the internet, but you can do this.

We all can. Death to the NFL mock draft.

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