Remember way back in February when the first mock drafts rolled out and several of the major media draftniks had Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III or Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin going to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round? What happened? Did these players “shoot down” the draft board? Why wasn’t Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller considered by most to be a first round option way back then? What made him “shoot up” the draft board?
Baltimore Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz was asked about this in a recent interview and set the record straight as it relates to draft prospects being described as rising and falling.
“Guys don’t jump up very often,” said Hortiz. “Juniors are the most volatile position, because we have done the least amount of work on juniors when we get together in February, because they just declared on January 15th or 17th.
“So there’s just an unknown with the juniors. But for the most part, we do a really good job, we’ve gotten better and better at getting more and more information on the juniors so when we get done with the combine there’s not so much jumping two or three rounds. They may be just moving up above this guy or moving down below this guy.”
Most of the major media draftniks and us Youtube scouts really don’t get started looking long and hard at draft prospects until after the Super Bowl and it takes a lot of time to drill down thoroughly through all of these players.
I love college football as much as the next person, but it takes me until the middle part of March before I really get a good grasp on which player has what warts and I have a ton of free time on my hands. NFL scouts, however, are several months ahead and they better be. Sure, the juniors might need their scouting reports updated, but like Hortiz there still isn’t much jumping going on with them.
No, players don’t shoot up and down NFL draft boards. They do, however, shoot up and down outsiders draft boards as all of us try to catch up with what the real scouts have known for several months. Keep this in mind when the 2015 mock drafts and rankings begin surfacing next week.