As you know, mock drafts have become central to coverage of the NFL, especially from January through April. Here at Inside the League, of course, we don't hold to accepted standards, so we scan the Web for mocks even in the summer. Of course, it's not just to satisfy our weird curiosities. We also do it to sort out the winners from the losers, the bold from the timid, and the accuracy from the guesswork when it comes to composing mock drafts.
By now, two years into our practice of reviewing the mocks, you
know the seven services we surveyed. If not,
they're listed here
. It's worth noting that Tony Pauline, who's been a staple of our surveys, is no longer with Draft Analyst (he's moved to
the Pro Football Network, linked here
), and furthermore, we couldn't find a link to his most recent mock draft, so we've linked to his colleague at PFN, Neal Driscoll. That's
Since it's August, those aren't the only concessions we had to make. Sports Illustrated, perhaps reluctant to start the frenzy too early, only published a top 10 list, plus six other players in no certain order. We listed the 16 in order for the purposes of our report; obviously, this is not a scientific process. Also,
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller listed his top 32 players in early May
, though it may or may not be in order. He called it "a prioritized watch list more than a set list of rankings." Once again, for reasons of expediency, we're calling it a mock.
On to the analysis.
Here are the players every service rates as a first-rounder, in no certain order: Alabama QB
Tua Tagovailoa, Oregon QB
Justin Herbert, Alabama WO
Jerry Jeudy, Ohio State DE
Chase Young, Iowa DE
A.J. Epenesa, LSU FS
Grant Delpit, Colorado WO
Laviska Shenault, Georgia OT
Andrew Thomas, Stanford OT
Walker Littleand Auburn DT
Derrick Brown. That's a third of the first round that all seven services see as top-32 players, which is not uncommon at this stage of the process.
The consensus No. 1, Tagovailoa, is easy. Five out of seven of the services have him as the top pick (and remember, Miller didn't put together a proper mock). Sports Illustrated, which ranked the top 10 only, has him at No. 2, so it's nearly unanimous. The 'Bama QB's average rank is 2.14. Then there are two players, Young (3.29) and Herbert (3.43), with a sub-4.0 average rank. Miller listed Young No. 1, and Sports Illustrated slated Herbert for the top pick. Then there's Jeudy, the only other player with a sub-5 composite ranking average (4.29). Miller and ESPN's Todd McShay have him at No. 2.
The widest variation is on two SEC players, Georgia's Thomas and Auburn's Brown (at least among the players everyone has ranked as a first-rounder). Walter Football has the Bulldog slated for No. 3, while McShay has him at 20. Meanwhile, Brown is the fourth pick according to Sports Illustrated, but only 21 overall per Miller.
We love to see services go out on a limb in their mocks, and with that said, hat's off to Pro Football Network's Driscoll. Not only is he the only draft forecaster to put Utah State QB
Love in his first round, but he puts him in the top 10 (No. 8). He's got two other players, Alabama DT
LaBryan Ray and Iowa OT
Alaric Jackson, in his mock and his alone.His service is not the boldest, however. That distinction belongs to two draft services, Walter Football and Pro Football Focus.
Walter Football listed four players - Texas WO
Collin Johnson (19), Notre Dame DE
Khalid Kareem (20), Mississippi State DC
Cameron Dantzler (29) and Liberty WO
Antonio Gandy-Golden (32) - in their first round, though no one else did. As for PFF, which is known for going its own way, the four are Stanford DC
Paulson Adebo (19), FS
Kenny Robinson Jr. (a former WVU player who's entered the transfer portal and who PFF likes at 21), Washington DT
Levi Onwuzurike (27) and Stanford QB
K.J. Costello (32).
On the other hand, McShay seemed to play it safe for the most part. He only had one prospect, TCU OT
Lucas Niang, in his mock solely. He didn't take the easy way out, placing Niang at 13. Don't dismiss McShay; he was the only draft forecaster to place TCU DE
L.J. Collier (1/29, Seahawks) in the first round, and was one of only two (along with Walter Football) to put Boston College OG
Chris Lindstrom (1/14, Falcons) in the first 32.
Want to get a longer look at our board?
Do that here
. We'll analyze the seven services again later this year, once the season is under way. In the meantime, here's a look at what else we saw, heard, read and said in college and pro football this week.
It's been a summer of getting behind on some of our standard features, and one of the worst cases was on our
. We slipped behind by three reports, but this week, we started catching up. On Tuesday, we had
our look at the April-to-May period
, when we identified nine changes. On Thursday, we followed up with
our May-to-June report
. For that period, we counted 10 more changes. This week, we'll have our June-to-July report and, hopefully, our July-to-August post later in the week. We'll also break out our list of the top contract advisors and their total number of active clients (minimum 10). It's going to be a busy week but we're excited about getting up to speed. Check out all our agent changes reports going back 10 years by clicking
Seeking salary info:
We had dozens of conversations with college personnel professionals across the country last week, and we made it clear we want to be a resource for them, just as we are for the agent and scouting communities. The response we got was that salaries are still an area of mystery around the business for college personnel professionals. What do you think? Are you a recruiting director, graphic designer, or director of personnel with an NCAA football team? Would a survey akin to
the one we conduct for the NFL scouting community
be helpful? If so, what kinds of questions should we ask? What, specifically, do you need to know? And are there other areas where we could help clear up some of the darkness? We're eager to gather feedback and hear what you have to say. Just email us here.
Missed the Personnel Symposium?:
Speaking of Nashville, you might have wanted to attend, but couldn't, for any number of reasons. If that's the case, you didn't get to hear ITL's
Catapult Leadership's Jason Montanez
Titans Director of College Scouting Blake Beddingfield
tell you what it takes to become an NFL scout, as well as what you need to do (and not do) to enhance your chances of getting a look. Fortunately, we've got that handled. Click
to watch ITL's complete presentation. Want a copy of the Power Point presentation? We'll send that your way, as well. Just ask.
2019 MLB Agent Exam:
The next test for prospective Major League Baseball reps will be Tuesday and Wednesday in New York City. If you're among those people headed to the Big Apple next week, make sure you're ready by taking
our practice exam
. Though the number of people taking the new baseball exam doesn't yet rival the sum of NFLPA exam-takers, we'll have several clients in NYC with our prep tools. For $150 (non-ITL subscribers) or $100 (ITL subscriber rate), you can feel just a little more prepared. Got questions? Just ask. Also, if you're getting ready to conduct business on the diamond along with the gridiron, don't forget to check out this week's Succeed in Football piece. We talk about ITL's (potential) baseball overlap, how the baseball biz compares to the football biz, and more.
You can check it out here
ITL Team Scouting Reports:
This week, we published two new reports in our popular new series on
. They are the 18
teams we've profiled thusly. Next week, we'll have five more teams:
Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Pitt
. Our reports are steadily gaining fans due to their looks at the top 10 prospects at each school, regardless of class, written by some of the top evaluators at colleges across the country. We'll have Rutgers, South Carolina, USC, Stanford and many more before we're done, so stay tuned.
At long last, we caught up on two of our
Agent Changes reports
this week. Still, we are running behind on our June-to-July report as well as our July-to-August report. Traditionally, the June-to-July report (
here's last year
) is a little sparse, but the July-to-August report (
) can be robust. We'll ferret out all the terminations we can find and present them this week, hoping to finally be caught up, once and for all. We'll also have our
Agents by Total Clients
report for August, and this month, we'll include
agents' certification years
as well as active clients, just for comparison's sake. We'll also have our final week for Session 2 of the
ITL Newsletter on the NFL Draft Process
. So far, this year, dozens of prospects' parents have taken advantage of our four-week series to get coached up on what's ahead for their respective sons. Some have even taken the next step and purchased our book,
Moving the Chains: A Parent's Guide to the NFL Draft
, to move from a 100-level class to a 400-level class. Also ahead: five more posts in our
Oregon, Oregon State, Penn State, Pitt
; this week, we featured
. Also next week, after a slow month, we'll get back in the saddle with our
. This week,
we broke down the newest developments on the hiring front
at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, made some adjustments to
the ITL 100
, and more. Next week, we'll look more closely at recruiting for the '20 draft, XFL hires, agents on the move to new agencies, all-star developments or anything else that turns up. Also, don't forget: we're still a little more than a month away from the next
WWE tryout camp in Orlando
, and though time's a-wasting, there's still time to submit clients for consideration. Just email us. We're well into the NFL preseason schedule and just a week and a day away from the first college football game of the year. It's good to be alive, isn't it?
It's also great to be an ITL client
. If you aren't one yet, let us show you why.