Skip to content

McShay issues a 2015 mock draft, with underclassmen in it

On Sunday, ESPN’s in-house leverage against a Mel Kiper contractual dispute (also known as Todd McShay) wagged a finger at those responsible for underclassmen who left school early for the draft — but who weren’t drafted.

I noted the hypocrisy of McShay’s sanctimony, pointing out that he and other draft experts include underclassmen in projections and analyses occurring long before the underclassmen must decide whether to leave school early.  The publication of mock drafts nearly a year early plants a seed in the mind of the player who now regards himself as a first-round pick.  It also provides plenty of ammunition to agents, family members, and friends who are in position to influence the player to quit playing football for free.

Last year, three of the players listed in McShay’s top 32 prospects immediately after the 2013 draft ultimately left school early, but weren’t drafted.

While the opinions expressed by folks like McShay nearly a year before the next draft aren’t the sole reason for players to leave school early when perhaps they shouldn’t, it’s undoubtedly a potential factor in the dynamic that begins to unfold the instant an underclassmen sees that one of the ESPN draft experts has pegged him as a potential first-round pick.  The only way to make it not a factor is to stop doing it.

But McShay has done it again, issuing a mock draft less than a week after the most recent draft.  McShay’s mock draft apparently includes underclassmen, given the presence of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston in the photo accompanying the link to the ESPN Insider content (sorry, ESPN, but we’re not paying for the privilege of reading McShay’s mock draft, or anything else you’re not posting for free).   The addition of a disclaimer by McShay that it’s “way too early” is, as a practical matter, the act of declaring “I hope this toothpaste stays in the tube” while removing the cap and squeezing hard.

Even if the kids on the list are able to ignore the presence of their names among McShay’s projections, others they know will notice.  And they’ll inevitably say something.  And it will be impossible for those kids to not embark on the 2014 season thinking that their status as potential first-round picks means that they’d definitely be selected in a seven-round draft.  At a time when more and more people are resisting the idea of playing college football for free, who could blame them for leaving early?

If McShay is truly concerned about underclassmen leaving school early and not being drafted, he can easily address the situation.  He can refuse to include underclassmen in any mock drafts before the they are certified to enter the draft early.

Yes, some in the audience want to see the underclassmen included in the projections.  But if McShay is going to climb onto a soapbox after multiple underclassmen give up one or more years of eligibility and aren’t drafted, he needs to admit that he has a role in that process — and he needs to insist to his editors and producers that any and all projections that potentially could influence underclassmen should end.

Permalink 55 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill
55 Responses to “McShay issues a 2015 mock draft, with underclassmen in it”
  1. wiskybuck says: May 14, 2014 8:47 PM

    If anything, his mock drafts show his lack of scouting knowledge.

  2. ravennole says: May 14, 2014 8:47 PM

    First 5 picks are underclassmen. Mcshay is such a tool

  3. gixrider says: May 14, 2014 8:48 PM


  4. thepftpoet says: May 14, 2014 8:48 PM

    Florio > McShay

    …it’s not even close.

  5. tonyricemajorharris says: May 14, 2014 8:48 PM

    Take your mock drafts and flush them down the toilet. Enough is enough.

  6. icewalker946 says: May 14, 2014 8:50 PM

    If people really think mock drafts can influence a player coming out then perhaps footballs games should not be played again because, you know, everyone comes out with predictions of what is going to happen.

    Is it the mock drafters that make players play horribly during the following football season that they can’t get the teams to actually draft them or is it squarely on the players’ shoulders?

    I think mock drafters get used as a punching bag too much. I blame agents and money-grubbing relatives that want to see a player turn pro. All they see are dollar signs.

  7. corky2141 says: May 14, 2014 8:52 PM

    You get em Florio

  8. valcomm5 says: May 14, 2014 8:52 PM

    Where’s Mariota and Sam Coates?

  9. chompchomp11 says: May 14, 2014 8:53 PM

    He did provide a warning that says underclassman should not use his mock draft to base their decision on. At least he did that.

  10. HitsDingers says: May 14, 2014 8:53 PM

    Only 9 of the 32 players in his mock are seniors

  11. ajg314 says: May 14, 2014 8:53 PM

    Thank you Florio! I complained about this once before but my post was deleted. However, now I see that you won’t post links to articles where it costs the reader money to read it. And at least you’re noting beforehand that it’s a cost issue with the link. So, again, thank you for that. I refuse to pay ESPN, or anywhere else for that matter, for information that should be posted free of charge.

  12. corky2141 says: May 14, 2014 8:56 PM

    His top 5 and 8 of top ten picks are underclassmen. But his first line in the article says this should hold no weight for underclassmen coming out early and that’s why they have the draft advisor board

  13. trublazer says: May 14, 2014 9:00 PM

    corey chavous draft nasty

  14. sylvester000001 says: May 14, 2014 9:01 PM

    How about the flip side where a guy may see his name surprisingly, and is now motivated to make himself the best he can, and does.

  15. redstar504 says: May 14, 2014 9:03 PM

    Mike, I am totally with you on this. Folks that cover the draft especially as it relates to underclassmen bare the lion’s share of the blame. These kids aren’t old enough to buy a beer and they have ESPN telling them they are the next big thing. Your young and overconfident on your abilities already that one mock draft you saw back in the summer that had you in it is more than enough to convince you to jump ship, forgo the diploma and declare.

    Problem being most NFL players DON’T make it in the sense of being set for life or even make a team in a lot of cases. The diploma they opted out on would have been the key to success in life, a diploma they were likely being given for free on scholarship.

    At the end of the day everyone has no one but themselves to blame because we all make our own decisions. That said these fools that make mocks 2 days after the draft do share in the blame.

    The idea that you can even mock something that far out before teams know their needs and a whole NCAA season is still to be played is completely moronic.

    Further more I think the vast majority of these so called draftnicks fake the majority of what they say. Sure they get themselves some publicity but their drafts are completely wrong and they do nothing but harm. They either make a kid too overconfident or worse get one to start thinking less about the degree and more about what Mel Kipper had to say.

  16. sylvester000001 says: May 14, 2014 9:04 PM

    Media types always love beating up on mock drafts and draft analysis because they don’t understand it. They feel compelled to report about something they don’t understand and that angers them. Therefore, what media people don’t understand must be destroyed. So they trash almost everything draft related. It’s a half-week later and they’re still trashing everything about the draft.

    Here’s an idea, stop reporting on it. Go talk about the other 3 sports. We’ll be fine if you leave.

  17. sharksfan754 says: May 14, 2014 9:07 PM

    Mock drafts shouldn’t be done by anyone until the combine takes place. Way too many things change until that point to make them accurate enough to the real thing.

  18. tccoats says: May 14, 2014 9:12 PM

    any mock draft in May (for the following year’s draft), whether underclassmen are included or not is a COMPLETE waste of time and space….

  19. virger says: May 14, 2014 9:12 PM

    Half of the players actually drafted in the first round a week ago were underclassmen. Six of the top 10. The record for most underclassmen in a draft was broken for the fourth year in a row.

    There might be a problem here, but it isn’t people posting meaningless mock drafts a year ahead of time. The CBA has made a player’s second deal the most lucrative, so it’s a race to get there as soon as possible. But let’s not look at what the league itself is doing, let’s look at media members from other outlets.

    I will be shocked if this comment gets posted.

  20. smackingfools says: May 14, 2014 9:18 PM

    Anybody got a 2019 mock draft? That’s the one I’m waiting on. It’s never too soon to put one out.

  21. godofpft says: May 14, 2014 9:26 PM


  22. eyedocjay says: May 14, 2014 9:26 PM

    Mcshay is obviously joking around because he has the giants picking 23rd and drafting a LB in the first round no less…hanging out with kiper all weekend has made him a little delirious

  23. illmethinks says: May 14, 2014 9:29 PM

    I like mocks.

  24. j0esixpack says: May 14, 2014 9:34 PM

    Don’t look now but he’s got his 2019 mock draft out with high school players in it

  25. bornahawker says: May 14, 2014 9:40 PM

    mock drafts are hype. just reacting to a 2015 mock today is you all feeding the hype. go fishing or something….

  26. birdzflyinhigh says: May 14, 2014 9:44 PM

    Mcshay is probably not to blame here considering he was probably given that as an assignment by his editor. He works for espn, he’s not exactly doing freelance work…

  27. floratiotime says: May 14, 2014 9:50 PM

    “But don’t come out early kids” … says Deputy Draft Dog McShay.

  28. cguy7 says: May 14, 2014 9:55 PM

    Quit watching and listening to the jockless tool bags at ESPiN long ago. I’m sure they’ll thank you for the free plug and pub., but I recommend my path for greater harmony in your life. College football, NFL Monday Night, and World Series of Poker only. Blame the agents, players, and families looking for easy street. Quit blaming outside forces…

  29. igglesnut says: May 14, 2014 9:56 PM

    I’m with McShay on this one. It is not the media’s job to advise players on their decisions whether to come out early or not. They’re job is to report factual news and provide opinions. The opinions they provide are basically to draw television viewers and provide website entertainment content to attract page hits and indirectly advertising revenue. Whether or not some player incorrectly uses their opinions in their decision-making process regarding declaring for the draft or not should be irrelevant to them. Everyone knows that draftnik ratings a year before the draft are worthless. If the players and the people advising them are not aware of this, then they are to blame.

  30. zraskovich says: May 14, 2014 9:59 PM

    5 letter network > 4 letter network

  31. phillyducks says: May 14, 2014 10:07 PM

    If a player is dumb enough to base his decision to leave school early and enter the draft based on a mock draft then he’s got bigger problems…

    leaving school early is a crap shoot like the draft, most of the players don’t make it anyway, some get screwed if they stay in school and play, if they don’t make it they can go back to school, if that’s what they really want, most of us have to give up sports earlier than we want to

    these players heads and egos get inflated throughout highschool and college by friends, coaches, other players, media, a mock draft isn’t the problem…its them being built up too much to begin with

    If the reality is that every year theres more underclassmen in the draft, then projecting a draft with underclassmen isn’t a big deal and if you think players shouldn’t go early you should be able to say so, its his job to project players individually so those that read can argue, debate and call him stupid

    the player that makes the decision is responsible and is to blame, whether he gets bad advice, catches a bad break, or just plain thinks he’s better than he really is…reality checks in on all of us at times

  32. 4thqtrsaint says: May 14, 2014 10:22 PM

    Who? Todd McDbag?

  33. rutchaser says: May 14, 2014 10:26 PM

    Did McShay or Kiper even play football in highschool?

  34. rutchaser says: May 14, 2014 10:28 PM

    I guess McShay did play at Richmond. I’m surprised.

  35. eagles3333 says: May 14, 2014 10:34 PM

    This is McShay’s job. He is paid to make these mock drafts to boost sales and ratings. If anyone, including college players, actually take them seriously, they get what they deserve. If I am a player, I am not relying on him to determine my future. Players who do this are grasping at straws and not making educated decisions.

  36. maestro1899 says: May 14, 2014 10:45 PM


    the McShays of the world do these mock drafts because us fans want to see them.

    if you want to blame anyone. blame the fans.

    p.s. see how ridiculous that statement is?

  37. somethinghappeninghere says: May 14, 2014 10:49 PM

    Don’t blame you Florio if you don’t pay for ESPN Insider articles…I did once and it’s not worth the money! Right on about McShay as well.

  38. 2dmo4 says: May 14, 2014 10:57 PM

    Enough. Enough of these clowns McShay & Kiper.

    Was I the only one that was cracking when Gruden was disregarding or not even paying attention when Kiper was talking during the 1st rd ESPN coverage?

  39. dowhatifeellike says: May 14, 2014 10:59 PM

    Draft hype is out of control.

  40. eezyxyz says: May 14, 2014 11:00 PM

    I think this is an incredibly weak argument. We’re still months away from an entire football season that’ll be played before any of these players declare for the draft. If McShay’s mock that he produced today even accounts for 0.000001% of their decision to go pro in early 2015 I’d be amazed.

    McShay is in the prediction/speculation business, not the advice business. The only way he can exclude underclassmen from his mock is if his expectation is that no underclassmen will go pro next year. Then, when a whole bunch of underclassmen did go pro, you’d be calling him an idiot for not predicting that.

  41. rajbais says: May 14, 2014 11:11 PM

    Antonio Richardson was on his mock??

    I’m just asking because why PAY for the INsider?

    It’s likely PFT and a mock draft overpriced,

  42. flyspe says: May 14, 2014 11:28 PM

    If NFL teams are leading these guys to believe they will be drafted early a year out then that’s a problem. If these guys believe McShay and Kiper then I hope my team doesn’t draft them. Everyone knows their ceiling but there are those to stupid to realize it.

  43. shzastl says: May 14, 2014 11:31 PM

    McShay’s top 5, 11 of first 13, and 23 of 32 first round picks are underclassmen.

  44. jayquintana says: May 14, 2014 11:42 PM

    If you’re not related to Kiper or McShay and you base a huge life decision on what they say, you’re probably not smart enough for college.

  45. eagles512 says: May 14, 2014 11:46 PM

    I believe McShay’s point was talking about agents who benefit from getting guys to come out for the draft. McShay doesn’t benefit from it so I have no problem with it.

  46. irishdodger says: May 14, 2014 11:51 PM

    I have a difficult time believing that underclassmen base their early declarations on what a couple of media guys think…especially considering the track records of ALL mock drafts. I’d like to see a list of the early declarations who had off field/character issues. McShay & his ilk are basing their rankings on football ability…not factoring in DUIs, drug possession, battery, sexual assault, burglary, cheating in school, etc. I’d also like to see what the grades from the NFL were for those that declared early but didn’t get drafted. I remember when people (even young men) took responsibility for their decisions.

  47. brownsmakemecrazy says: May 15, 2014 3:33 AM

    So true. McShay was trying to tell everyone how good Blaine Gabbert was 2 yrs ago. Anyone with 2 eyes could tell Gabbert blew. Just like this years overhyped QBs are Bortles, Bridgewater, and Johnny Football. Hopefully im wrong on Johnny, but i wont be.

    Meanwhile, McCarron, Mettenberger and Murray will all have better careers than the 3 above. Just shows how dumb scouts and these organizations truly are.

  48. raiders4ever says: May 15, 2014 6:59 AM

    you cant blame McShay or any of those draft experts .theres ex GMs that give mock drafts and they should know more than the Mel Kipers of the world but everyone knows there wrong every year not 1 person can predict all 7 rounds of any draft so to me the kids family needs to sit down with there own family and make there choice .. I am pretty sure there not going to let the mock draft make the choice for there childrens life…were talking about the kids life and its pretty stupid if you put that in the hands of people who have no say so in how teams draft..

  49. dirtdawg54 says: May 15, 2014 7:23 AM

    Here is my 2036 mock draft:

    With the first pick, the Tennessee Titans take a guy not born yet
    With the second pick, the London Jaguars take a guy not born yet
    With the third pick, the Toronto Bills take a guy not born yet
    With the fourth pick, the New York Jets take Mark Sanchez Jr
    With the fifth pick, the Baltimore Ravens take a guy not born yet
    With the sixth pick, the Oakland Raiders take a really fast guy not born yet

  50. savocabol1 says: May 15, 2014 7:28 AM

    These players that leave early and don’t get drafted need to take responsibility for it, not some draft guy. These are all college educated guys we are talking about.

  51. exboomer says: May 15, 2014 7:52 AM

    He’s already doing a 2015 mock draft..really?? He needs to get a life.

  52. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: May 15, 2014 8:11 AM

    If you’re reading 2015 mock drafts already, you need help!

  53. mrobserver2014 says: May 15, 2014 8:40 AM

    Antonio Richardson has a foot injury that will likely keep him out for his rookie year. He also is living off the fame of his great game against Clowney two seasons ago. He didn’t play as well this year, but I suppose that is McShay’s fault as well.

  54. timtoolman5 says: May 15, 2014 10:45 AM

    Can’t wait for the new “ESPN 24/365 Mock Draft Channel”.

  55. rc33 says: May 15, 2014 1:47 PM

    There are NBA draft sites with projections for 2015 and 2016 so McShay’s not doing anything other analysts in football or other sports don’t do.
    Bottom line, if an underclassman wants to declare, its the responsibility of the coaches, educators, parents and maybe even the athletes themselves to have as clear an understanding of where they’ll go as possible.
    Blaming kids getting the wrong idea on a list McShay put together a year earlier (before their final CFB season even took place) seems like convenient way to pass blame, if you ask me.
    It’s not as if McShay sat down with them and gave them bad advise.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!