If ESPN was on your television at all yesterday, you probably saw that Mel Kiper Jr. has released his first 2014 NFL mock draft, and that he’s predicting that the Houston Texans will select Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel with the first overall pick.
Mock drafts can be fun, but here’s why you shouldn’t pay too much attention: It was a year ago today that ESPN published Kiper’s first mock draft of 2013, a mock draft that had Damontre Moore as the No. 2 overall pick. Three months later, when the actual draft happened, Moore went No. 81 overall.
I point that out not to criticize Kiper personally, but simply to note that for all the attention they generate, mock drafts this early in the year are usually way, way, way off. The idea that we can pair a specific player to a specific team in January is, frankly, ridiculous. Teams have hardly even started their evaluations of draft prospects. The Senior Bowl and other all-star games are still ahead. The Scouting Combine is still ahead. Individual workouts are still ahead. Not every team currently has a head coach. Not every team currently has a general manager.
Manziel might end up in Houston, or he might not. Pegging him as the No. 1 overall pick right now gives the folks on ESPN plenty to talk about, but it’s nothing more than a guess.