NFL Mock Draft Update: Todd McShay is #1 (Again)

May 1, 2012  |  Sports

We graded the 2012 Round 1 NFL mock drafts of Mel Kiper (ESPN), Todd McShay (ESPN), and Mike Mayock (, and once again, McShay came out on top. This marks the fourth consecutive year in which McShay bested his two fellow pundits in mock draft accuracy.

As referenced in our previous post, we use a variability measure based on the difference between when each player was projected to be picked and when he was actually picked. A lower variability score is better (ranks in parentheses).

Variability 2009 2010 2011 2012 Average
McShay 8.7 (1) 8.8 (1) 6.8 (1) 7.0 (1) 7.8 (1)
Kiper 8.8 (2) 10.4 (3) 7.7 (2) 8.5 (3) 8.9 (2)
Mayock 9.6 (3) 9.9 (2) 9.3 (3) 7.9 (2) 9.1 (3)


We calculated two additional metrics as well: (1) a “weighted variability” measure, which penalizes a pundit more for getting earlier picks wrong, and (2) a point score system, which diminishes the impact of extremely wrong predictions by capping the downside penalty. The year-to-year rankings vary materially across the three measures, but the overall story is the same: McShay ranks #1 on average, regardless of the metric used. We have also updated the major hits and misses for the group.

Alternative Scoring Metrics

Hits and Misses


Update (4/22/13): We will be tracking these three pundits again for the 2013 NFL Draft. In the meantime, you have still have time to make some of your own Draft predictions on our website — click here to visit our Sports Page and use the “Vote Now” buttons.





  1. Nice work. Curious: Do you think it would be valuable to check the difference between where a player was projected and where they were picked and sort the data by position? Looking quickly over the data non-top-ranked quarterbacks seem to have a lot of variability between projection and pick, but I have no real data to back up that thought.

    But I might think that you could extrapolate that a high variability by position might give some insight into the failings of mock drafters, specifically that some positions are more impacted by interviews and other data that mock drafters do not have access to. Though you’d have to control for top-ranked quarterbacks, but I think that the media attention and scrutiny may be enough to credit the mock drafters with a de facto interview, so that data can be disregarded.

  2. I love the data analysis. One comment. Due to the occasional huge miss, wouldn’t it have been much more appropriate to use the Median variance, instead of average? I guess if the data is pretty evenly distributed (bell curve), then it doesn’t matter, but if it’s heavily right skewed (which I’d assume it is), then Median is the better predictor.

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  1. Help Wanted: NFL Draft Project | PunditTracker Blog
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