Mel Kiper Jr. has predicted the Draft for ESPN and covered all angles of the NFL's annual fresh pooling event for many years.
Many media would call Kiper a draft guru. To fans, he is known as an idiot. Surely, he has predicted a player on your team would be the biggest bust and then that player went onto be a Hall member. Or a Super bowl winner.
Before the 2001 NFL season, Kiper predicted the New England Patriots would go 0-16 and have the first pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. Instead, the Patriots went 11-5 and went on to win Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams.
In another draft, he said, "Marcus Vick is going to be picked a lot higher than you think—maybe as high as late third round."
Vick was never chosen.
He was one of the biggest supporters of Andre Ware and said Ware was going to be an excellent quarterback in the NFL. Ware, a former Heisman Trophy winner, couldn't even get off the bench in Detroit and lasted four years in the NFL with the Lions and Raiders.
No need to discuss JaMarcus Russell, possibly the biggest bust in NFL history, who was one of Mel's sure things to be the "Next Elway."
Let's go further back.
After the 1995 Draft, he called FB William Henderson the worst pick of the draft. He was taken in the third round.
Henderson is tied with 13-year player Lorenzo Neal for the league’s fullback record of seven overall seasons (minimum six starts) blocking for a 1,000-yard rusher, having been out in front of Dorsey Levens (1997, 1999) and Ahman Green (2000-04).
Not to mention, including the postseason, Henderson has played in 174 of the Packers’ last 176 games.
Kiper's record on drafted players in the first round, 2005-2008: 32 of 127 for 25.2 percent.
What about this Tim Tebow kid? Many say it's a forgone conclusion that Tebow will fail.
On Sunday night, he showed he indeed can play in the NFL.
Sure, he played a third-string defense. However, he had some drops and would have been 10-13 for about 180 yards and two touchdowns without them.
You see, Tim Tebow may very well be the most debated player to ever leave the college ranks.
I mean, why would a Heisman Trophy-winning, two-time National Champion do well in the NFL?
Did you know Tebow even called him out on it.
"You tell me this," Tebow said to Kiper during the radio exchange. "What do you think I need to do to be an NFL quarterback? You tell me that."
Unfortunately, Kiper didn't give Tebow a direct answer to his direct question.
"You're just too good with the ball in your hands not to think, Could he be Frank Wycheck? Could he be Chris Cooley? That's why," Kiper said. "You're too good, doing what you do, Tim, running with the football."
[...]To which Tebow replied, "The quarterback has the ball in his hands every play."
Kiper should know after all these years and variety of QB, there is no standard mold.
The QB may be a runner with a arm. Or have an arm and may need to run.
The NFL is not driven by molds or standards. Its by W's
and believe me the W's set the standards.
millions of other people know this, that but the "Guru" doesnt?
His simple answer should of been wins. He would of not looked too smart though as Tebow has plenty of those.
Later in draft previews after Tebow was on his way to the NFl , Mel Kiper went as far as to say Tebow needed to change his position to make it in the NFL.
Let's paint a picture. The year is 2011. The NFL, by some miracle, will play on that year.
The Broncos, led by the surprising Tebow, have become a powerhouse in the NFL. The risk that Josh McDaniels took has paid off.
Denver is now a legitimate team like the Colts, Bolts, or Patriots, led by a QB who, like in his college days, just seems to find a way to win.
Would any of you or the sports world give Kiper a pass on this one?
He has pull though, is on ESPN year in and out with the same draft analyzing, and doesn't appear to be slowing down, already having next year's draft pegged.
But if he is wrong on Tebow, will it end Kiper's career as a draft guru?