There is no sure thing with an NFL Prospect. If everyone could use hindsight, every NFL team would be stacked with talent. Every single year, I specify that what I write regarding draft prospects is purely my opinion and analyse. I never say I'm right about a prospect before the draft because after doing this for many years, you can never be sure about anyone. I give my opinion and ask that you take it for what you will, sometimes I'm right and sometimes I'm horribly wrong. It's the nature of the work. I won't shy away from the errors in my evaluation and I won't drone on about the successes.
However tonight I wanted to take a look back at my final mock drafts at GGN over the years. I can't seem to find one from 2009 and I was absent in 2011 for personal reasons. So today I only have 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014. Some players were already taken by the time the Jets selected, but I thought it would be interesting to see where the Jets would stand had they followed the mock drafts.
1st Round: Jerry Hughes, OLB, TCU
2nd Round: Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers
3rd Round: Jordan Shipley, WR, Texas
4th Round: Greg Hardy, DE, Ole Miss
5th Round: Joique Bell, RB, Wayne State
6th Round: Blaire White, WR, Michigan State
7th Round: Will Barker, OT, Virginia
Jerry Hughes is just coming off back to back double digit sack seasons for the Bills. Devin McCourty has really blossomed after moving to free safety and he'll get paid this year. Shipley hasn't played since 2012 despite a 600 yard rookie season. Greg Hardy has had a very good career but finds himself in a lot of legal trouble. It took a few years but Joique Bell has really come on for the Lions over the last three years, he's just coming off a 860 yard, 7 touchdown season. Blair White had a really good rookie year scoring 5 touchdowns, however he left football after only two years. Barker bounced around for a couple of years but didn't really stick in the NFL.
Not a bad draft by any means.
2012 (In this draft I included some picks being traded)
1st Round: Andre Branch, DE, Clemson
2nd Round: Bobby Massie, OT, Ole Miss
2nd Round: Bruce Irvin, OLB, West Virginia
3rd Round: Nick Toon, WR, Wisconsin
4th Round: Demario Davis, ILB, Arkansas State
5th Round: Brian Peters, FS, Northwestern
6th Round: James Hanna, TE, Oklahoma
7th Round: Bryce Brown, RB, Tennessee
7th Round: Marquette King, P, Fort Valley State
Branch has been really disappointing, failing to live up to the billing. He did total 6 sacks in 2013 and 3 in 2014, however he is a situational pass rusher and doesn't start for the poor Jaguars. Massie started all 16 games for the play-off Cardinals last year. Bruce Irvin has been fantastic, I had him in the 2nd and of course he was drafted in the 1st by Seattle. Toon has been underwhelming so far but I wouldn't be surprised to see him have a better 2015. Davis of course we all know. Brian Peters never really did anything. Hanna has done very little in three years with the Cowboys. Bryce Brown had a couple of good years in Philadelphia but went off the boil in Buffalo last year. Marquette King is now the starting punter for Oakland and booms kicks on a regular basis.
Pretty tough draft there, a lot of misses.
1st Round: Barkevious Mingo, OLB, LSU
1st Round: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
2nd Round: Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati
3rd Round: DJ Swearinger, S, South Carolina
4th Round: Markus Wheaton, WR, Oregon State
5th Round: Brandon McGee, CB, Miami
6th Round: Rex Burkhead, RB, Nebraska
7th Round: Mike Catapano, OLB, Princeton
Mingo was a little disappointing this year with his sack numbers down on his rookie year, but I'm still been impressed with his overall game. Chance Warmack started all 16 games at guard for Tennessee and was rated highly by PFF (24 of 72). Travis Kelce had an excellent year in 2014 and was rated as one of the top tight ends in the league. Swearinger started 12 games last year gaining 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles and some hard hit, he's still a little raw and needs more development. Wheaton will broke onto the scene in 2014 after a quite 2013 and he'll be looking to take another step forward. McGee has done next to nothing. Burkhead hasn't done much either but scored his first TD late in 2014. Mike Catapano has been spoken about highly by the Chiefs but has some serious health problems.
1st Round: Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
2nd Round: Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois
3rd Round: Stanley Jean-Baptise, CB, Nebraska
4th Round: Gabe Jackson, OG, Mississippi State
5th Round: Dri Acher, RB, Kent State
6th Round: Christian Kirksey, LB, Iowa
7th Round: A.C Leonard, TE, Tennessee State
7th Round: Gator Hoskins, TE, Marshall
It's a little early to really judge any of these players. Cooks had a good year cut short by injury. Ward struggled early but showed signs towards the end. Jean-Baptise only played a handful of snaps. Gabe Jackson was rated highly having played 13 games at LG. Dri Archer was a disappointment in year one but Steeler fans still hope and expect more. 80 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble for Kirksey, not a bad start. Leonard couldn't stick with the Vikings and Gator Hoskins has played sparingly for the Superbowl bound Seattle Seahawks.
There are some good ones, there are some stinkers and that just shows how difficult it is to predict the future of many college players. Chance Warmack was one of my favourite prospects over the years and he's done well, but so was Jordan Shipley and he's not even playing football any more. I was a big proponent of drafting Travis Kelce, but then also wanted the Jets to take James Hanna. I even had a punter in there!