Today, we conducted our third review of the most recent mock drafts of seven top draft services at ITL, and later today, we’ll analyze the results in the Friday Wrap (you can register for it here). While it’s fun to see what mock drafters are thinking, it’s hard to compare it to what NFL scouts actually think and/or know.
We can’t know what the draft boards of all 32 NFL teams looked like leading up to the most recent drafts, but we can look at the reports our own Blake Beddingfield (former Director of College Scouting for the Titans) wrote on many of the players who got acclaim by the draftniks. We did that this week, and found several instances where Blake, who writes long-form scouting reports for agents ($100 plus tax) as part of the ITL Scouting Department, was right when the media was wrong. Here are a few of them.
Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (proj. 1) — 1/30, Bills, 2021 — Blake projected Rousseau as a future first-rounder in Fall 2019, and all seven draft services agreed immediately following the ’20 draft. However, by the week before the ’21 draft, none of them had him in the first round. Buffalo (and Blake) disagreed, however, and today, he’s a member of PFF’s Midseason All-Rookie Team. “Rousseau has the length and get-off to be a genuine pocket-collapser at the NFL level,” PFF’s Michael Renner writes.
Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota (proj. 2-3) — TBA — Though he was seen as an oversized tackle with potential as a sophomore in Fall 2019, no one was pitching Faalele as a lock for Day 2 and potential first-rounder. Blake, however, saw him as a second- or third-rounder, and today, three of the seven services we monitor have him in the first round next spring.
Chase Claypool, WO, Notre Dame (proj. 2-3) — 2/49, Steelers, 2020 — Claypool never showed up on any of the first-round mocks of any of the seven services we track in any of the six reviews leading to the ’20 draft, but Blake had him in the 33-100 range in the fall of 2019, long before he began his climb up boards. Today, he’s a rising star in Pittsburgh’s receiving corps.
Jevon Holland, FS, Oregon (proj. 2-3) — 2/36, Dolphins, 2021 — Blake saw Holland as a second- or third-rounder in Fall 2019, but draft services had him in the first round immediately following the 2020 draft (four services had him in the 20s for ’21) before he began slipping during Fall 2020. Sure enough, he went in the second round in ’21.
Trey Smith, OG, Tennessee (proj. 1-2) — 6/226, Chiefs, 2021 — In the fall of 2019, people didn’t know (or, at least, the media didn’t) about the medical issues that would drop Smith into the sixth round. Smith is playing much more like the Day 1/Day 2 projection that Blake predicted than the sixth-round pick Smith turned out to be.
Jacob Eason, QB, Washington (proj. 4-7) — 4/122, Colts, 2020 — As of October 2019, three draft services had Eason as a late first-rounder, but Blake never fell for the hype, pegging him as a Day 3 pick. Sure enough, by next spring, he was right.
Zach Baun, OB, Wisconsin (proj. 4-7) — 3/74, Saints, 2020 — These days, Baun is a special-teamer and backup in the Saints’ linebacker corps, though by February 2020, three draft services were calling him a late first-rounder. However, Blake had him as a Day 3 type in Fall 2019, predicting that he’d be pretty much what he is for New Orleans today.
Want to get Blake’s take on a member of the ’22 draft class (or any other draft class, for that matter)? We can turn around a report in 1-2 days for any player in college football, no matter the conference, no matter the level (yes, even NAIA). It’s just $100 plus tax, and you won’t be disappointed by Blake’s depth and draft projection. Don’t rely on Draft Twitter. Email us and let’s get started.