Every year, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. releases multiple mock drafts to prepare for the April (or May in last year's case) draft. While the value of mock drafts in my mind is considering the positions for a given team, they can still be assessed for accuracy....or lack thereof.
Jimmy Kempski, former SB Nation writer and current PhillyVoice.com writer, took a look at Kiper's preliminary mock draft to assess his first round accuracy. In five years, Kiper has correctly predicted eight picks out of 160 total picks. My guess is his accuracy was a little better as he progressed through each draft season, but it is still amusing to consider that kind of inaccuracy. In reality, I'd argue more value would be had in what position he had each team drafting.
For those looking to keep track, Kiper's first mock dropped last month, and he had the 49ers drafting wide receiver Kevin White. In his second mock, he has the 49ers selecting wide receiver Breshad Perriman.
All that being said, it is interesting to consider who the San Francisco 49ers would have had they drafted the player mocked to them by Kiper in that initial mock. Kempski put together a table of who each team would now have.
If Mel Kiper's initial mock drafts over the last 5 years were 100% accurate, here's who your team would have drafted: pic.twitter.com/riGs2f4yVH— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) February 18, 2015
The 49ers would have had the following players. I've included an explanation for each pick with how it shook out.
2010: OT Trent Williams, S Earl Thomas - In Kiper's final mock, he had the 49ers selecting OT Bryan Bulaga and CB Joe Haden.
Reality: The 49ers had picks 13 and 17 (from Carolina Panthers). They traded from 13 to 10 to get Anthony Davis. They then used pick 17 to draft Mike Iupati. Williams went No. 4 to Washington, Thomas went No. 14 to Seattle.
2011: DE Robert Quinn - In Kiper's final mock, he had the 49ers selecting quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Reality: The 49ers had pick No. 7, which they used on Aldon Smith. Quinn went No. 14 to St. Louis.
2012: WR Alshon Jeffery - In Kiper's final mock, he had the 49ers selecting guard Kevin Zeitler.
Reality: The 49ers had pick No. 30, which they used on A.J. Jenkins. Jeffery slipped into the second round, going 45th overall to Chicago.
2013: DT Sharrif Floyd - In Kiper's final mock, he had the 49ers selecting safety Eric Reid, with no trade up. Well done!
Reality: The 49ers had pick No. 31, and traded up to No. 18 to draft Eric Reid. Floyd went No. 23 to Minnesota.
2014: WR Odell Beckham Jr. - In Kiper's final mock, he had the 49ers selecting wide receiver Cody Latimer.
Reality: The 49ers had pick No. 30, and used it on Jimmie Ward. OBJ went No. 12 to the New York Giants.