AFC East reader mock pretty much a failure

For six weeks leading into the draft, I compiled your votes for an AFC East reader mock that would be measured against ESPN experts Mel Kiper and Todd McShay.

We got crushed.


AFC East readers correctly predicted only three selections: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton first to the Carolina Panthers, Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson fifth to the Arizona Cardinals and USC tackle Tyron Smith ninth to the Dallas Cowboys.

That's right. Shut out in the division.

Kiper delivered nine picks in the correct slots, although three of them went to wrong teams because of trades. McShay got eight slots right with two going to the wrong team.

Therefore, Kiper and McShay each had six bull's-eyes.

Procedural circumstances hurt the AFC East reader mock draft a little. We started back in March, choosing a player every weekday until we were done. Once a selection was made, it was locked in.

Kiper and McShay, meanwhile, had the ability to constantly tweak. At one point, each predicted Alabama running back Mark Ingram to the Miami Dolphins at No. 15 -- just like readers of the AFC East blog. But Kiper and McShay eventually switched to the winning pick, Florida center Mike Pouncey.

But the competition was so one-sided, I doubt tweaking would've helped much.

I came up with this scoring system to give credit for picks that were close and to account for trades:

  • 5 points: bull's-eye (player and team)

  • 4 points: player to right team/different slot or player in right slot/different team

  • 3 points: player taken within one slot of projected pick

  • 2 points: player taken within two slots of projected pick

  • 1 point: player taken within three slots of projected pick

That gave the AFC East blog 26 points with three bull's-eyes, two players within a slot, two players within two slots and one player within three slots.

Of the 24 remaining guesses, six of them weren't taken in the first round at all. The good news is that Kiper and McShay also whiffed on four of the same ones: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed, UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers and Texas cornerback Aaron Williams.

Kiper racked up 48 points, powered by having the first six picks slotted correctly.

McShay accumulated 50 points with my system. He couldn't match Kiper's hot start, but caught him in the second half. McShay nailed the Cameron Heyward to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 31st pick.

When considering the worst miss, AFC East blog readers had Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder going to the Buffalo Bills at No. 34 (we allowed two bonus predictions because AFC East teams had the first two picks of the second round). Ponder went 12th to the Minnesota Vikings. The 22-spot differential was the largest of any player in the three mocks.

Readers also failed to include Washington quarterback Jake Locker in the first round, and he went eighth overall to the Tennessee Titans.