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By Drew Markol, TSN Contributor - Archive - Email
Nobody asked me, but...
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Is there anyone out there who ever watched one play of a football game who doesn't have an NFL mock draft web site?

OK, I'm being too kind. I'm not sure having watched one play is a requirement, judging by what you read.

Just do an internet search for "2012 NFL Mock Drafts" and be prepared to spend hour after hour seeing what one guy after another thinks will happen in late April.

And, of course, if you're really into it, like so many are, search "2013 NFL Mock Drafts." There's plenty of those already available, too.

But back to "Mocks" in general.

Any conversation about them has to begin with Mel Kiper Jr.

When he first started doing his NFL Draft thing on ESPN, he was laughed at. He was the guy with the perfect hair who seemed to be really too into it.

Then, a funny thing happened. People started to take notice that he knew what he was talking about. That obscure offensive lineman from South Dakota Tech whom NFL personnel people knew about, so did Kiper.

Love him or hate him, look what he's done.

He's taken his love for the game and turned a cottage industry into a national phenomenon.

Who wouldn't want to do what Kiper does? The problem is, everybody wants to, but he's the original - the true original.

And he'll also admit when he's wrong.

That's the problem with just about all of the other "Mocks" out there. There's no accountability (the same could be said for the Internet in general in a lot of cases, but that's a story for another day).

Being wrong is part of the game. Look at the many first-round busts over the years. Guys who couldn't miss who did miss. Guys who were supposed to be headed to Canton as soon as their careers were over couldn't find it on a map.

And the guys who missed on them, who picked them instead of the future Pro Bowler, were paid handsomely to do so.

The guys doing the "Mocks" online today, hundreds of them, aren't. Many of them, one would suppose, do their "Mocks" while sitting in their underwear in their basements eating barbecue potato chips.

Well, that might be a little harsh. Perhaps they're wearing pajamas.

Now, one could argue that there really isn't any harm in some guy putting together a "Mock" in his basement. The problem is that when he does, he just hurts the credibility of the people who are pretty good at it.

That leaves the fan, you and I, just confused over what we see. One "Mock" has our favorite team picking so and so while another has the prediction completely different. It can drive the average fan batty.

And while we're on the subject of batty, is there anything battier than the NFL Draft itself?

Once you're done sorting through the "Mocks," the real thing comes around and there are few things duller than the actual thing.

So much hype for so little action. It always makes me wonder why, when a team, especially one drafting early, waits the entire 15 minutes to pick their guy?

What are you waiting for? If you want one guy, and you've wanted that guy all along, is some team going to change your mind with a trade offer they waited months to make to you.

Just pick your guy and move on and keep things going. There is so much dead space between picks, and it's so tedious, you'd think a soccer game was going to break out in the interim.

The entire deal, the zillions of "Mocks," the NFL Draft now being held over three days, is just further proof of the incredible popularity of pro football.

Maybe, since there's seven rounds of the draft, it could become a weeklong event with one round a day being held.

Then we could have Sunday "Mocks" and Monday "Mocks" and so on.

Please, I'm just kidding about that.



Drew Markol has been a sportswriter and columnist for several newspapers in the Philadelphia area for more than 25 years.

Copyright 2012