Mock Drafts Can Make DeCosta Sweat

NFL executives pay attention to the various mock drafts around the league.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Categories: 2012 NFL Draft, Garrett Downing

Mock drafts are plentiful at this time of the year, as websites, magazines and newspapers churn out new ones just about every day.

And fans aren’t the only ones paying attention to them.

NFL executives like Ravens Director of Player Personnel Eric DeCosta keep a close eye on the various mocks, getting an idea of how the pundits envision the draft coming together.

“The mock drafts are interesting from the standpoint of kind of getting a consensus from around the country,” DeCosta said. “You have to understand that people who do mock drafts talk to people like me.”


DeCosta Discusses Mock Drafts

DeCosta looks through a handful of mock drafts – he specifically mentioned the ones put together by Peter King, Mike Mayock and Rick Gosselin – paying attention to trends for teams around the league.

While he knows the mock drafts can’t be taken as absolute truth, DeCosta admitted that he does get nervous when he sees players that the Ravens like climbing up the draft ranks.

“Every once in a while you’ll see an outlier player who you didn’t expect to show up,” DeCosta said. “That’s always interesting to me because that means somebody likes this guy. And if it’s a guy that we like and I see him show up in one or two mock drafts, I get antsy because I feel like this is a player that’s rising that a lot of people don’t know about and that’s when I start to sweat a little bit.”

DeCosta didn’t point to any specific players, but every year prospects move up into the first round of mock drafts late in the process.

This year, two late risers are outside linebacker Shea McClellin and offensive guard Amini Silatolu. Both players had been mentioned as possible second-or third-round options for the Ravens, but now some draftniks have them getting taken in the first round.

The opposite can also be true, as pundits may drop certain players out of the first rounds for a variety of reasons. If DeCosta notices a player falling in mock drafts, it may mean that the Ravens can get that prospect with a lower pick.

While DeCosta acknowledged that the mocks do play a part in the Ravens pre-draft process, he also pointed out one aspect that isn’t affected by the mock drafts is how the Ravens rate prospects and set their draft board.

“We watch the tape, and we know where they belong,” DeCosta said. “We look at all the various things and say, ‘That’s crazy. That’s never going to happen.’ And usually it ends up that way, but we just watch the tape.”

Tags: , , ,