Peter Schrager of FOXSports.com had forecasted Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green to get picked No. 1 overall in his first mock draft for 2011. (Andy Lyons/Getty)
Every year, right after the NFL Draft is complete, one of my colleagues within the FOX family, Peter Schrager of FOXSports.com, has the immediate -- and unenviable -- task of putting together a mock draft for the next year's draft.
Before the college programs so much as hold summer workouts. Before potential early entries can declare themselves eligible. Before the draft order is set. Before the Senior Bowl, Scouting Combine and every Pro Day. Before basically every piece of information Schrager needs to know to tackle such a project with any degree of accuracy is made available to him.
I told you it was an unenviable task.
Let's take a look back at Schrager's original mock draft for 2011 -- done nine months before most everyone else had one -- and see how he did:
1. Georgia WR A.J. Green
Selected in Round 1 (No. 4) by the Bengals. Certainly one of the best prospects in the draft, the Panthers simply had bigger needs to fill at the top.
4. Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward
Selected in Round 1 (No. 31) by the Steelers. So many other defensive linemen flashed more upside, although Pittsburgh is a great fit for his game.
5. LSU CB Patrick Peterson
Selected in Round 1 (No. 5) by the Cardinals. The only pick Schrager got "correct" in terms of draft position, Peterson appears to be a star right out of the gate.
6. Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett
Selected in Round 3 (No. 74) by the Patriots. First-round talent is certainly there, but his attitude leading up to the draft hurt his stock tremendously.
7. Wisconsin OT Gabe Carimi
Selected in Round 1 (No. 29) by the Bears. Eventually fell behind some of the other offensive tackle prospects, but Chicago was ecstatic he was there.
8. Notre Dame WR Michael Floyd
Returned to South Bend for his senior season. He certainly looks like a first rounder, although his off-the-field issues are piling up quickly.
9. Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo
Selected in Round 1 (No. 22) by the Colts. Indianapolis got a bargain and couldn't bring the card up to the podium fast enough.
10. Michigan State LB Greg Jones
Selected in Round 6 (No. 185) by the Giants. Productive but not overly impressive as far as measurables go, but he still should have been selected much sooner.
11. North Carolina DT Marvin Austin
Selected in Round 2 (No. 52) by the Giants. While he got suspended for 2010 and paid the price, he's still a tremendous prospect in the trenches.
12. North Carolina S Deunta Williams
Undrafted. A disastrous year in Chapel Hill included a suspension, struggles on the field and then a broken leg in the bowl game.
13. North Carolina DE Robert Quinn
Selected in Round 1 (No. 14) by the Rams. He was the one Tar Heel not really affected by the scandals that program endured, as he was simply labeled naive.
14. Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn
Selected in Round 1 (No. 20) by the Buccaneers. Not nearly as productive as a senior as he was as a junior, there was talk he could slide into the second round.
15. Pittsburgh WR Jon Baldwin
Selected in Round 1 (No. 26) by the Chiefs. A bit of a surprise going as high as he did, he wasn't nearly the wideout prospect Green and Jones turned out to be.
17. Stanford QB Andrew Luck
Returned to Palo Alto for his junior season. Crushing the Panthers when he made his decision, he unquestionably would have been the No. 1-overall selection.
18. LSU WR Terrance Toliver
Undrafted. He has the size you look for (6-4, 212) at the position, but was never very productive for the Tigers.
20. Miami DE Allen Bailey
Selected in Round 3 (No. 86) by the Chiefs. Might have gotten lost in the shuffle with so many other defensive linemen having higher grades.
21. Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara
Selected in Round 1 (No. 19) by the Giants. A top-10 talent that is now considered one of the steals of the draft considering where he went.
22. Alabama RB Mark Ingram
Selected in Round 1 (No. 28) by the Saints. The best of an average group of running backs, he could be Offensive Rookie of the Year in New Orleans.
23. Pittsburgh DE Greg Romeus
Selected in Round 7 (No. 226) by the Saints. After a strong junior campaign, injuries cost him a good amount of his senior season.
24. UCLA S Rahim Moore
Selected in Round 2 (No. 45) by the Broncos. Considered the best safety in the draft by everyone, it simply wasn't a good crop of them overall.
26. North Carolina LB Quan Sturdivant
Selected in Round 6 (No. 171) by the Cardinals. Believed to be one of the top middle linebackers, that position simply doesn't have the value it did once upon a time.
27. Florida C Mike Pouncey
Selected in Round 1 (No. 15) by the Dolphins. Even if he can't play center as well as his twin brother can, he should be quite reliable at guard.
29. North Carolina LB Bruce Carter
Selected in Round 2 (No. 40) by the Cowboys. The fifth and final Tar Heel defender Schrager had in the first round, a knee injury held him back.
30. BYU OT Matt Reynolds
Returned to Provo for his senior season. Expect him to be one of the premier offensive tackles available for the 2012 draft.
31. Texas CB Curtis Brown
Selected in Round 3 (No. 95) by the Steelers. Aside from Peterson and Amukamara at the top of the board, overall it was a poor year for cornerbacks.
32. USC DT Jurrell Casey
Selected in Round 3 (No. 77) by the Titans. One of the better value picks of the third round, he can step in and possibly start as a rookie.
Even if only 14 of the 32 players Schrager had going in the first round actually did go in the first round, in my opinion that's a pretty good performance. Three went in the second round, five went in the third round, two went in the sixth round and one went in the seventh round. None of them fell to the fourth of fifth round, for some reason. Four of them returned to school. And, incredibly, three of them weren't drafted at all.
Yes, Schrager already has a mock draft for 2012 up and running, and, yes, I'm happy FOX asked him to do it and not me.
|John Crist is an NFL analyst for Scout com, a voter for the Heisman Trophy and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America.|