Mel Kiper’s First Mock Draft Has Saints Using 1st Round Pick on a Quarterback
Mock drafts are like streaming services.
There are hundreds of them, but only about five or six are notable.
Long before mock drafts and streaming services were everywhere, ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. was the first of his kind.
He's been covering the NFL Draft for ESPN since 1984 and is undoubtedly the most memorable name when it comes to draft coverage.
He released his first 2022 mock draft of all 32 first-round picks yesterday.
You need an ESPN+ membership to read the entire breakdown of each prediction.
Who does he have the New Orleans Saints selecting with the 18th overall pick?
Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Pickett, a Heisman Finalist and 1st-Team All-American last season, wrapped up his 5th season at Pitt last month, helping the Panthers capture the ACC Championship.
He left as the school's all-time leader in passing yards (12,303), pass completions (1,045), total offense (13,112), touchdowns responsible for (102), passing touchdowns (81), most 300-yard passing games (16), and 400-yard passing games (five).
While his resume is solid, I don't think the Saints will select a quarterback in the first round.
Who will start at quarterback in 2022 for New Orleans?
Probably free agent Jameis Winston.
I also think there's a realistic possibility of Russell Wilson via trade, though Winston is more likely to be the guy.
Kiper has Pickett as the second quarterback off the board, with Liberty's Malik Willis going to the Washington Football Team with the 11th pick.
Another thing mock drafts have in common with streaming services is hits.
NETFLIX has a number of mega hits, and a boatload of other content you never watch and don't even realize is there.
How many times have you logged onto a streaming service to surf around some options and ended up spending an hour scrolling through content before settling for something that puts you to sleep within 10 minutes?
Kiper's mock drafts usually have a few big hits and a lot of misses. Some of his predictions will be spot on, but there will be far more misses than hits.
This is true of all mock drafts.
As far as Kiper goes, he was, is, and will continue to be memorable.
The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 28th - 30th in Las Vegas, Nevada.