2011 MLS Draft, Review: The Mock Drafts Got It Wrong, Really, Really Wrong

While not ever meant to be a scientific study, it's still kinda fun to go back and look at some of the bigger mock drafts and see how they came out. Not trying to be all judgmental here, but we all got it pretty wrong. Suffice it to say, MLS is still looking for its Todd McShay or Mel Kiper

Of the six mock drafts I looked at, MLSsoccer.com's Travis Clark was the only prognosticator to get more than one pick exactly right. And even two his three correct picks were aided by trades. WV Hooligan's Drew Epperley correctly named 14 of the 18 players to be picked in the first round, better than any of the other five. Soccer by Ives was the only source that managed to even have all 18 of their first-round picks selected in the first three rounds.

The reality is any mock draft should be seen more as a fun exercise than an accurate depiction of what might happen, but that goes doubly for MLS. Most of the people mocking these drafts have, at best, seen the players they're talking about a handful of times. For the most part, they're basing their opinions on what others have said. That's not to say there's anything wrong with that, but it is the way it is.

Who was the best? It's really hard to say. I didn't actually run the numbers to find out the average difference between predicted spot and actual spot, but since so many players didn't even get picked that would probably be something better left until after the Supplemental Draft. Everyone had a few doozies, but Epperley, Clark and Ives seemed to have the fewest.

Actual Draft results

SB Nation Mock Draft

To be fair, let's look at us first. While we did nail the first three players to be chosen - the only one of the six to do so - we had them all in the wrong order. We had Darlington Nagbe going No. 1, Perry Kitchen at No. 2 and Omar Salgado at No. 3. We didn't actually nail a single first-round pick, but we did correctly project the Houston Dynamo getting Will Bruin. Problem is, we had him going at No. 7 and he was actually acquired four picks later after a trade.

Mocked first rounders that actually went in first round: 11. Biggest first-round miss: Ashley McInnes, projected as the No. 17 pick still hasn't been drafted after the third round.

WV Hooligan's Mock Draft

Epperley started out as strong as anyone, nailing the No. 2 pick being Nagbe. But, that was the last pick he got right in the first round. There were some relatively close calls like being only two picks off on little-know Paolo Cardozo, but that was the closest he got after Nagbe.

Mocked first rounders that actually went in first round: 14. Biggest first-round miss: Michael Boxall, he had him going to the Colorado Rapids at No. 18 and he still hasn't been picked after the third round.

Simon Borg (MLSsoccer.com) Mock Draft

Give him credit, Borg was among those who saw Nagbe falling out of the top spot and into the laps of the Portland Timbers. After that, though, it's not so pretty. He does deserve credit for being one of the few prognosticators to see Bobby Warshaw as a first-rounder, coming within one of spot of nailing that one.

Mocked first rounders that actually went in first round: 12. Biggest first-round miss(es): He had some doozies. He had two players, Curtis Ushedo and Greg King, that didn't get picked in the first three rounds. Ushedo he had going at No. 8. His No. 7 pick, Joao Plato didn't get picked until No. 49.

Jason Sanghini (MLSsoccer.com) Mock Draft

He was one of the many who thought Nagbe was still going to go No. 1, so that kind of ruined his shot at looking smart early, but he did nail AJ Soares going to the New England Revolution at No. 6. That was the only pick he got right, but so far that's the lowest pick anyone nailed absolutely perfectly.

Mocked first rounders that actually went in first round: 11. Biggest first-round miss: Daniel Keat, he had the Dartmouth midfielder as his No. 10 overall pick, but he didn't get picked in the first three rounds.

Travis Clark (MLSsoccer.com) Mock Draft

Another person who gets credit for picking Nagbe second. He's also one of the few to get three pick right, although his second and third ones come with asterisks. He nailed Victor Estupinan going No. 14, but it was Chivas USA and not Real Salt Lake who made the pick. He also nailed Michael Farfan at No. 15, but it was to the Columbus Crew and not the San Jose Earthquakes. Still those are the lowest picks anyone nailed.

Mocked first rounders that actually went in first round: 13. Biggest first-round miss: Boxall, who apparently was a popular first-round choice to fall dramatically.

Soccer By Ives Mock Draft

Nagbe was his No. 2 pick, so he gets credit for that. But the next closest he came to nailing a pick was predicting Justin Meram would go one pick earlier than his actual slot of No. 15. It should be noted that of the drafts we examined, he had Omar Salgado going the lowest, at No. 10.

Mocked first rounder that actually went in first round: 13. Biggest first-round miss(es): All of his players were at least picked in the first two rounds, which is better than anyone else. But he did have Cole Grossman going 20 picks earlier than he actually did and Anthony Ampaipitakwong went 22 spots later.

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