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2013 NFL Draft: How accurate are the experts? Mel Kiper, Jr. among the best

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In the weeks leading up to the NFL Draft, hundreds of mocks get published across the Internet, and hundreds of mocks get mocked. While it's become a tradition to laugh and point fingers at the experts, do they really know what they're doing?

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

As Oprah Winfrey was never quoted as saying: "You've got a mock draft! And YOU've got a mock draft! And EVERYONE'S got a mock draft!"

If you follow the National Football League, you've more than likely looked at your share of mock drafts, and in recent years, everyone with a keyboard has drawn one (or more) up. From newspaper writers, to guys and gals on a team's beat, and bloggers across the Internet... There is no shortage of projections and draft boards and scouting reports.

There is also no shortage of opinions on said mock drafts. From the self-proclaimed experts, to those who get paid a nice salary for their projections, one thing is for certain: There is mock-ery galore.

One of the most polarizing names in the mock game is Mel Kiper, Jr. For nearly 30 years, Kiper has provided analysis and opinion on one of the biggest events in the NFL, and for some reason, fans love to hate him.

But is Kiper deserving of criticism? He is, after all, considered by many to be the most prolific expert in his field, so why all the hate?

We looked at some stats, provided by The Huddle Report, and here is how Kiper stacks up to other mockers:

In the last five years, Kiper ranks 4th among his peers, just behind Jason Boris (Times News), Robby Esch (The Huddle Report), and Al Fronczak (East Coast Sports News), and just ahead of Mocking the Draft's own Dan Kadar.

Accuracy of an NFL mock draft can be uprooted by a single trade or one unforeseen pick, but that's not to underscore months of research and analysis.

For a recent comparison, Blogging the Beast took a look at Mel Kiper's original draft board of both 2012 and 2013, and a lot of flip-flopping can be found. Is that to say that Kiper is a bonehead who just throws darts and hopes to hit a bullseye every now and then? Of course not. His accuracy can be found in the numbers.

Love him or hate him, Kiper has always been one of the best in the business, and at the end of the day, his analysis is to be taken seriously. He is an expert, and will tell you that if you give him the opportunity.