Jumping on the Mock Train
Before the college season started, I wrote an article highlighting the top 20 2006 draft-eligible college players. It's now fun to look back at the article and see what the year provided, how many players had their fates changed in 2006. Today, I have another piece up at SI.com, this one providing stark contrast to the first.
I was hesitant to write a mock draft for the site, it's dangerous territory to compete with Jim Callis, who predicted the top 18 picks correct last season. However, with a low set of expectations, the draft provides a puzzle of possibilities, a combination of trends and talents. I had fun with the top 30, stretching at times, and I imagine that in 24 hours, we'll be able to look back and laugh just the same as my first piece.
However, while I'm in the predicting mood, here's a few more before Draft Day...
I have noted over and over again that I believe Notre Dame WR/RHP Jeff Samardzija will be the draft's biggest reach. I still think that will be true, and remain enamored with the possibility of him landing with the Diamondbacks, probably in slot 55. Given their first two selections, Samardzija might be outside of Arizona's price range, but their presence in the wide receiver's stomping grounds, South Bend, create an intriguing combination.
Dellin Betances has been quite the anomoly this spring, his stock changing often, his velocity reportedly down. However, players with his projectablity rarely find their way to Brooklyn, so the Yankees really should choose Betances at pick 41. If they can muster the courage to go with Pedro Beato in the first round, the Mets will truly be "on tilt" the rest of the day.
In Callis' mock of the top 15 picks, we can already see where I made a few mistakes. However, in most cases, the back-up choice I listed might be the man to go. The big exception is the note that Chris Parmalee is on the verge of a pre-draft deal, which certainly will shake things up.
My final prediction is that I will praise the organizations that spend picks on Mark Hamilton and Steven Wright on draft day. Others that pique my interest as post-round 1 gambles: Mike Felix (Troy), Milton Loo (Yavapai), Derrick Lutz (George Washington), Cory Rasmus (Ala. HS), Harold Mozingo (Va. Commonwealth), Josh Rodriguez (Rice).
Leave your own predictions in the comments...