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Grading the 2021 mock drafts: How did Mel Kiper, Daniel Jeremiah, Todd McShay, Peter King & other experts fare?

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NFL Draft trade tracker 2021: Full details on every deal to move up, down in Rounds 1-3

The grades are in.

For all the leaks, speculation and rumors leading up to the NFL Draft every year, we’re reminded annually how inexact a science mock drafts are. Best guesses, best estimations, but still imperfect — very much so.

MORE NFL DRAFT: SN’s latest 2021 mock draft | Top 100 big board

Like throwing a Mentos breath mint in a two-liter bottle of Diet Coke, these experiments usually go awry. And that’s fine. This is the season for experiments, speculation and smokescreens, after all. It’s all in good fun.

So how exactly did the first round work out for some of the best mock guys in the biz?

Below are the first-round projections from final mock drafts submitted before the 2021 draft. Bolded players are correct picks, and analysts get half credit for correct player and correct team but wrong spot. Half points for correct player in correct spot but wrong team.

Vinnie Iyer’s mock draft (Sporting News)

Iyer’s latest mock draft was released on Draft day, April 29:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Alabama
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
7 Detroit Lions Penei Sewell OT Oregon
8 Carolina Panthers Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
9 Denver Broncos Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
10 Dallas Cowboys Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
11 New York Giants Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
13 Los Angeles Chargers Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
14 Minnesota Vikings Jaelan Phillips EDGE Miami
15 New England Patriots Justin Fields QB Ohio State
16 Arizona Cardinals Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
17 Las Vegas Raiders Micah Parsons LB Penn State
18 Miami Dolphins Kwity Paye EDGE Michigan
19 Washington Football Team Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
20 Chicago Bears Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
21 Indianapolis Colts Gregory Rousseau EDGE Miami
22 Tennessee Titans Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Azeez Ojulari EDGE Georgia
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
26 Cleveland Browns Christian Barmore DT Alabama
27 Baltimore Ravens Kadarius Toney WR Florida
28 New Orleans Saints Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
29 Green Bay Packers Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
30 Buffalo Bills Jayson Oweh EDGE Penn State
31 Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs) Trevon Moehrig S TCU
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Levi Onwuzurike DT Washington

Picks correct: 7.5/32

Noteworthy:

As with all mock drafts outside the top 10, it was a sure crapshoot in the back half. Several first-round talents are still available on Day 2: Owusu-Koramoah, Barmore, Moehrig, Onwuzurike, Jenkins among Day 2 targets for teams.

You can read SN’s full seven-round mock draft here.

Mel Kiper’s mock draft (ESPN)

Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft was released on April 29 and features trades:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Ohio State
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
6 Miami Dolphins (via PHI) DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
7 New England Patriots (mock trade with DET) Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
8 Carolina Panthers Penei Sewell OT Oregon
9 Denver Broncos Justin Fields QB Ohio State
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
11 New York Giants Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from SF) Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
13 Los Angeles Chargers Rashawn Slater OL Northwestern
14 Minnesota Vikings Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
15 Detroit Lions (mock trade with NE) Micah Parsons LB Penn State
16 New York Jets (mock trade with ARI) Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
17 Las Vegas Raiders Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
18 Miami Dolphins Kwity Paye DE Michigan
19 Washington Football Team Trevon Moehrig S TCU
20 Chicago Bears Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
21 Indianapolis Colts Jaelan Phillips DE Miami
22 Tennessee Titans Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
23 Arizona Cardinals (mock trade with NYJ) Najee Harris RB Alabama
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Travis Etienne RB Clemson
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Kadarius Toney WR Florida
26 Cleveland Browns Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
27 Baltimore Ravens Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
28 New Orleans Saints Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
29 Green Bay Packers Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
30 Buffalo Bills Tyson Campbell CB Georgia
31 Los Angeles Chargers (via mock trade with BAL) Asante Samuel Jr. CB Florida State
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Christian Barmore DT Alabama

Picks correct: 5/32

Noteworthy:

Kiper came oh so close to getting the Jets trade up right: He had New York moving up to 16, as opposed to 14, to move up for Alijah Vera-Tucker. Still, a near oh-fer in the second half of the draft means Kiper swung big and missed big on a fair amount of picks.

Todd McShay’s mock draft (ESPN)

McShay’s latest mock draft was released on draft day, April 29:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
7 Detroit Lions Penei Sewell OT Oregon
8 Carolina Panthers Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
9 Denver Broncos Justin Fields QB Ohio State
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
11 New York Giants Kwity Paye DE Michigan
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
13 Los Angeles Chargers Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
14 Minnesota Vikings Jaelan Phillips DE Miami
15 New England Patriots Mac Jones QB Alabama
16 Arizona Cardinals Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
17 Las Vegas Raiders Trevon Moehrig S TCU
18 Miami Dolphins Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
19 Washington Football Team Micah Parsons LB Penn State
20 Chicago Bears Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
21 Indianapolis Colts Elijah Moore WR Ole Miss
22 Buffalo Bills (mock trade with TEN) Travis Etienne RB Clemson
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
26 Cleveland Browns Christian Barmore DT Alabama
27 Baltimore Ravens Liam Eichenberg OT Notre Dame
28 New Orleans Saints Kadarius Toney WR Floriday
29 Green Bay Packers Jamin Davis ILB Kentucky
30 Buffalo Bills Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
31 Baltimore Ravens (via KC) Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Zaven Collins OLB Tulsa

Picks correct: 8.5/32

Noteworthy:

McShay had a strong start, nailing the first seven picks of the draft before the wheels came off outside the top 10. Along with getting Mac Jones to the Patriots right, Najee Harris was the only other pick McShay nailed after the top 10, a popular selection among many mock drafts.

Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft (NFL Network)

DJ’s latest mock draft was released on April 28, draft eve.

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Alabama
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Penei Sewell OT Oregon
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
7 Denver Broncos (from DET) Justin Fields QB Ohio State
8 Carolina Panthers Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
9 Detroit Lions Rashawn Slater OT Northwestern
10 Dallas Cowboys Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
11 New England Patriots (from NYG) Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
13 Los Angeles Chargers Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
14 Minnesota Vikings Jaelan Phillips EDGE Miami
15 New York Giants (from NE) Micah Parsons LB Penn State
16 Arizona Cardinals Zaven Collins LB Tulsa
17 Las Vegas Raiders Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
18 Miami Dolphins Kwity Paye EDGE Miami
19 Washington Football Team Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
20 Chicago Bears Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
21 Indianapolis Colts Joe Tryon EDGE Washington
22 Tennessee Titans Elijah Moore WR Mississippi
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Travis Etienne RB Clemson
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Teven Jenkins OT Oklahoma State
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
26 Cleveland Browns Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
27 Baltimore Ravens Jayson Oweh EDGE Penn State
28 New Orleans Saints Tyson Campbell CB Georgia
29 Green Bay Packers Dillon Radunz OT North Dakota State
30 Buffalo Bills Asante Samuel Jr. CB Florida State
31 Baltimore Ravens (from KC) Liam Eichenberg OT Notre Dame
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Najee Harris RB Alabama

Picks correct: 4.5/32

Noteworthy:

Very rough go of it for DJ this year, with three of the first four picks correct, then getting half credit on DeVonta Smith and the Eagles right later on. Jeremiah also got the Zaven Collins-Arizona pairing correct at No. 16, the only mock here to do so.

Peter King’s mock draft (NBC Sports)

Peter King, who actually had the most accurate mock of the 2020 NFL Draft, released his first and final mock draft on April 26:

Pick No. Team Player Position School
1 Jacksonville Jaguars Trevor Lawrence QB Clemson
2 New York Jets Zach Wilson QB BYU
3 San Francisco 49ers (via MIA from HOU) Mac Jones QB Alabama
4 Atlanta Falcons Kyle Pitts TE Florida
5 Cincinnati Bengals Ja’Marr Chase WR LSU
6 Miami Dolphins (from PHI) Jaylen Waddle WR Alabama
7 Detroit Lions Penei Sewell OT Oregon
8 Carolina Panthers Justin Fields QB Ohio State
9 Denver Broncos Trey Lance QB North Dakota State
10 Dallas Cowboys Patrick Surtain II CB Alabama
11 New York Giants Micah Parsons LB Penn State
12 Philadelphia Eagles (via MIA from 49ers) Jaycee Horn CB South Carolina
13 Los Angeles Chargers Rashawn Slater T Northwestern
14 Minnesota Vikings Alijah Vera-Tucker OL USC
15 New England Patriots DeVonta Smith WR Alabama
16 Arizona Cardinals Greg Newsome II CB Northwestern
17 Las Vegas Raiders Caleb Farley CB Virginia Tech
18 Miami Dolphins Jaelan Phillips EDGE Miami
19 Washington Football Team Christian Darrisaw OT Virginia Tech
20 Chicago Bears Rashod Bateman WR Minnesota
21 Cleveland Browns (from IND) Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LB Notre Dame
22 Baltimore Ravens (from TEN) Kwity Paye EDGE Michigan
23 New York Jets (from SEA) Gregory Rousseau EDGE Miami
24 Pittsburgh Steelers Najee Harris RB Alabama
25 Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) Jayson Oweh EDGE Penn State
26 Indianapolis Colts (from CLE) Sam Cosmi OT Texas
27 Tennssee Titans (from BAL) Elijah Moore WR Mississippi
28 New Orleans Saints Tyson Campbell CB Georgia
29 Green Bay Packers Jamin Davis LB Kentucky
30 Buffalo Bills Travis Etienne RB Clemson
31 Baltimore Ravens (from Chiefs) Landon Dickerson OL Alabama
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Christian Barmore DT Alabama

Picks correct: 8/32

Noteworthy:

Peter King had the best mock last year of certain collected experts, but came up just a half point shy this year in his mock. Still, not bad for a guy who doesn’t do this full time.

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Connor McDavid hits ‘impressive’ 100-point mark in Oilers’ 53rd game

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Connor McDavid hits 'impressive' 100-point mark in Oilers' 53rd game

Entering Saturday night’s “Hockey Night in Canada” showdown with the Canucks, Connor McDavid had been downplaying how important scoring 100 points this season was to him.

“It’s a number,” McDavid said when he was sitting on 93 points; he had 96 Saturday morning. “If I get there, great. If not, it’s not the end of the world, either. The most important thing is our team is gearing up for the playoffs and making sure we’re firing on all cylinders in Game 1.”

Well, while he may not have been thinking about it, the smile on his face when he notched point 100 in the second period — his fourth point (goal, three assists) of the night — told a different story. The historic moment came in the Oilers’ 53rd game of the season as he assisted on Leon Draisaitl’s game-winning power-play goal.

“Honestly, it’s just impressive,” said Draisaitl, who hit his own career milestone of 500 (and 501) NHL points in the game. “I don’t think my English is good enough to find another word for it right now, but it’s incredible. I mean, I don’t know, we’ve played 50-some games, he’s at 100 points. It’s just very impressive and just, you know, fun to be a part of.”

“I think what it does, it just solidifies he’s one of the top players to ever play the game,” said head coach Dave Tippett. “The level that he’s played at this year, and just what he’s accomplished, it’s one of those years that you look at Wayne [Gretzky] or you look at Mario [Lemiuex], it’s one of those years where he’s taken his talents to another level that is just elite for the league.”

McDavid, who has 32 goals and 68 assists, became just the ninth player in NHL history to hit the century mark in 53 games, joining the likes of Gretzky and Phil Esposito. The last players to do it were Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr with the Penguins in 1995-96. 

“It’s special to be part of a group like that, obviously. Those are the game’s best players of all time so it’s special to be mentioned in the same breath as those guys,” McDavid said postgame.

“Four-point nights aren’t something that come regularly, I think. I was just trying to come in and play a good game, play like I can,” he said later, adding that he spoke to his parents and was surprised his mom was awake to see it. “My legs felt pretty good. I was able to get on the board on the first shift, that always helps. I think after the first one, it kind of crosses your mind, and I was fortunate to feel pretty good throughout the night and a couple of great shots from my teammates.”

After the Edmonton captain hit the mark, Twitter not only praised him but was also in awe of the moment.

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Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders live fight updates, results, highlights from 2021 boxing card

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Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders live fight updates, results, highlights from 2021 boxing card

One fighter will get closer to the first undisputed super middleweight championship in boxing history when WBC, WBA (Super) and The Ring champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez faces off against WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Saturday.

The massive 168-pound showdown will take place in front of a live crowd of more than 70,000, breaking the attendance record for an indoor boxing event in the United States. And who better than Alvarez, boxing’s current pound-for-pound king, to be in the main event?

Alvarez (55-1-2, 37 KOs) has pursued the undisputed championship since beating Callum Smith for the WBA (Super) and vacant WBC crown in December. He followed that performance with a third-round stoppage of mandatory challenger Avni Yildirim in February before turning right back around in hopes of collecting another title against Saunders on Saturday night.

Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) is a two-division world champion who claimed the WBO title in May 2019 by defeating Shefat Isufi via unanimous decision. He has made two consecutive title defenses, but his opponent in Texas will be his toughest test by far.

There has been some bad blood between the two heading into the fight; Canelo promised a knockout, while Saunders aims to befuddle the Mexican superstar with his technical prowess.

Who will come out on top? Stay tuned as Sporting News will have live coverage of tonight’s fight card.

MORE: Watch Canelo vs. Saunders live on DAZN

Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders live updates, highlights

Sporting News’ live coverage of Canelo-Saunders will begin at 9 p.m. ET.

Canelo vs. Saunders start time

  • Main card: 8 p.m. ET
  • Canelo-Saunders main event: 11 p.m. ET (approximate)

The Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders main card launches at 8 p.m. ET on Saturday night, with the champions expected to make their ring walks at approximately 10:30 p.m. or 11 p.m. ET, depending on the length of the earlier fights.

How to watch Canelo vs. Saunders

  • Subscription: $19.99/month or $99.99/year

The Canelo vs. Saunders fight will stream live globally on DAZN, to more than 200 countries and territories, including the U.S. and Canada.

Those interested in watching the fight can find DAZN on a number of different systems, including, but not limited to, Amazon Fire TV/stick, Android, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, iPhone and iPad, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Roku. The DAZN app is also available on LG, Samsung and Vizio smart TVs, as well as Xfinity X1 and Flex.

Viewers can also find it on DAZN.com using browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari.

Click here to learn more about DAZN.

Canelo vs. Saunders fight card

  • Saul Canelo Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders for the Canelo’s WBA, WBC and Ring Magazine super-middleweight titles, and Saunders’ WBO title
  • Marc Castro vs. Irving Castillo
  • Frank Sanchez vs. Nagy Aguilera
  • Edwin Soto vs. Katsunari Takayama for Soto’s WBO light-flyweight title
  • Kieron Conway vs. Souleymane Cissokho for Conway’s WBA Intercontinental super-welterweight title
  • Keyshawn Davis vs. Jose Antonia Meza
  • Kelvin Davis vs. Jan Maslaek

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Does Chelsea have the edge over Champions League final opponent Manchester City?

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Does Chelsea have the edge over Champions League final opponent Manchester City?

Match statistics: Manchester City 1-2 Chelsea

In terms of the bigger picture, there is nothing more important for Chelsea in the final weeks of the season than securing a top-four finish.

Ensuring the club will be in the Champions League next season was a must for Thomas Tuchel when he took the job in January, and after victory over Manchester City on Saturday, the Blues find themselves sitting third with three games to play.

And yet, the narrative around the last-gasp win at the Etihad Stadium will be framed around one thing: what it means for the upcoming Champions League final meeting between these two sides.

This was meant to be the day that City sealed the Premier League title, and after Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring late in the first half it seemed like the fans who had gathered outside the stadium would have something to cheer at full time.

Instead, it was Marcos Alonso’s scuffed finish two minutes into second-half stoppage time that decided the game, leaving City’s champagne on ice while sowing more seeds of doubt over whether it can take down Chelsea in Istanbul on May 29.

Of course, Pep Guardiola will not play the same lineup in Turkey as he did here. The Catalan made nine changes from the side that beat Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, with only Ederson and Ruben Dias keeping their places.

That said, Chelsea has now beaten City twice in a matter of weeks. Time will tell just how much of a psychological impact that will have on both Guardiola and his players come the end of the month.

In that first game — the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley Stadium — it was Chelsea’s impregnable defense that led it to a much-deserved 1-0 win.

Getty Images

Here, though, the Blues found themselves in the unusual position of chasing a game after falling behind to Sterling’s strike, and they really should have been 2-0 down at half time, only for Sergio Aguero’s fluffed attempt at a Panenka penalty to land in the arms of Edouard Mendy.

Given how strong it has been defensively since Tuchel took the reins, Chelsea has generally led from the front under the German coach, and though it too was without key players, the fact that the Blues turned this game around will give them huge confidence for both the remainder of the domestic campaign and their next meeting with City.

Mason Mount, Ben Chilwell and Thiago Silva were all missing from the squad following Wednesday’s win over Real Madrid, but others stepped up in their place.

Like at Wembley, Hakim Ziyech got himself on the scoresheet, this time with a long-range drive to equalize, before Alonso’s late intervention.

On the opposite flank from the Spain international, Reece James ran City ragged in the second half, while Billy Gilmour was rewarded with a huge hug from his manager at full time after a mature display from the 19-year-old midfielder in a rare start.

Timo Werner, too, troubled the City back line with his pace and willingness to run in behind, even if he does need to work on remaining onside as he saw two more goals chalked off via an assistant referee’s flag.

marcos alonso callum hudson odoi chelsea 2020 21 1vbhihjzngt59z9ph3f9pvh2g
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Tuchel had a terrible record against Guardiola when the pair were in opposing dugouts across the Klassiker divide in Germany, but now the former has the tools within his squad to compete with the one-time Bayern Munich boss.

Certainly, it is these two teams that, on paper, have the deepest squads in the Premier League, and that Chelsea has now come out on top twice against City suggests the title race will be much closer next term.

That, though, is for the future. Right now, Chelsea remains focused on closing out the Premier League season strongly, as well as next week’s FA Cup final meeting with Leicester City.

Soon though, it will join the rest of the footballing world in turning its attention toward the showpiece event of the European season, and its third meeting with City since the start of April.

Only three months ago, Chelsea would have been a huge underdog when facing City.

Now, after two wins from two games, its potential to become Guardiola’s kryptonite is suddenly very real.

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