As both the NFL and NCAA seasons begin to conclude, we will hear more from the likes of Todd McShay and Mel Kiper. The two, along with numerous other draft experts, will provide their “can’t miss draft prospects” and mock drafts. Inevitably, there will be some they are correct about and others which they strikeout. Further displaying that there is no guarantee that the highest-rated players will perform as such.
There is difficulty in how to quantify what is a draft bust is. Some like to float the term around with no context as to why that player earns the label. But, estimates are that only around 50-60% of first-round picks have success at the level that justifies where drafted. But what is somewhat easier to identify is the players who were called “projects” or even go undrafted make an impact exceeding scouts’ grades.
Many are familiar with EA Sports’ Madden video game. For those that have played the game’s franchise mode, you have draft Gems. These are players that have a rating that is much better than the scouted projection. Using Pro Football Focus’ ratings, we will look at five Gems from the 2020 NFL draft to date.