Bill Barnwell: Fiction Writer
Updated: Apr 26
Last week, Bill Barnwell of ESPN shared his all-trade first round of the NFL draft. I couldn't read Todd McShay's mock draft, it was behind a pay wall. (And he's a hack.) I wanted to read Mel Kiper's mock draft but it, too, was behind a pay wall. Only one draft was free on ESPN, and that was garbage. It was so poorly done, I went out on a limb and said that the Barnwell Draft didn't have one thing that was going to happen in it. I predicted 5 first round trades in general and Barwell would predict exactly 0 (ZERO!) correct outcomes.
Here's the draft:
1 Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow QB LSU
2 Washington Redskins Chase Young DE Ohio State
3 Detroit Lions Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State
4 New York Giants Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
5 Miami Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
6 Los Angeles Chargers Justin Herbert QB Oregon
7 Carolina Panthers Derrick Brown DT Auburn
8 Arizona Cardinals Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson
9 Jacksonville Jaguars C. J. Henderson CB Florida
10 Cleveland Browns Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
Barnwell predicted the Browns would trade down and get Willis or Becton at #12. As you can see, Willis and Becton were both gone by 12. I'm glad the Browns took Willis when they did. Barnwell predicted Jeudy may not be on the board at 12 for Vegas. He was and the Raiders took.... Ruggs.
11 New York Jets Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
12 Las Vegas Raiders Henry Ruggs WR Alabama
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa (from San Francisco)
14 San Francisco 49ers Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina (from Tampa Bay)
Tampa Bay and San Francisco made the first trade of the night. They flip-flopped spots.
Barnwell wasn't even close in predicting what TB and SF would do.
15 Denver Broncos Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
16 Atlanta Falcons A. J. Terrell CB Clemson
17 Dallas Cowboys CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
18 Miami Dolphins Austin Jackson OT USC
19 Las Vegas Raiders Damon Arnette CB Ohio State
20 Jacksonville Jaguars K'Lavon Chaisson LB LSU
21 Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Reagor WR TCU
22 Minnesota Vikings Justin Jefferson WR LSU
23 Los Angeles Chargers Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma (from New England)
The Patriots, unsurprising, traded down. Barnwell wasn't close to any aspects of the trade.
24 New Orleans Saints Cesar Ruiz C Michigan
25 San Francisco 49ers Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State (from Minnesota)
Minnesota and San Francisco swapped first round picks and assets. Barnwell predicted no aspects of the trade.
26 Green Bay Packers Jordan Love QB Utah State (from Miami)
In the shocker of the first round, Green Bay traded up to pick Aaron Rodgers' heir apparent. The Packers didn't brief Rodgers on their decision. Barnwell was again way off on his prediction.
27 Seattle Seahawks Jordyn Brooks LB Texas Tech
28 Baltimore Ravens Patrick Queen LB LSU
29 Tennessee Titans Isaiah Wilson OT Georgia
30 Miami Dolphins Noah Igbinoghene CB Auburn (from Green Bay)
31 Minnesota Vikings Jeff Gladney CB TCU (from San Francisco)
Barnwell was also wrong on the back end of the Packers and 49'ers trades.
32 Kansas City Chiefs Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU
The NFL Draft is hard to predict, it just is. But after Barnwell's abysmal approach at ESPN, I went to Sports Illustrated and read Albert Breer's Mock Draft. It wasn't perfect, but he nailed the first two picks and was close on nearly every pick until the back end of the first round. What Breer didn't predict was Jordan Love getting picked at the end of the first round, which shows that even the smartest guy in the room makes dumb decisions. When the Packers lose in the second round of the NFL Playoffs this Fall because they were one skilled player short, you can point the finger at one guy, GM Brian Gutekunst. Gutekunst rolled the dice and picked Love HOPING that Love can lead the Packers to a Super Bowl in 2025 instead of picking a player to help get the team to the Super Bowl THIS year.
Now I'm going off on a tangent. How hard is it for a Sports Media entity to have free Mock Drafts?