However, from a substance standpoint (ie, does this guy actually know what he's talking about?), Kiper is a moron. Actually, if you think about it, we really are the morons. We continue to listen to what this greasy-haired nobody thinks about college players even though we all know deep down that he's full of it.
Case in point: Kiper's evaluation of the 2004 Draft. The SB Nation football writers have been kicking around this link, laughing at Kiper's evaluations. Some are spot on, so I'll give him his due there. It's pretty clear that the 2004 Draft made the NFC Champion Bears. Tommie Harris, Tank Johnson, Bernard Berrian, and Nathan Vashar were all drafted in 2004. That is the core of Chicago's team, right there. However, Kiper also gave the Falcons, Vikings, and the Lions a grade of A for their 2004 selections. The Lions are the most puzzling. Here's his evaluation for the powder blue kitties:
Two years after this "grade A" draft, Detroit languished through a 4-12 season. Roy Williams and Kevin Jones, when healthy, are good players. But they are, by no means, elite players. And they certainly have no helped Detroit pull itself out of the gutter. Teddy Lehman can't crack the starting line-up and Kevin Butler is not listed on Detroit's depth chart. So much for that "A" draft.
Another team Kiper gives the A grade to is the Atlanta Falcons. DeAngelo Hall, drafted in 2004, is one of the most over-rated players in football. He is certainly not a shutdown corner, as Kiper predicts he'll become. Michael Jenkins, also drafted in 2004, can't catch the football, and that's bad considering he plays WR. Matt Schaub was the best thing they drafted that year, and he was just traded to Houston. The other two stellar picks Kiper cites Demorrio Williams and Chad Lavalais. Williams is a medicore back-up LBer, and Lavalais is no longer on the team. Oh, and Atlanta missed the playoffs again in 2006. They have missed the playoffs the last two years. Nice draft, boys! At least Mel thought it was good. For that, the Falcons coaching staff got a nice slap on the back and a copy of the want ads.
And what did Mel grade the Colts? Well, it wasn't an A. It was, actually, one of the lowest grades in his evaluation: C. Only the Cowboys and Dolphins received lower grades. Here's Mel evaluation of Indy's draft (emphasis mine):
Bob Sanders was the steal of the 2004 draft, no question. He's developed into one of the best defensive players in the league, and is arguably the best safety in football. Before he was inserted into the Colts lineup for the playoffs, the Colts allowed 173 rushing yards a game. During the playoffs, they surrendered only 80 rushing yards a game. I rest my case.
Kiper's snooty assessment of Jason David was also dead wrong. David turned into a solid corner that is rarely beaten in coverage. In fact, Jason David has developed into a more consistent CB than DeAngelo Hall has. David is sound in his technique, works hard, and rarely allows WRs to beat him. He also tackles well and is good in run support. Oh, and he has a ring, thank you. He's starting and producing while several other CBs drafted before him are either on the bench or out of football. So, the only reaching I'm seeing here is Kiper reaching into his butt and pulling out whatever crap he can to make himself sound intelligent.
So, let this be a lesson boys and girls: Maybe Bill Tobin was right after all. Mel Kiper is indeed a moron.