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    Who is Mel Kiper Jr.? Career as a draft analyst, mock drafts, more

    Since the 1984 NFL Draft, Mel Kiper Jr. has been a part of NFL Draft coverage for ESPN, releasing mock drafts and providing analysis on players. In recent years, he has become synonymous with the event itself.

    Mel Kiper Jr. rose to fame in 1994

    Despite having been working for ESPN since 1984, Kiper was a relatively unknown analyst. He was known to those who followed the game closely, but casual fans would likely not have been as familiar. That all changed in 1994 when Kiper shot to fame, thanks to an assist from Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Tobin.

    One simple line can be the difference between a career of being a relative unknown and being a household name. Kiper was already a respected draft analyst in his own right, with his mock drafts highly regarded by many who followed closely. However, the following exchange would ensure everyone knew who Kiper was.

    “Who the hell is Mel Kiper anyway?”

    After the Colts traded up to the fifth overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft, many felt like they would be looking to select quarterback Trent Dilfer. Indianapolis had already selected Marshall Faulk with the second pick, drawing criticism from Kiper that they should have addressed the QB situation.

    When the Colts selected LB Trev Alberts with the fifth pick, Kiper was even more unimpressed.

    “I think it was a typical Colts’ move. The Colts needed a quarterback. To pass up a Trent Dilfer when all you have is Jim Harbaugh – give me a break. That’s why the Colts are picking second every year in the draft and not battling for the Super Bowl like other clubs in the National Football League.”

    ESPN then cut to Chris Mortensen, who was sitting with Tobin. When Mortensen asked Tobin about Kiper’s criticism, Tobin’s response shocked virtually everyone watching the live coverage.

    “Who in the hell is Mel Kiper anyway? Here’s a guy that criticizes everybody, whoever they take. He’s got the answers to who you should take and who you shouldn’t take. And my knowledge of him: He’s never ever put on a jock strap, he’s never been a coach, he’s been an administrator, and all of a sudden he’s an expert.”

    Kiper’s path to NFL Draft fame is somewhat unusual

    Watch any sports coverage and you will notice a common theme. You will see a number of ex-players, coaches, and front office staff providing analysis. However, what you rarely saw 20-30 years ago is a person who did not play or coach football at the highest level providing in-depth analysis. Kiper was one of the first to break that mold.

    Kiper had ambitions to be a scout

    Before working at ESPN, Kiper was an amateur scout who would attempt to get his analysis in front of anyone who would look. Baltimore Colts assistant general manager Ernie Accorsi suggested to Kiper to sell his analysis to fans.

    Accorsi offered Kiper a role with Baltimore, but Kiper did not move with the team to Indianapolis. Kiper then joined ESPN at the perfect time.

    Around that time, the NFL Draft was transforming from an event with minimal coverage to the huge event it is today. Kiper was a part of that growth. Nevertheless, despite all Kiper’s mock drafts and analysis, what really got him noticed by the casual fan was being called out on live television by the GM of the team he once worked for.

    Kiper is now one of the most recognized NFL Draft analysts

    Kiper is ESPN’s lead analyst. While he works alongside fellow analyst Todd McShay, Kiper takes the lead when it comes to the live coverage. Additionally, Kiper has appeared in a number of NFL video games. His mock drafts are among the most highly read each and every year, and his analysis is often referenced by a number of sites globally.

    [su_button url=”https://www.profootballnetwork.com/2021-nfl-mock-draft-3-round-pauline/” style=”flat” background=”#540008″ color=”#ffffff” size=”5″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” text_shadow=”0px 0px 0px #000000″]Keep Reading! Tony Pauline’s Final 3-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft[/su_button]

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