All off-season prior to the NFL draft, I've looked at NFL mocks and multiple rookie and start-up mocks for fantasy. At various points in this series, I've discussed the potential shortcomings of mocks, despite viewing them as a useful tool overall. Although this has been a series about mock drafts, I wanted to show some real-life draft results for you to compare and contrast with what you've seen in your drafts so far. It's even better if you haven't drafted yet, to give you an idea of where sharp, seasoned dynasty players are drafting the incoming class.
Throughout the article, I'll be referencing a 14-team dynasty league with several known dynasty writers and podcasters. I kept it anonymous here so nobody gets attacked for anything on Twitter. It is a superflex league, where we start nine players with a slight tight end premium in scoring. There is a "15th pick" awarded in the first round as well. As I show the results of the actual draft, I'll also look at the same picks from DLF's most recent post-NFL draft May ADP. This way, we can compare what happens in actual drafts when people have money on the line versus theoretical mocks.
For the most part, the top 15 were the same in mocks and real life. Jonathan Mingo looks to be going earlier in actual drafts than in mocks, so be prepared for that if he is someone you're targeting. Dalton Kincaid went three spots earlier in May's mock drafts than in the real draft, and this is a tight end premium league as well, so that was a little surprising. Even in the heaviest-premium tight end premium leagues, most dynasty folks don't like burning early capital on tight ends, and considering how deep this class is, I suspect Kincaid will be a 1.10-1.12 pick in 99% of leagues. Because even if you miss out on Kincaid, there are several other tight ends that you would probably be ok with landing in this class if you missed out on the only first-rounder.
The one unusual result I see here is Kendre Miller going 17th overall in the actual draft and 14th in the mocks. He has been universally a late-first in almost every 12-man draft I've seen. But, overall, the May mocks and the real-life top-15 look pretty close to one another.
The top-15 had many similarities, with only one player missing/added; that's not the case with picks 16-29, where we see a lot more movement. Pick 16 in the actual draft; Tyjae Spears was going as pick 23 in mocks. In half of the May mock drafts, he was selected with pick 24 or later. I've seen him fall more often than not, and I personally won't be drafting him anywhere once I heard about his knee problems.