I'll start off by saying that I respect 30-plus year veteran NFL reporter John McClain. I grew up reading him religiously actually. However, over the past few seasons, his work hasn't lived up to the high bar he set earlier in his career. Of course, the NFL always gives you a chance to bounce right back up.
Every site and reporter does a mock draft and analysis. When a rookie performs well and proves you right, you really want to thump your chest and gain some more credibility. McClain is no different. Let's throw in a little jump since I can tell this will be a little longer.
On Thanksgiving, this is what McClain tweeted as the New England-Detroit game was being played:
Devin McCourty, who intercepted the pass for the Patriots that set up Wes Welker's TD catch, was my mock draft pick for the Texans.
That's all well and good. This season, McCourty's easily been the best rookie cornerback thanks to his athleticism and Bill Belichick using him to his strengths. Over the past two weeks, McCourty has turned a noticeable corner, as evidenced by three interceptions. However, Houston didn't take McCourty in McClain's final mock. In fact, he passed on McCourty for Houston. This was his Houston pick:
Ryan Mathews, RB, Fresno State
Comment: Improves the league's 30th-ranked running game
Oh yes, Ryan Mathews - who McClain trumpeted for months as the Houston pick. How could McClain forget it? He only said it every chance he got.
I guess he wouldn't want us to remember that since A) Mathews has been injury prone and not lived up to a first round billing, and B) Arian Foster has been the best running back in the league - something that may not have happened with a first round running back in the fold. It's just impossible to re-write history in the Google Era.
Better luck with your 2011 mock draft, General, but you should bookmark it for easy reference in the fall.