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Mel Kiper Jr.

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Mel Kiper Jr.
Kiper in 2009
Born (1960-07-25) July 25, 1960 (age 63)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Alma materEssex Community College
OccupationFootball commentator

Mel Kiper Jr. (/ˈkpər/ KY-pər; born July 25, 1960)[1] is an analyst covering American football for ESPN. Kiper has appeared on ESPN's annual NFL draft coverage since 1984.[2] He has been widely credited for establishing mock drafting and is regarded as one of the first draftniks alongside Joel Buchsbaum.[3][4][5][6][7]


Kiper said that he approached Ernie Accorsi, then-assistant general manager of the Baltimore Colts, with draft reports while still a student in high school. Accorsi told him that there was a market for draft information and suggested that Kiper convert his analysis into a business.[7][8] The original contract he signed with ESPN in 1984 was for $400.[9]

Kiper and fellow draft analyst Todd McShay are often featured together and compare their mock drafts on ESPN programs.[10] Kiper compiles a "big board", on which he ranks his top 25 players every week.[11]


Kiper has received sustained criticism for the low accuracy of his predictions. According to Cold Hard Football Facts, Kiper's accuracy for the first round of the 2005–2008 NFL drafts was 32 of 127 total picks (25.2%), which included players that had already signed or were in the process of signing with a team before the draft.[12][13] According to The Huddle Report in 2014, based on Kiper's final mock drafts, he had accurately predicted 23% of the first round picks in the previous five years.[9] Kiper's initial drafts were even lower, correctly predicting 17 out of 256 from 2010–2018.[4] In 2021, FantasyPros ranked Kiper's final mock draft 87th of 182 and Grading the Experts ranked his draft 32nd of 38.[14] In 2023, Kiper correctly predicted only one of the 31 draftees in the first round despite updating his analysis on the morning of the NFL draft after gathering additional information.[15][16][17]

In other media[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Kiper was born in Baltimore, Maryland.[20] His wife Kim, whom he married in 1989, assists him in running Mel Kiper Enterprises from their Baltimore home.[21] They have one daughter.[22]


  1. ^ "Mel Kiper Jr". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 28, 2022. Kiper, born July 25, 1960, attended Essex Community College in Baltimore.
  2. ^ "Mel Kiper's NFL draft hits and misses". ESPN.com. ESPN, Inc. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  3. ^ Wells, Brad (April 23, 2010). "After the first day of the 2010 NFL Draft, there was no bigger first round bust than ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr". SBNation.com. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  4. ^ a b Reed, Jason (January 21, 2018). "Los Angeles Chargers: Mel Kiper's bad track record will continue in 2018". LA Sports Hub. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  5. ^ McKenna, Henry (June 9, 2019). "Poor Mel Kiper Jr. isn't getting any GM interest from NFL teams". For The Win. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  6. ^ Kopetskie, Tommy (May 5, 2021). "Who scored the most accurate NFL mock draft? That honor goes to an Elon alumnus". Elon University. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  7. ^ a b Greenberg, Doug (April 28, 2023). "Where Would The NFL Draft Be Without The Gurus?". Front Office Sports. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  8. ^ Battista, Judy (April 24, 2009). "The N.F.L. Draft Is the Kipers' Family Business". The New York Times.
  9. ^ a b Peter, Josh. "Meet Mel Kiper: Fallible, Parodied, Relentless, Rich, Famous, Successful". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  10. ^ Kiper, Mel Jr.; McShay, Todd (April 18, 2019). "Three-round 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Kiper, McShay go head-to-head". ESPN.com. ESPN, Inc. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  11. ^ Zucker, Joseph. "Mel Kiper 2019 Big Board: Nick Bosa Remains No. 1, Ed Oliver Drops Out of Top 5". bleacherreport.com. Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  12. ^ Diaz, Malcolm (May 4, 2009). "Mock Draft Experts: Guess Work at its Worst". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  13. ^ Staff Writer (April 5, 2009). "Hollywood ending awaits for LT Oher". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  14. ^ Peter, Josh (May 5, 2021). "Who had the most accurate NFL mock draft? Not ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  15. ^ Mel Kiper Jr. [@MelKiperESPN] (Apr 27, 2023). I agonized over this final mock draft -- I already updated with a few changes this morning. Here's what I'm hearing on Round 1 right now. Twitter.
  16. ^ Tornoe, Rob (April 28, 2023). "NFL draft 2023: How many picks did Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, and Daniel Jeremiah actually get right?". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  17. ^ Rivera, Joe (April 29, 2023). "Grading 2023 NFL mock drafts: How did Mel Kiper, Daniel Jeremiah, Todd McShay, Peter King & other experts fare? | Sporting News". sportingnews.com. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  18. ^ Ekberg, Brian. "E3 06: NFL Head Coach Hands-On". Gamespot. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2007.
  19. ^ Arguello, Lorenzo (April 25, 2012). "How Mel Kiper Went From Controversial, No-Name Amateur Scout To The Biggest NFL Draft Guru On The Planet". Business Insider. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  20. ^ "Mel Kiper Jr". Allmovie. Retrieved November 5, 2023.
  21. ^ Sports (April 25, 2012). "MEL KIPER JR: Life Story, From Amateur Scout To ESPN's Multi-Millionaire NFL Draft Expert". Business Insider. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  22. ^ Kiper, Kim (April 18, 2001). "ESPN.com - Page2 - Mel-odramatic marriage". Espn.go.com. Retrieved April 30, 2016.

External links[edit]