The Loop

Mel Kiper says stats are for losers, except when they support his claims

February 22, 2018

Mel Kiper Jr. has been putting together utterly meaningless NFL Draft boards for ESPN since 1984. And though he's the unquestioned godfather of this godforsaken practice, there are times where Kiper comes off as a ninny (to say nothing of other, ahem, rumblings). This is one of those times.

Lamar Jackson is one of the more divisive figures in this year's draft, with executives, coaches and media split on whether the Heisman winner projects as a quarterback or wide receiver. Kiper appears firmly in the non-QB camp, citing Jackson's pedestrian completion percentage rate (57 percent) as evidence for his case. Which, hey, fair point. Except, as Twitter quickly discovered, it's totally contradictory to Kiper's previous stance.

On a conference call in January, Kiper took heat for placing Wyoming's Josh Allen at the top of his board. When someone questioned Allen's accuracy, Kiper had this to say:

Buffalo Bills beat writer Matthew Fairburn quickly pointed out that Allen owned a career 56 completion percentage, which is (checking math) less than 57 percent. To which Kiper responded:

So yeah, Kiper thinks stats are for losers. Except when they support his claims. This is almost as bad as when he said he'd retire if Jimmy Clausen didn't turn out to be a franchise quarterback. Almost.