How Mel Kiper Went From Controversial, No-Name Amateur Scout To The Biggest NFL Draft Guru On The Planet

Mel Kiper Jr. ESPN NFL Draft Expert

Photo: YouTube

Mel Kiper Jr. was merely a teen-aged, wannabe NFL scout in the late 70s when he personally handed his draft reports to anyone and everyone who cared to read it.Over the years his dream became a year-round, high-paying job that’s made him both the butt of NFL executives’ jokes and the go-to draft expert for fans everywhere.

The NFL Draft was a little-followed offseason “meeting” between teams before ESPN, along with Kiper’s help and expertise, turned it into the super hyped 24/7 obsession it is today.

Inspired by Kiper’s success, dozens of other “experts” have joined the draft process in the years since then, but most still view Kiper as the top guy.

Growing up in Baltimore, Mel Kiper always wanted to be an NFL scout

While he was in high school during the late 1970s, Kiper wanted gave some of his player evaluations to Baltimore Colts executive Ernie Accorsi. The exec suggested he start selling his reports to fans.

Source: NYT

Following the advice of Accorsi, Kiper started his own NFL talent evaluating business, Kiper Enterprises, while attending Essex Community College in Baltimore in 1981

Source: ESPN

Kiper racked up huge long distance phone bills and convinced his dad to install a satellite dish on the roof so he could gather all the information for his yearly draft report

Source: WaPo

Accorsi offered Kiper his dream job after the 1982 season: a front office position with the Colts. But the team moved to Indianapolis shortly afterward, leaving Kiper behind

Source: WaPo

Source: ESPN

In 1989, Kiper married his wife Kim. She's been running the day-to-day operations for Kiper Enterprises out of their Baltimore home since 1988

Source: WaPo

The first big controversy came when Kiper lambasted the Colts for passing on quarterback Trent Dilfer in the first round of the 1994 draft, watch:

Source: ESPN

In an obvious sign that Kiper's hit the big time, NFL scouting departments now subscribe to his draft reports

Some execs even admit they double check their own player evaluations against Kiper's.

Source: WaPo

The draft has become a big part of video games too, as Kiper offered his likeness for Madden in 2007 and 2008

Source: ESPN

Many have questioned Kiper's credibility due to his close relationship with numerous agents. Some say Kiper over-hypes friends' clients

It reached its peak when he said Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen was a top five talent in 2010. Clausen dropped all the way to the Carolina Panthers with the 48th pick and hasn't had much success in the NFL.

Source: WaPo

Kiper somehow knows EVERYTHING about every player drafted right off the top of his head, rarely consulting his notes

Source: WaPo

Nowadays, ESPN pairs Kiper with fellow draft expert Todd McShay. The two can be seen constantly arguing over the nation's best college football players all year long

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.