Josh Norris ’11, who correctly predicted half of the first-round landing spots in this year’s NFL Draft, is featured in a May 5 article in USA Today about mock drafts.
Who was the big winner of the 2021 NFL Draft? No so fast, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson.
That victory goes to Elon alumnus Josh Norris ’11, who accurately predicted the landing spots for 16 players in the draft’s first round held on April 28. According to The Huddle Report, a website that has scored NFL mock drafts for accuracy since 2002, Norris’ hit rate was higher than any other mock drafter, including prominent draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. In fact, Norris had a record-breaking performance, besting an accuracy mark set in 2006. (He successfully predicted 27 of the 32 players picked in the first round.)
Norris and his accurate prognostications earned him the focus of a May 5 article published on USAToday.com titled “Who had the most accurate NFL mock draft? Not ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.” The 1,200-word article takes a close look at the mock draft industry, its history and growth, and how analysts compared to one another in 2021. Additionally, author Josh Peter details Norris’ professional start, which began as an inquisitive intern for the St. Louis Rams.
A decade later, Norris now serves as a creative contributor for Underdog Fantasy, a fast-growing fantasy sports company, and hosts a podcast titled “The Underdog Football Show.” Previously, he worked as a NFL writer for NBC Sports/Rotoworld.com, which included appearances on live television shows, hosting NBC Sports’ original podcast, and anchoring weekly football shows on NBC digital platforms.
“I’ve been obsessed with the draft since I was a little kid,” said Norris in the USA Today article. “The stars aligned a little bit this year. It is research and luck.’’
Additionally, the Elon graduate noted how difficult compiling a mock draft can be, and he also praised Kiper, who is widely regarded for establishing the mock draft industry.
“I would never say a bad word about Mel Kiper,” Norris told USA Today. “Imagine how many draft analysts are out there. None of those would exist without Mel Kiper. Mel Kiper is untouchable.”
A broadcast communications major at Elon, Norris hosted a show on WSOE 89.3 and appeared regularly on “One on One Sports.” In 2019, he was recognized by the university with a Top 10 Under 10 Alumni Award.