Amish draft expert nails pre-draft predictions

April, 29, 2009
4/29/09
2:52
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

As I wrote Friday, I visited my parents in rural Ohio before driving to the Buffalo Bills' headquarters for the NFL draft.

My folks are surrounded by Amish families. One of their neighbors is emerging Amish draft expert Eli Yoder. He trotted his buggy up the driveway just before I hit the road Saturday and imparted some predictions I shared before the draft began.

I thought it would be fun to review his prophecies. Yoder is a carpenter by trade. I think it's fair to say he nailed them.

Next year, I'll start hitting him up for info a lot earlier.

  • The New England Patriots won't find a willing trade partner to move into the top 10 picks in the draft. He gave an over/under on Patriots trades this weekend at 3 1/2. (While Yoder was way under on the number of trades, he nailed the first part.)
  • The Bills won't get a tackle they want with the No. 11 pick and it shouldn't be a surprise if they do not draft Jason Peters' replacement with either of their first-round picks. (Nailed it.)
  • Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis will be the steal of the draft. (Impossible to say for at least a couple years.)
  • Twitter won't catch on. (Impossible to evaluate this prediction now, but Yoder has been saying the abacus will make a comeback.)
  • Connecticut cornerback Darius Butler will be an early second-round pick for the Patriots. (Nailed it.)
  • The Tony Gonzalez trade will cause Oklahoma State tight end Brandon Pettigrew to slip to the Bills at No. 28. (Yoder's only clear miss. Pettigrew went No. 20 to the Lions.)
  • The Miami Dolphins will ignore their need for another receiver and go defense in the first round. (Nailed it.)
  • The New York Jets will not draft Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman. (Nailed it, although Freeman did go at No. 17, the Jets' original pick.)
  • Neither the Dolphins nor the Jets will select a receiver in the first round unless they trade up. (Nailed it.)

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