Hackett's Draft Prep Part 1: The Candidates

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

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Every year I like to go through the various candidates to be picked by the Raptors (looking only at the pick they currently have) and try to sort the good from the bad, or at least get a better picture of what we are dealing with in that pick range. The other HQ guys always do a bang up job with the scouting reports and even interviews in and around the workouts (which I look forward to in the coming weeks), but I like to go through the exercise myself as well.

Some years, like last year, it's a complete waste of time (Hi, Bruno!). Previous years it has been helpful (I was one of the group on this site celebrating the JV pick the instant the Cavs took Thompson instead, rather than booing it as most of the internet did; the year after when Ross was drafted I knew it was a reach because I had not considered him when doing this exercise, plus Drummond was SITTING RIGHT THERE, BRYAN).

In any case, my starting point tends to be the draftexpress mock drafts, as they are the best in the biz, and that's where I get most of my scouting info on the prospects. But to avoid any mis-steps, I also look at's mock. They are usually less accurate than DX, but not always.

This year, I'm going to add a few more mocks in to make sure we don't miss anyone obvious. I'll grab Basketball Insiders' 4 mocks and CBS' 3 mocks. I'd grab ESPN's, but that's insider. I'm grabbing first round picks only from those drafts, assuming that if a player doesn't make the top 30 in even a single one of those mocks, they are not a candidate at 20.

So, that's 9 mock drafts. First we find the full list of all prospects pegged in the top 30 by those mock drafts, and how many times they appear.

Karl-Anthony Towns, 9
Jahlil Okafor, 9
D'Angelo Russell, 9
Emmanuel Mudiay, 9
Justise Winslow, 9
Willie Cauley-Stein, 9
Mario Hezonja, 9
Kristaps Porzingis, 9
Stanley Johnson, 9
Frank Kaminsky, 9
Myles Turner, 9
Devin Booker, 9
Kelly Oubre Jr., 9
Jerian Grant, 9
Sam Dekker, 9
Bobby Portis, 9
Trey Lyles, 9
Tyus Jones, 9
Kevon Looney, 9
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 9
Montrezl Harrell, 9
R.J. Hunter, 9
Christian Wood, 9
Cameron Payne, 8
Justin Anderson, 8
Delon Wright, 8
Jarell Martin, 6
Cliff Alexander, 6
Robert Upshaw, 5
Terry Rozier, 5
George Lucas Alves de Paula, 5
Norman Powell, 3
Rashad Vaughn, 2
Chris McCullough, 2
Kris Dunn, 1
Malik Pope, 1
Caris LeVert, 1
Michael Qualls, 1

So, those are our candidates. 39 players. But of course, some of those are practically guaranteed not to be there at 20. Of those players, there are 8 who are consensus lotto picks. There are 14 in total that are consensus top 19 picks. So if we write those off as possibilities, we are left with 25 players who at least one mock draft has going as late as 20, and at least one mock draft has going in the first round. Those 25 players are as follow, with their average ranking across all mock drafts listed.

Devin Booker, 15, SG
Jerian Grant, 16, PG
Bobby Portis, 16, PF
Kevon Looney, 18, PF
Cameron Payne, 20, PG
Tyus Jones, 20, PG
Montrezl Harrell, 21, PF
Christian Wood, 22, PF
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 23, SF
R.J. Hunter, 23, SG
Delon Wright, 26, PG
Justin Anderson, 26, SF
Terry Rozier, 28, PG
Robert Upshaw, 28, C
Cliff Alexander, 29, PF/C
Jarell Martin, 29, SF/PF
George Lucas Alves de Paula, 30, PG
Norman Powell, 30, SG
Kris Dunn, 30 ***
Rashad Vaughn, 30, SG
Chris McCullough, 30, PF
Malik Pope, 31 ***
Dakari Johnson, 31, C
Caris LeVert, 31 ***
Michael Qualls, 31, SG

The starred guys are projected to go in 2016 according to DraftExpress, so we'll leave them out. That leaves 22 players. As you can see, loads of PG's and PF's, which is nice for the Raptors, who need a long term backup at PG and additional talent at the forward spots.

So that's where we'll start. I'll go through that list position by position and try to get an overall picture of each player, including a rough idea what the scouting report says and physical measurements.

Anybody have any early favourites before we get into the detailed breakdowns?