I don't mean don't read them to get an idea of who might be available when the Rays pick. I mean don't take them as anything close to gospel.
Last year, Gary Brown went 24th overall, Justin O'Conner went 31st overall, and Cito Culver went 32nd overall. Jim Callis did a mock draft the day of, and predicted those picks would be Yordy Cabrera, Derek Dietrich, and Christian Yelich. On June 4th (three days prior to the real deal), he had Jedd Gyorko, Yasmani Grandal, and Ryan LaMarre in those spots. How about May 28th? Nick Castellanos, Chad Bettis, Tyrell Jenkins. Going all the way back to his first mock, which was May 14th, he pegged Yordy Cabrera, Tyrell Jenkins, and Kyle Parker into the 24, 31, and 32 picks. In other words, out of four mock drafts, he didn't have the correct player going in those spots once.
How about Keith Law at ESPN? He also did four mocks (May 24, May 31, June 4, June 7). His guesses at pick #24 were: Brett Eibner, Christian Colon, Nick Castellanos, and Jedd Gyorko. Again, it was Gary Brown that in fact went #24. At #31, he had: Jedd Gyorko, Brandon Workman, Derek Dietrich, and Mike Kvasnicka. 0-4. #32: Tyrell Jenkins, Christian Yelich, Gary Brown, Tyrell Jenkins. That's two 0-12s.
I found two mock drafts from MinorLeagueBall's John Sickels. On June 4th, he predicted Bryce Brentz, Taijuan Walker, and Nick Castellanos to go respectively at 24, 31, and 32. On June 7th, he had Bryce Brentz, Brett Eibner, and Jedd Gyorko. 0-6.
Kevin Goldstein at BaseballProspectus? On June 4th, he mocked Bryce Brentz, Kellin Deglan, and Gary Brown at 24/31/32. On June 7th, his guesses were the same except Jedd Gyorko at 32 instead of Brown. 0-6.
That's four VERY connected people, who did not, one single time, guess correctly who would go in the 24/31/32 picks in a combined 12 mock drafts, including four that were made the DAY OF THE DRAFT. Maybe it was just bad a year, let's try 2009? That year, Randal Grichuk, Brett Jackson, and Tim Wheeler were selected 24th, 31st, and 32nd respectively.
I found two by Kevin Goldstein for 2009, May 21 and June 9 (which was the day of the draft). On May 21, his picks were Max Stassi, A.J. Pollock, and Eric Arnett. On June 9th, he had Chad James, Tim Wheeler (oh so close!), and Rich Poythress in those spots. So another 0-6.
I could only find one mock draft by John Sickels for 2009, and that was done on June 6th. His picks: James Paxton, A.J. Pollock, Tim Wheeler. Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner, Sickels gets Wheeler right.
For Keith Law, I again found four mock drafts from 2009, done on May 27, June 2, June 8, and June 9. From May 27: Billy Bullock, Brett Jackson, Tim Wheeler. 2 for 3! June 2: Kyle Heckathorn, Brett Jackson, Garrett Richards. 1 for 3! June 8: Kyle Heckathorn, Andy Oliver, Tim Wheeler. 1 for 3! June 9: Kyle Heckathorn, Andy Oliver, Tim Wheeler. 1 for 3!
Jim Callis also did four for 2009, on May 14, May 29, June 5, and June 9. On May 14th, he had Mike Trout, A.J. Pollock, and Garrett Gould at 24/31/32. On May 29, he guessed Mike Trout, A.J. Pollock, and Tim Wheeler. 1-3! On June 5, he had Mike Trout, Brett Jackson, and Wil Myers. 1-3! And on his day-of mock, he had Mike Trout, Brett Jackson, and Tim Wheeler. 2-3!
My point here isn't to poke fun at these guys for getting things wrong, it's to illustrate that even some of the best in the business who know the most don't REALLY know what's going to happen (unless you're Tim Wheeler). In 2010, they didn't get 24/31/32 right a single time. They were marginally better in 2009. But even in their latest mock drafts of 2009, they went 4-12.