Mock drafts are practice fantasy sports drafts. Before a league's draft takes place, mock drafts are a way to practice before someone's pride and/or money are on the line. Participating in a mock draft alerts fantasy players to real players that are going higher or lower than you expected.
Savvy fantasy sports players also monitor the results of these drafts for trends and to see where players are being taken to get a feel for each player's value (as shown in the Average Draft Position (or ADP) from multiple mock drafts).
They say practice makes perfect, so in that spirit here are some of the benefits I see:
1) It helps familiarize you with the draft process
2) You can get an idea of where players are going in the draft
3) You will get to know player’s names and positions
4) You can practice with different sized teams usually from 8-16 players
"Die-hard participants are set to engage in this activity throughout the summer as part of an evaluation process to gauge player values before drafting for real." – Herbie Teope, Kansas City Star
If you want to do one places like YahooSports and FantasyFootballCalculator offer free mock drafts that are generally very easy to do, but beware you will more than likely run into die-hard drafters especially this early in the year!
So, have you done a mock draft in the past? Let me know when you try one out!