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Unexpected Points

This is the updated version of the consensus mock 1.0 I published a couple months back.

At the risk of sounding immodest, I believe my data-driven process for this mock produced something more packed with information than any you’ll find anywhere out on the draft-prediction streets. It doesn’t have the details of “why” on every player selection or my personal opinions on the various prospects. But it does have the benefit of the wisdom of crowds, and a layer of uncertainty you’ll never find in a single mock draft.

A picture is worth a thousand words, and below you’ll find a detailed visualizations for the top-31 (Dolphins forfeited their 2023 first-round pick) players according to mock draft data collected by Benjamin Robinson at Grinding the Mocks. I’m lucky to have a partnership with Robinson this offseason with access to his data, while also having him join my podcast periodically through draft season to keep us in the loop of recent trends.

You will not find a more comprehensive data set for mock drafts, which is combined with Robinson’s work gauging the prior accuracy of major mock drafters. That work comes together in the “Weighted Mocks” score he has for each draft selection for every prospect. You’ll find that score on a percentage basis on the Y axis. Here’s an explanation of how weighted mocks is calculated from Robinson:

To calculate “Adjusted Mock Drafts”, we use “Grinding the Mocks” pick-by-pick mock draft data at Player, Pick, and team level. As the draft order has only just been finalized, this data should become more firm as the draft process goes on. Player, team, and pick mock drafts are counted and then adjusted accordingly based on the draftnik’s historic accuracy and how close the mock draft is from the date of the NFL draft.

Years of draft watching tells us that there is an additional layer of uncertainty missing in terms of a player going at a fully unexpected draft position, especially when any team can trade up or down in the draft. For this first consensus mock run, I’m just presenting the straight numbers based on the weighted mock draft data. As we get closer to the draft, I’ll attempt to add needed uncertainty to the range of possibilities based on historical patterns. Plus, we’ll get deeper and more robust mock draft as the offseason progresses.

This is the second (2.0) consensus mock of the offseason. The first was published almost two months prior, and there’s been a lot happening in the NFL recent to shake up the assumptions of the media’s best mock draft analysts. We’ve made our way through the NFL Combine, had a major trade the shake up the top of draft boards, and gotten most of the way through free agency. There will be more material news between now and the Day 1 of the draft in late April, but much of the foundation has been set.

Okay, let’s get to the info. The top-31 players are given with their positions, headshots and school logos. The NFL teams are represented by team logos and primary colors.

We have a new No. 1 prospect according to mock draft data. Will Anderson is out under the strong assumption that the Panthers didn’t trade up to No. 1 and give up all they did to take a non-quarterback. Beyond that, the assumption for who will the first quarterback has also shifted to C.J. Stroud from Bryce Young.

The tea leaves for who the Panthers will select at No. 1 are going in multiple directions, with some reports that they favor Stroud, and other saying the decision is still up in the air. We shouldn’t be too confident in betting markets at this stage in the offseason, yet Stroud is a big favorite at this point to go first overall, with DraftKings placing his implied probability at near 70% (-400, which includes juice) to Young at roughly 25% (+225).

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