The Diff: Cleveland Browns mock draft analysis

The Diff

For my entire archive of The Diff at WFNY, check out this tag. Again, last week’s topic covered baseball attendance in April and sellout streaks. Now, it’s NFL Draft talk time.

The Diff

Yesterday, I wrote a teaser for a mock draft database that I was compiling. At the time, I had a sample of 50 mock drafts from around the Internet. Many were awful, as some of you dutifully pointed out in the WFNY comments.

So now, I’ve cleaned things up quite a bit and expanded my mock draft list. There are now 60 mock drafts in my database. And today, as a special treat for you, I’ll share a link to the spreadsheet and provide some analysis on what it all means for your Cleveland Browns on Thursday.

Click here to view WFNY’s Mock Draft Database in a locked Google spreadsheet.

Now, let’s dive through what all of this means. First, a disclaimer: All 60 of these mock drafts do not factor trades. Obviously, that makes it slightly unrealistic because many, many trades will likely happen. But in terms of a mock draft database, there’s no easy way to factor in those changes.

The hope with today’s experiment is then to utilize an aggregation concept to deliver what the media is saying about the Browns. In no way do I have any unique or propietary information to share about the team’s drafting strategy; I’m simply gathering what all the folks on the Internet are saying, and making it into a nifty spreadsheet.

For more of my thoughts on aggregation models, you can check out The Diff from March 6th where I talk more poetically about Nate Silver, Joe Lunardi and the NCAA Tournament.


Mock draft consensus in top-3

It seems pretty simple what the Kansas City Chiefs are going to do at No. 1, eh? Whatever ends up happening with their franchised OT Brandon Albert appears to be a whole different story. But for now, it appears they’ve lined up their interests and have a clear favorite in OT Luke Joeckel, per these 60 mock drafts.

Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1
Luke Joeckel546090%
Eric Fisher66010%


For the Jaguars at No. 2, there begins to be a bit of dissension. Will they reach for one of the QBs? Would they consider Joeckel if he falls from No. 1? What about Fisher? Which defensive player might interest them the most? As of now, it appears Oregon OLB Dion Jordan is the most common choice.

Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 2
Dion Jordan356058%
Eric Fisher135424%
Luke Joeckel1617%
Ezekiel Ansah4607%
Shariff Floyd4607%
Geno Smith3605%


And then, to complete the top-3 of relatively consensus favorites, we have the Oakland Raiders. Again, there’s a possibility for a trade or complete upheaval here because it’s the Raiders. They could still go in a huge variety of different directions. But most commonly, it seems they’ll land Florida DT Shariff Floyd.

Oakland Raiders at No. 3
Shariff Floyd435677%
Luke Joeckel1520%
Eric Fisher54112%
Star Lotulelei66010%
Dion Jordan1254%
Ezekiel Ansah2564%
Bjoern Werner1602%
Dee Milliner1602%



No clear favorite for Eagles and Lions

Then, as prefaced yesterday, things start to get a bit unclear with the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4. Smartly, many, many mock drafters explained how they have no idea what direction the Eagles might go in. And it clearly shows with the picks. Yet, in the end, Central Michigan OT Eric Fisher wins the tiebreaker.

Philadelphia Eagles at No. 4
Eric Fisher173647%
Star Lotulelei175431%
Dion Jordan62425%
Geno Smith105718%
Shariff Floyd21315%
Ezekiel Ansah3546%
Lane Johnson3605%
Dee Milliner2593%


While the Eagles’ picks are the most spread out in the early going, the Lions aren’t too dissimilar at No. 5. A lot of their strategy will of course depend upon who is available. But with the run of offensive tackles occurring early, they could be persuaded into a trade. For now, per these mock drafts, they end up with BYU DE Ezekiel Ansah in a mild surprise.

Detroit Lions at No. 5
Luke Joeckel44100%
Eric Fisher171989%
Ezekiel Ansah175133%
Lane Johnson125721%
Dion Jordan31817%
Dee Milliner65711%
Bjoern Werner1592%



Availability and preferences at No. 6

And that’s where we get to the Cleveland Browns at No. 6. Certainly, we’re already dealing with a strange altered no-trade reality because of this mock draft study, but let’s keep seeing how it goes with the Browns staying put and their likely decision-making process.

First, let’s begin with a breakdown of where we stand right now in this process. Here is a table that shows the expected percentage of availability for players, assuming that the top-5 order and preferences take place as stated above, per these 60 mock drafts.

Note: The “Availability” chart below is flip-flopped from the order of previous tables thus far. It should be read with available showing the number of times that player is still left — out of 60 — through the first five picks.

Availability for Browns at No. 6
Luke Joeckel0600%
Eric Fisher2583%
Shariff Floyd114918%
Dion Jordan154525%
Ezekiel Ansah342657%
Star Lotulelei372362%
Lane Johnson451575%
Geno Smith471378%
Dee Milliner51985%
Bjoern Werner58297%


So it’s clear again: Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher are the two most likely players to be completely off the board through No. 5. Almost every situation has that — and the ones that don’t are some of the random outliers you’ll get with 60 mock drafts (more on that later).

Everything else checks out as expected, considering Shariff Floyd and Dion Jordan both are expected to be taken by now too. But again, I continue to be mildly surprised that Ezekiel Ansah is so high on this chart. Seems he probably won’t be there if the Browns move down.

Now, the usual chart like the other teams. This shows the Browns’ varied preferences at No. 6, given the players that they’re possibly dealing with being available. Unlike Philadelphia or Detroit, there’s a clear consensus: Alabama CB Dee Milliner. No one else comes close.

Cleveland Browns at No. 6
Dee Milliner375173%
Dion Jordan41527%
Ezekiel Ansah53415%
Geno Smith54711%
Tyler Eifert3605%
B. Mingo3605%
C. Patterson1602%
C. Warmack1602%
Tavon Austin1691%



NFL Draft big board database

As promised yesterday as well, I’ve also been looking throughout the season at aggregating a number of NFL Draft big boards. Previously, I’ve shared similar updates of such a list on March 13, February 24, January 21, December 20 and November 18. Those narratives from then to now should provide as complete of a picture you’ll see with how the top-10 has looked over the last five months.

Overall, again, the purpose of sharing an aggregate big board is just not to rely too much upon one singular opinion. Thus, on Draft Day — which hopefully you’ll be enjoying with us and Cleveland Frowns at Map Room downtown — you’ll be able to share this consensus top-14, as opposed to just what Mel Kiper Jr. or Todd McShay might be feeling.

Again, this is a consensus look at 10 big boards from across the Internet, including the two fellows above. This was updated last on Saturday, so changes may have occurred since. It only shows the top 14 as that was a clear dividing line that occurred — after that, people missed top-25s or were way further down on average.

Two quick notes: While Utah DT Star Lotulelei ranks No. 6, he might drop much farther than that on Thursday night. There doesn’t seem to be that logical of a fit, as he’s below Shariff Floyd, so if the Eagles pass at No. 4, he could find his way to No. 8 or lower. … Two guys on the lower-end to keep an eye on for possible inclusion into the top-8: LSU DE Barkevious Mingo and West Virginia WR Tavon Austin. Both are high-ceiling prospects. It wouldn’t be all that shocking to see a team feel that they’re the best of their bunch and move up to not miss out.

If you’re curious about any of the outliers in this ranking or others, just feel free to ask in the comments. I’ve got all my spreadsheets updated with names and dates, but just wanted to make it look clean below for this post.

1Luke Joeckel11131111111.2
2Eric Fisher33212224422.5
3Shariff Floyd55423663354.2
4Dion Jordan422056552635.8
5Dee Milliner6431644410846.3
6Star Lotulelei8951173315277.0
7Lane Johnson77965101071067.7
8C. Warmack21484118851198.0
9J. Cooper10878109969128.8
10Ezekiel Ansah91069977131389.1
11S. Richardson11131071411111271811.4
12B. Mingo13122210812129161012.4
13Tavon Austin121813121514148141713.7
14Jarvis Jones161112191319191751314.4



Trade-down availability at No. 12

Finally, one hypothetical to finish with. Many outlets have rumored about the Browns possible interest in trading down and specifically with the San Diego Chargers at No. 12. In fact, that’s exactly what Mel Kiper Jr. theorized in his best-case scenario mock draft yesterday.

Thus, using the same method I did for pick availability at No. 6, I’m going back to the 60 mock drafts to see who might be available at No. 12. Obviously, this is inclusive of all of the Browns and other team’s preferences above that might possibly trade down. But this is as good of an outlook you might get at what could still be there.

And lastly, a note on mock draft variability before displaying the table: Obviously, with 60 mock drafts, you’re going to have some outliers. I couldn’t believe it when I noticed that Dee Milliner, Lane Johnson or Shariff Floyd dropped past the top-11 in a few of these. What can you do. I just tried to analyze these the best as possible, given what I was working with.

Hope you all have enjoyed, and here’s your potential availability at No. 12:

Availability at No. 12
Luke Joeckel0600%
Eric Fisher0600%
Dion Jordan0600%
Lane Johnson1592%
Dee Milliner5558%
Shariff Floyd65410%
Ezekiel Ansah105017%
C. Warmack105017%
Star Lotulelei213935%
B. Mingo233738%
Geno Smith253542%
J. Cooper253542%
Ryan Nassib421870%
Tavon Austin471378%
D.J. Fluker51985%
Jarvis Jones53788%
Bjoern Werner55592%
Tyler Eifert57395%
Xavier Rhodes57395%
C. Patterson58297%
Alec Ogletree58297%
Matt Barkley59198%
S. Richardson59198%
D.J. Hayden59198%
Kenny Vaccaro59198%


  • tsm

    Interesting stuff. Having read Andy Staples article comparing actual performance to “workout warriors” and listening to Andre Knott (who I think is the best of our local sports media folk) I vote for Jarvis Jones. We could have the best of both worlds – trade down to 11 or 12 and get another selection, plus get the best pass rusher based on actual performance and not “cone” drills. Given the fact that there seems to be a number of CB’s available of similar ability, we can fill this need with a later selection. Give me the fierce pass rush over the cover corner any day. Remember how the NYG detroyed Montana in a conference championship game, and how Brady was also swamped by the NYG pass rush after their undefeated season? Even the greatest QB can’t beat you when he is running for his life, gets happy feet, or is on his back.

  • BenRM

    I really enjoyed this read

  • mgbode

    great job on this one Jacob.

    some interesting things (to me at least):

    JAX not even considering Milliner (by this consensus) despite Bradley developing the big-CB model in Seattle. They may not take Milliner, but I’d imagine they’d be considering him.

    I still find it strange that people are tabbing Geno Smith to Philly. For one, Geno is a mobile pocket QB, not a running QB. For another, Chip has said he thinks he can get by with later round QBs. I’d give much greater odds to them taking Manuel or Scott later in the draft.

    the Lions potentially picking Lane Johnson could demolish our trading power. we really need 1 OT to still be there for the leverage that comes with AZ desperately needing an OT.

  • steve

    If we trade down, I’m taking Jarvis Jones 100 out of 100 times and then going corner in round 2, and safety in round 3. Seriously, from what I’ve read, Jones’ neck issue is not an issue and he was widely thought to be the best player in the draft until that “issue” popped up. Now people are talking about Dion Jordan and Ziggy Ansah, but why not take Jones??

  • JacobWFNY

    Thank you much, sir.

  • JacobWFNY

    Many thanks, mgbode. Always enjoy your feedback on my posts.