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.
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|
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|
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.
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|