Draft Day Odds

nfl draft
nfl draft

If you haven't followed the Twitter handle @Adv_NFL_Stats yet, you've done yourself a disservice. Brian Burke, a former Navy pilot turned stats analyst, has probably come up with the most impressive analysis of the NFL Draft that I've ever seen, and I've read more than 150 mock drafts since February.

Burke's method is based on Bayesian probability, a thing that's complicated enough that I'm not even going to try to explain it, but basically the entire premise of his model is that he takes a bunch of mock drafts (stuff by Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Daniel Jeremiah, and so), weights them by past performance, and uses the results to project where draft picks will end up.

Jordan made a lot of good predictions this morning, and to add a little context to some of the stuff he said, here are some numbers. These are the probabilities that each of the players who showed up in the mock drafts we studied will be available when the Packers pick 21st overall.

  • C.J. Mosley - 9%
  • Ryan Shazier - 33%
  • Louis Nix - 99%
  • Calvin Pryor - 5%
  • Ra'Shede Hageman - 95%
  • Eric Ebron - !%
  • Jimmie Ward - 99%
  • Austin Seferian-Jenkins - 99%
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - 6%
  • Stephon Tuitt - 96%
  • Darqueze Dennard - 1%
  • Jace Amaro - 99%
  • Mike Evans - <1%
  • Timmy Jernigan - 89%
  • Odell Beckham Jr. - 3%
  • Justin Gilbert <1%
  • Bradley Roby - 85%
  • Allen Robinson - 97%
  • Kony Ealy - 94%

Are these percentages in any way accurate? it's hard to say, but I think this helps reinforce some of what the Packers preach about their draft board.

Say the Packers are interested in C.J. Mosley, Ryan Shazier, Louis Nix, Ra'Shede Hageman, Calvin Pryor, and Jimmie Ward, and they have them ranked in a random order on their draft board. As the draft proceeds, they can use analysis like this to decide if they'll stand pat as players fall or make a move.

These percentages are especially interesting to me because they raise the possibility that the Packers could easily trade back and still get some of the players that could help them. For instance, if the Browns would decide not to draft a quarterback fourth overall and wanted to jump from 26 to 21, the Packers could ask for the 26th pick and the 35th pick and get a crack at two of the guys available in that neighborhood. Just a thought.

Overall, much like Jordan, I think the Packers stick to defense in the first round. I think Ted Thompson has a lot of options, and it'll depend how things shake out which direction he chooses.

AnalysisGary Zilavy