The NFL's general managers will be on the clock tonight during the 2022 NFL Draft, but the countless fans who have been drafting away on PFF's Mock Draft Simulator have been on the clock for a few months now.
Again, we saved every pick and trade you made for your team on our simulator. Let's break down fans' wishes about how the draft should unfold.
[Editor’s note: The information about picks and trades is the only information we saved from our users.]
Number of drafts
Roughly half of all mock drafts went all the way to Mr. Irrelevant.
We changed the standard setting to three rounds this year, which is why the three-round mock was the other common choice here.
Armed with two top-10 picks, Giants fans sought to finally get their team back into the playoffs for the first time since 2016. On the other end of the spectrum, Rams fans are really living by the “F*** Them Picks” slogan made famous by general manager Les Snead.
Apart from bringing back the grades in an overhauled form, the 2022 draft season was all about a new feature in our mock draft sim.
Thanks to a machine-learning model built with the help of our own Brad Spielberger, we were able to predict a hypothetical trade value for every player in the league and offer the opportunity to trade players within a draft simulation.
Interestingly, this feature was used more often to trade a player away (58%) than to trade for a player (42%).
Here are the players who got traded away most frequently:
And here are the players our users traded for most frequently:
|Player||Count||Most frequent franchise|
|Laviska Shenault Jr.||4,654||Packers|
The following charts show an overview of each team's first two picks in the simulator. To give an idea of how the player-team pairings are a developing process, we cut the draft season into four parts:
• The time before the Super Bowl when most fans are still busy following the games.
• The time between the Super Bowl and free agency.
• The time after free agency when there is clarity about team needs.
• The final two weeks before the draft when the amount of information available to us is at its peak.
For each part of the draft season, here are the five most frequently drafted players with each team's first and second pick.
JUMP TO A TEAM:
The first overall pick
The following chart shows the frequency with which the users selected Aidan Hutchinson, Evan Neal, Ikem Ekwonu, Kayvon Thibodeaux and Travon Walker with the first overall pick for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There was a time in the draft process when it looked like the Jaguars would want to select an offensive lineman to protect Trevor Lawrence, but after Cam Robinson was tagged and Aidan Hutchinson's solid combine, the pendulum swung toward edge rusher.
It’s not visible on this chart, but the first time someone selected Travon Walker for the Jaguars at first overall was on Jan. 3, one day after the Jaguars lost 50-10 to the New England Patriots in Week 17.
After that, nobody else made that pick until March 1. Starting with March 7, two days after edge rushers performed their on-field drills at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, Travon Walker at first overall became more popular, but it took until two weeks ago for him to eclipse the 10% mark on a day.
The following charts show a selection of risers — the players whose median draft stock has increased over time.
The following charts show a selection of fallers — the players whose median draft stock has decreased over time.
The third year of our mock draft simulator was a great success, and we hope you had as much fun playing around with old and new features as we did.
Thanks to all of our users. We will be happy to see you again next draft season, and we have already planned a lot of improvements.
However, this year’s draft season is not quite over yet. Naturally, you can still simulate this year’s draft. And once the draft begins, you can choose to continue the draft with the next unknown pick. The actual picks will be updated live during the draft.
Good luck, and happy drafting!