NFL Draft News & Analysis

Using PFF’s mock draft simulator to gauge the public’s view of the 2022 NFL Draft

Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97) rushes the quarterback as Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Logan Bruss (60) blocks during the third quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

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

Rounds

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.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
3% 11% 20% 7% 5% 6% 48%

Favorite Teams

The Dallas Cowboys won the NFC East on the field last year, but the New York Giants took the Cowboys' PFF Mock Draft Simulator crown from them this offseason.

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.

Player trades

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:

Player Count
Jordan Love 40,530
Baker Mayfield 24,999
N’Keal Harry 22,619
Jimmy Garoppolo 18,392
James Bradberry 15,213
Nick Foles 14,023
Jalen Reagor 13,875
Robert Quinn 10,868
Nelson Agholor 7,438
Ezekiel Elliott 6,569
Deebo Samuel 5,646
Clyde Edwards-Helaire 5,482
Andre Dillard 5,374
Philip Dorsett 4,383
Miles Boykin 3,793

And here are the players our users traded for most frequently:

Player Count Most frequent franchise
D.K. Metcalf 45,288 Packers
Deebo Samuel 28,798 Jets
A.J. Brown 9,522 Jets
Terry McLaurin 9,511 Packers
Brandin Cooks 8,006 Packers
Michael Thomas 6,894 Packers
James Bradberry 4,747 Chiefs
Laviska Shenault Jr. 4,654 Packers
Tyler Lockett 4,618 Packers
Saquon Barkley 4,377 Bills
Kadarius Toney 4,232 Packers
Justin Jefferson 3,830 Jets
Darren Waller 3,541 Packers
Kyle Pitts 3,525 Jaguars
Christian McCaffrey 3,320 Jets

Player Picks

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:

ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH


ARIZONA CARDINALS

ATLANTA FALCONS

BALTIMORE RAVENS

BUFFALO BILLS

CAROLINA PANTHERS

CHICAGO BEARS

CINCINNATI BENGALS

CLEVELAND BROWNS

DALLAS COWBOYS

DENVER BRONCOS

DETROIT LIONS

GREEN BAY PACKERS

HOUSTON TEXANS

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

LAS VEGAS RAIDERS

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

LOS ANGELES RAMS

MIAMI DOLPHINS

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

NEW YORK GIANTS

NEW YORK JETS

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

TENNESSEE TITANS

WASHINGTON COMMANDERS

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.

Use promo code DRAFT50 for 50% off PFF’s ELITE Annual subscription and get a free year of PFF ELITE added to your subscription if a running back gets selected in Round 1.

Risers

The following charts show a selection of risers — the players whose median draft stock has increased over time.

Fallers

The following charts show a selection of fallers — the players whose median draft stock has decreased over time.

Conclusion

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!

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