Here we are, finally, just one day from the 2016 NFL Draft. While all reports indicate the Philadelphia Eagles will select Carson Wentz with the number two overall pick, nothing is set in stone. After all, not too many days ago it seemed extremely unlikely the Eagles would own the second pick in the draft, with Sam Bradford still on the roster no less. I digress...
With the Eagles first pick in the draft reportedly set in stone, mock drafts seem to be a little less fun, or less debatable, than the norm. But that's okay. Here's a little something that can hopefully make up for the loss. It's a different kind of mock draft, a compilation of 1,000 randomly generated mock drafts.
This is where mathematics, design, and my own personal judgment intersect. The simulation is based on one "big board." I gleaned the top 350 draft prospects from CBS and made some adjustments in rankings based on my interpretation of everything I've read this offseason. I compiled and ranked each team's positional draft needs from various sources, including CBS, NFL.com, ESPN, even the Washington Post. Admittedly, there is a lot of subjectivity here. Each selection in the simulation is based on one primary question, to draft by need or best player available. The answer is randomly generated and the team's selection is based on the players still available. The results are in the interactive viz below.
There are two sections: team results and player results. In the Team section, filter by team, round, and pick to see how often particular players were selected. In the Player section, you can search for particular players and positions to see the most common team destinations.
Results are by no means perfect. For example, you'll see that the Eagles select most often Christian Hackenberg in the third round. This is because they've also selected Laremy Tunsil in the first round 20% of the time. However unlikely this seems now, they are still statistical possibilities. Ideally, I'd also like to base the simulation on 32 distinct big boards, but haven't been able to find the time to pull that off. Maybe one day.
The viz is in it's fourth year of development (first one here was "Chaos Theory" inspired). If you have any suggestions for improvement, I'm certainly open to hearing them.
Hope you enjoy it!