NFL Draft Day Predictor: Which Teams Could Swap? Which customer can sneak into round 1?

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To draft well in the NFL, teams need to read space. It doesn’t just matter how well front offices assess leads or wheels and handle opponents while on the clock. They also need to know when players need to get off the board so they do not unnecessarily miss out on who they want, or – and this is crucial – take a player before they have to waste valuable draft capital.

Enter ESPN’s Draft Day Predictor, a statistical tool that produces a series of NFL draft prospect selection results. It uses expert drafts, Scouts Inc. grades and team needs as input and helps us answer questions about how things could go. It gives percentage chances that each lead is available – and gets selected – at each draft, which of course leads to a likely series of choices where he could realistically get off the board.

For the first time, Draft Day Predictor is a publicly available tool. It is updated Thursday morning as the final mock drafts come in and then updated live during the draft Thursday night. But for now, let’s break down some of the stories in the 2022 draft where the Draft Day Predictor acts as our crystal ball. Remember: This tool does not work with security because there is no security when it comes to others’ decision making. But it provides probabilities, and we will use them to guide us through eight major questions.

Check out Draft Day Predictor

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Should the Steelers or Saints swap if they want Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett?

If the New Orleans Saints hope to pick Liberty’s Willis or Pitt’s Pickett, there’s a 64% chance one of the two quarterbacks will be there for them as No. 16, according to the Draft Day Predictor. While it would provide an uncomfortable wait without guarantees that it will pay off, they can probably afford to get stuck. Probably.

But if the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the same boat – wanting either Willis or Pickett – there is a 38% chance that at least one is on the board when No. 20 comes around. So it’s a question of whether Pittsburgh feels lucky and how much it is willing to pay for the insurance to get one of those two QBs.

However, let’s say that each team only has its eyes set on one of these quarterbacks. If it’s Willis, there’s no definite place to trade up to (other than No. 1), as the Detroit Lions are a potential landing spot for him as No. 2 (5% chance). Staying in place is risky for both teams if they target Willis; The Draft Day Predictor gives the Liberty QB a 32% chance of still being on the board of the Saints at No. 16 and a 16% chance of still being there at No. 20 election when the Steelers are set to draft.

But if both teams are willing to move up to No. 10 in a deal with the New York Jets, there is a 53% chance Willis will make it there. That would mean the Lions, Houston Texans, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks would all have to pass him on – and no other team trades into the top 10 to get him. But it would slip both teams ahead of the Washington Commanders at No. 11 and the Texans at No. 13.

Pickett’s median landing site is slightly lower, though Draft Day Predictor thinks there’s a pretty strong shot he goes from the board as No. 6 to Carolina (28%). There’s a 47% chance he’s reaching the Saints as No. 16, so if he gets past the Panthers and Willis is gone, Pittsburgh may be wise to go ahead of New Orleans if it’s aimed at him. Not acting up gives the Steelers a 26% chance of landing Pickett if they want to, according to the Draft Day Predictor.


How far should the Packers or Chiefs move up for a top-tier receiver?

The Green Bay Packers’ first pick is No. 22, but none of the top four wide receivers – Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson, USC’s Drake London, Alabama’s Jameson Williams or Ohio State’s Chris Olave – have more than a 30% chance of falling to that space and the top three are actually all under 20%. The Packers may be able to land Arkansas’ Treylon Burks by sitting still, but he’s only slightly better than a coin flip (55%) for being available. Meanwhile, the Kansas City Chiefs’ best hope of the five pass-catchers is the Burks, and there is only an 18% shot he shoots at them at No. 29.

If one of the teams has their eyes set on one of the first three wideouts, they will probably have to make a move – and certainly for the Chiefs as well. How far up on the board? For Wilson, the Draft Day Predictor believes that there is an 89% chance that he will be in the top 10. London should go a little later, but even in election no. 12, there is only a 27% chance that he will still be available. .

What about Williams? He could conceivably go as high as the Jets at No. 10, but if the Packers or Chiefs make a deal with the Baltimore Ravens to move up to No. 14, there would be a 79% chance Williams will make it there. And such a move would put the Packers / Chiefs ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and Saints at No. 15 and No. 16, respectively, where Williams’ highest probability of being selected fails.

If Kansas City looks at Olave and Burks as the goals, it would be necessary to pick No. 18 or No. 22 respectively to have a better than 50% chance that these players would still be on the board.



Stephen A. Smith and Dan Orlovsky have varying levels of interest in the Chiefs’ upcoming series of draft picks.


If the Jets want Ahmad Gardner, can they wait until No. 10 to take him?

No. I said Draft Day Predictor does not work in absolute numbers and that is true. But this is as strong as it gets: According to the model, there is a roughly 99% chance that Gardner is out of the table in election # 10, even though a healthy part of it (33%) is obviously that the Jets choose him as No. 4.

The reality is that Gardner is the fifth-best prospect in the draft, according to Scouts Inc., and is usually farthest away in mock drafts when the Jets come around a second time at No. 10. In fact, the real question might be whether Cincinnati cornerback reaches the Jets at No. 4? According to Draft Day Predictor, there is only a 55% chance that this will happen.


What is the floor for the three best offensive tackles?

The Draft Day Predictor believes the floor is likely No. 9 for both NC States Ikem Ekwonu and Alabama’s Evan Neal. They could slip that far if a quarterback goes into the top 10 and a team like the New York Giants or Falcons picks one like Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton and / or LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. (players who are not top 10 locks).

What about Mississippi State’s Charles Cross? He has a bigger selection that ends completely in his 20s. But there is an 81% chance he is off the table in the first 17 picks.


OK, what about the floor for the top pass-rushers after Aidan Hutchinson?

Draft Day Predictor is all-in on Georgia’s Travon Walker as a top-three selection. In fact, the latest to see him go is No. 5. And Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux is 50-50 for being a top-4 pick, according to the model, with a 98% chance he’s gone into the top seven picks .

Jermaine Johnson II’s series starts shortly after Thibodeaux’s finish. The first real spot that the Florida State edge rusher could go is No. 7, and there’s an 83% chance he’s off the board in No. 15 election.


Will the Bengals take an offensive lineman at No. 31?

Cincinnati used enough in free agency to make its offensive line much smaller for a conspicuous need now than it e.g. was right after the Super Bowl. But it could still use a little help, and there may be some inner linemen on the board of the Bengals when they are on the clock.

There is a 22% chance that Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum is available as No. 31, and the chances are even greater for Boston College guard Zion Johnson (42%) and Texas A&M guard Kenyon Green (48%). And because of the combination of availability, prospect quality and the Bengals’ need for guard, no player is more likely to be selected as No. 31 than Johnson. But that’s just an 8% chance.

In addition to the other mentioned inside offensive linemen, other strong options include, according to Draft Day Predictor: Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt (7%), Clemson corner Andrew Booth Jr. (6%) and Minnesota edge rusher Boye Mafe (6). %). Just because an inside offensive lineman is available does not mean it’s definitely the direction Cincinnati will go.


Which winger could sneak into the first round?

Far more than 32 players end up getting face time today 1 mock drafts, so it always feels like there are a couple of guys who were destined for the first round but end up being available in the second. Here are a few first-round outfield prospects that stood out to me, along with their chance to go in Round 1:

Watson’s stock has risen as the Draft Day Predictor has been updated with mockery over the past few weeks – he became No. 22 in Mel Kiper Jr.’s and Todd McShay’s tandem mockery last week – and could make sense of any of the WR-needing teams in the back half of the first round.


There is an unusually large reach for quarterbacks in this year’s draft. Think of last year when the floor for the top five quarterbacks was probably the Patriots at No. 15 (and that ended up being true). This year we could easily imagine someone as a Knight going either into the first round or far into the second.

Here’s how the Draft Day Predictor sees things for this next series of quarterback prospects, with the caveat that if there are any numbers that could change significantly after Draft Day, it’s these right here:

  • Knight has the best chance of going in the first round (37%).

  • Corral comes next at 25%.

  • Howell is the least likely of the three with 16%.

However, all three should be selected in the second round if they do not go in the first round. Howell has the highest chance of still being on the board at Election No. 65 with only 7%.

The choice where Knight is 50-50 to still be available is No. 36. Corral’s center is No. 39 and Howells is just around No. 42.

For more, check out our Draft Day Predictor.

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