NFL Mock Drafts (04/22/14)

John Ewing, Director of Research and Analytics, @johnewing
NFL Mock Drafts – which experts' draft improves your favorite team the most? We simulated mock drafts from ESPN, CBS, and NFL.com analysts to find out.



Utilizing our new and free NFL Draft Machine, the future of NFL Draft projections and evaluations, we simulated four of the top NFL experts' mock drafts to evaluate how these first round projections impact the NFL landscape.

The four experts included are ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, CBS's Dane Brugler, and NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah.

To evaluate each draft we use class rankings, power rankings and wins added. Class Rankings sort by a combination of total value added and average value added to each roster. New Power Rankings add drafted players to each roster to instantly re-simulate Power Rankings and compare to Previous Power Rankings (Prev. PR includes Free Agency). Projected Wins Added looks at players in the draft who can start for the new team to determine impact based on PM's rookie ratings (read more here). If team has not drafted a player who can start, it will not have any Proj. Wins Added.

Get access to the NFL Draft Machine for free here.

ESPN – Mel Kiper
To see Kiper's most recent mock draft and analysis click here.

Class Rankings

Rank Top 5 Proj. Wins Added Rank Bottom 5 Proj. Wins Added
1 Houston Texans 0.77 28 New Orleans Saints 0.00
2 Cleveland Browns 0.38 29 Kansas City Chiefs 0.10
3 Green Bay Packers 0.81 30 Tennessee Titans 0.04
4 Buffalo Bills 0.70 31 Seattle Seahawks 0.00
5 Jacksonville Jaguars 0.57 32 Indianapolis Colts 0.00

Draft Analysis

A lot went wrong last year for the Houston Texans – injuries, turnovers and improbable events (Matt Schaub and T.J. Yates combining to throw interceptions returned for touchdowns in five consecutive games). The Texans are not far from a playoff team and Kiper's mock draft might be enough to push Houston back into the postseason. Based on Kiper's projections the Texans finish with the best draft class. Houston adds Jadeveon Clowney, best player at his position, Teddy Bridgewater, best player at his position, and two other potential starters – Jackson Jeffcoat and Allen Robinson, both players rank inside the top 75 of PredictionMachine.com's Top 250 Prospects.

This will become a theme, but Indianapolis finishes with the worst draft class. Indy only has five picks in this year's draft including no First Round picks and the Colts don't select a player until the 27th pick in the Second Round.

Based on Kiper's projections, there are seven teams that fail to add a starter in the draft – San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Seattle Seahawks, and Indianapolis Colts. Most of these teams were playoff participants last year and therefore draft later in the First Round making it more difficult to obtain a starter.

ESPN – Todd McShay
To see McShay's most recent mock draft and analysis click here.

Class Rankings

Rank Top 5 Proj. Wins Added Rank Bottom 5 Proj. Wins Added
1 Cleveland Browns 0.55 28 Denver Broncos 0.00
2 Jacksonville Jaguars 0.91 29 Indianapolis Colts 0.00
3 St. Louis Rams 0.91 30 Kansas City Chiefs 0.08
4 Baltimore Ravens 0.65 31 Seattle Seahawks 0.02
5 New York Giants 1.16 32 Philadelphia Eagles 0.00

Draft Analysis

Utilizing McShay's two round mock draft and then simulating the remaining rounds, the Cleveland Browns finish with the top class in the draft. The Browns have one of the NFL's most tortured fan bases but if the draft shakes out the way McShay projects, fans in Cleveland will have something to smile about. Based on this mock draft Cleveland adds three starters including Blake Bortles (1st Round), Kelvin Benjamin (1st), and Stanley Jean-Baptiste (2nd). Cleveland's offense ranked 25th overall in our final 2013 Power Ranking, adding a starting quarterback and an additional receiving threat across from Josh Gordon will surely improve a team that ranked 27th in offensive passing efficiency.

Fly Eagles Fly? Philadelphia is grounded in this mock draft. McShay has the Eagles selecting Marqise Lee in the First Round. Lee is a nice addition with the loss of DeSean Jackson but Philadelphia has bigger holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. McShay has the Eagles drafting Terrence Brooks (S) but by PredictionMachine.com's rankings, Brooks is one of the worst safeties available in the draft.

In McShay's draft, five teams fail to draft a player that could step in and start today – New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles.

CBS – Dane Brugler
To see Brugler's most recent mock draft and analysis click here.

Class Rankings

Rank Top 5 Proj. Wins Added Rank Bottom 5 Proj. Wins Added
1 Jacksonville Jaguars 1.06 28 San Diego Chargers 0.18
2 Cleveland Browns 0.13 29 Seattle Seahawks 0.02
3 Houston Texans 0.61 30 Kansas City Chiefs 0.12
4 Detroit Lions 0.48 31 Denver Broncos 0.00
5 New York Giants 0.40 32 Indianapolis Colts 0.00

Draft Analysis

Bad trades, bad signings and bad drafts have put Jacksonville in the cellar of the AFC South. The Jaguars can correct one of those issues with a successful 2014 NFL Draft and based on this analysis the Jags come away with the best draft class. Jacksonville adds four potential starters in this draft: Khalil Mack (1st), James Morris (2nd), C.J. Barnett (3rd) and Rashaad Reynolds (4th). All four players rank inside the top 100 of PredictionMachine.com's Top 250 Prospects.

Indianapolis finishes with the worst draft class once again. The Colts fail to select a single starter in this mock draft. Indy most likely adds depth by selecting Chris Davis (CB) in the Second Round and while there is value in having a quality backup quarterback, selecting Zach Mettenberger in the Third Round does not improve this team. Indianapolis will go only as far as Andrew Luck can carry them.

Three teams fail to add a starter in this year's draft – Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos, and Indianapolis Colts.

NFL.com – Daniel Jeremiah
To see Jeremiah's most recent mock draft and analysis click here.

Class Rankings

Rank Top 5 Proj. Wins Added Rank Bottom 5 Proj. Wins Added
1 Cleveland Browns 1.14 28 Carolina Panthers 0.13
2 Houston Texans 0.86 29 San Diego Chargers 0.21
3 Minnesota Vikings 0.61 30 Kansas City Chiefs 0.29
4 Jacksonville Jaguars 0.91 31 Seattle Seahawks 0.02
5 Chicago Bears 0.99 32 Indianapolis Colts 0.27

Draft Analysis

Like in McShay's draft, the Cleveland Browns are projected to finish with the top class, but in Jeremiah's draft the returns are even greater for Cleveland. Based on this mock draft Cleveland adds at least three starters including Sammy Watkins (1st Round), Teddy Bridgewater (1st), and Jimmie Ward (2nd). All three players rank inside the top 12 of PredictionMachine.com's Top 250 Prospects.

On the opposite end of the draft is Indianapolis. The Colts finish with the worst 2014 draft class. It's not all bad for the defending AFC South Champions, the Colts do manage to add at least one starter with the Second Round pick – Cyril Richardson (OG).

Based on Jeremiah's mock draft, three teams fail to add a starter in this year's draft - the Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the second highest projected wins added but rank outside of the top five in class rankings, which speaks to how little talent is on the Buccaneers roster currently.

Bonus – Draft Machine
This is what the draft would look like if the Draft Machine simulated all picks.

Class Rankings

Rank Top 5 Proj. Wins Added Rank Bottom 5 Proj. Wins Added
1 Cleveland Browns 0.54 28 Washington Redskins 0.11
2 Jacksonville Jaguars 1.26 29 Denver Broncos 0.32
3 Minnesota Vikings 0.44 30 Kansas City Chiefs 0.08
4 Houston Texans 0.77 31 Seattle Seahawks 0.00
5 Buffalo Bills 0.72 32 Indianapolis Colts 0.27

Draft Analysis
In this draft the Cleveland Browns finish with the top class. The Browns acquire four prospects that rank inside the top 100 of PredictionMachine.com's Top 250 Prospects.

St. Louis also has a strong draft in this simulation. The other mock drafts have the Rams taking an offensive tackle in the First Round, by our analysis, both projected starting tackles for the Rams are above average. Therefore, in this simulation the Rams select Khalil Mack and Jimmie Ward in the First Round. The Rams go from 22nd to 10th overall in the updated Power Rankings.

Similar to the other mock drafts, Indianapolis, Seattle, and Kansas City rank in the bottom five. Only two teams fail to draft a starter by our analysis – Cincinnati Bengals and Seattle Seahawks.

Overall Draft Analysis

Eleven teams finished with top five draft classes across these four different mock drafts. Cleveland and Jacksonville rank in the top five in all four mock drafts. The Browns and Jaguars are two teams that have a lot of opportunity for improvement, rankings 21st and 32nd respectively in our updated Power Rankings. Both teams also have multiple picks in this year's draft – Browns (10 picks) and Jaguars (11 picks).

There are nine different teams that rank in the bottom five across the four different mock drafts. Kansas City, Seattle, and Indianapolis appear in the bottom five in every draft. The reason the same teams appear at the bottom of each draft is because of the overall strength of the team before the draft. Eight of the nine teams that ranked in the bottom five were playoff teams from last year, and lack quantity and quality draft picks.

One final note, it may be disconcerting for Rams and Raiders fans that while both teams have top five picks, only St. Louis finishes with a top five draft class once in the four mock drafts.

Get access to the NFL Draft Machine for free here.

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