Using our On the Clock data I wanted to look at what players users were drafting the most at each position. Now some caveats to recognize off the bat is that players who are projected high picks will have a tougher time cracking these lists since only a handful of teams (outside of trade up scenarios) have an opportunity to draft them. I do think though there are some surprises here and it does go to show how the general public views some of these players. So I’ll look at the top 3 at each position and some thoughts on what can be taken from the data.
(data is from the beginning of March through April 16th)
-Joe Burrow is the next most drafted QB, and obviously is hurt by mainly being taken by Bengals fans or in trade up scenarios. What is interesting is that Justin Herbert is 7th, and Jacob Eason is 12th in terms of most drafted QBs. There doesn’t seem to be the same level of excitement of fans to take them in the 1st and 2nd/3rd rounds respectively. The fact that Jalen Hurts is drafted so much more often than Eason is pretty shocking.
-This is one of the closer groups, as Taylor has been drafted 1,000 times more than Gibson, but after that the gaps are pretty small between the top 8 backs. For those looking for a top tier RB, they seem to be pretty interchangeable between Dobbins, Swift, Edwards-Helaire and even Akers. For the second tier of backs it’s Gibson, Dillon, and Moss.
-Pretty interesting to see so much hype for these three receivers (all more than 2,000 more picks than the 4th place of Denzel Mims), versus some of the other 2nd and 3rd tier options. The top receivers in the class (Jeudy, Ruggs, Lamb) are off the board so often in the top 20 that they aren’t going to crack the top of this list. The fact that you can make the case for Reagor in rounds 1 or 2, or say Claypool in the 2nd or 3rd, it allows more chances to draft those players. What is surprising is how much they are drafted over similar guys like Mims, Pittman, Hamler, etc.
A couple other interesting points I found were that Higgins wasn’t among the top 15 WRs (17th) taken by users and Shenault wasn’t in the top 25 (28th). These are two players who were widely considered top 50 players throughout the draft process, but users aren’t as excited about them.
– What’s in a name, well Moss is drafted nearly 3x as much as Okwuegbunam or Kmet. I like Moss as a potential number 2 TE who can play some H-back/FB, but users seem to be really high on him. Moss is in fact the 3rd most drafted player at any position over this time frame.
– Wirfs missed out on the 3rd spot here by only 8 selections, so it appears users in the top 15 are focusing on Wirfs/Wills and users at the end of the first/early 2nd are picking between Cleveland, Jackson and Josh Jones (who is 5th on the list and close behind). Becton and Thomas seem to be a bit in limbo as fans are taking them less, but I don’t see that as any real knock on their stock. Another interesting thing I noticed is that Trey Adams and Jack Driscoll both made the top 10. Typically they are being selected Day 3, but they seem to be among the favorites of users in that 5th-6th round range.
-Not a lot of surprises here, Hunt and Lewis are the most popular RD2/3 picks, with Kindley and Jonah Jackson in the RD 4/5 range. I’m a bit surprised that John Simpson isn’t more of a user favorite (ranked 9th)
-Not a huge shock that these three centers (and Matt Hennessy who was not far behind) are popular within the position group, but it is surprising how often overall they are getting drafted. Ruiz and Biadasz are the 1st and 2nd most drafted players by users. Ruiz in fact has been drafted in 18% of all user mock drafts since March, that is extremely high for this position. Now both Ruiz and Biadasz have some guard/center flexibility, so that should help their overall numbers, but users are very high on both prospects.
-While the top three have a slight edge over the the next defensive lineman (Gallimore), overall this position group has a fairly normal curve among the top 15 or so defensive linemen. The most interesting thing is that Derrick Brown is drafted very infrequently by users. He ranks 24th among defensive linemen, and is drafted by users less than 2% of the time. While he is generally going to be drafted high by the system, that still means a lot of Lions, Dolphins, Chargers, Panthers, Cardinals and Jaguars fans are passing on him. Kinlaw who has a pretty similar draft range is far more popular, and in nearly 10% of all user Mocks.
-Chaisson is the 5th most drafted player overall, and he and Epenesa are the only EDGE players to crack 10% of user simulations. While it’s not surprising that Chase Young isn’t in the top 15 edge players (he rarely gets past the Lions), what is surprising is how much of a gap there is between Chaisson and Yetur Gross-Matos. Both are ranked pretty similarly on most big boards and have a fairly close ADP, but Chaisson is taken 2.5 x as often as Gross-Matos. In most cases users are going to have the option for either and clearly Chaisson wins out.
-This position group probably is the most compact between 1st and 8th player on the list. Every one of the top 8 players have been picked in between 5-8% of draft simulations. I think this speaks highly of the depth of this class and how there isn’t necessarily the need to reach.
– Users are really high on taking a corner this year as it is the 2nd most draft position overall, and make up almost 14% of all 1st-3rd round picks. Okudah ends up 5th on this list and has the only ADP under 15 (9.1). There are no real surprises with this list as there is a clear need of quality corners around the league and the 2nd tier of this class is really strong allowing users plenty of options to help their team later in the 1st round-through the 3rd round.
-No real particular surprises at the top of this list, as Winfield and Chinn have plenty of buzz. It is a little surprising that Chinn is drafted more than a similar small school safety in Kyle Dugger. Dugger came in with more hype, but Chinn has the advantage of being younger. Probably the biggest shock is that Grant Delpit ranks 9th among safeties being drafted by users. Given his level of name recognition and coming off a National Championship you think he would be more popular. He’s not a perfect safety, but he’s a guy who should be a good starter at the NFL level. Fans don’t seem to be as enamored with him.