By Dylan MacKinnon
People do crazy things when they are bored. For example, the crazy thing it made me do is run 1000 simulations of the First Round in this year’s draft. Yes, that is right. I recently spent several hours using three different computers to produce 1000 mock drafts for the Eagles in the first round. Was this an act of a dedicated draft geek, or the act of a run-of-the-mill nerd with no friends and nothing to do on a weeknight? That is a question only my therapist will be able to answer. Nevertheless, let’s have some fun and dig through the data of the 2000 simulated draft picks I gathered in this ridiculous experiment.
I made none of these selections. Instead, they are the selections a computer made. Also, I kept it to only the first round. The Mock draft did not simulate trades, so every pick was made at either the 15 or 18th position in the draft. I also only recorded data from the Eagles’ picks, because recording the rest of the picks would have taken too long, and I never would have reached my absurd goal of 1000 mock drafts if I sat there collecting numbers on more than just the Eagles picks.
|Andrew Booth Jr||73|
I was surprised by how often Devin Lloyd’s name came up. Unfortunately, It seems no one has let the fine folks at PFF know the Eagles do not spend first-round picks on Linebackers. This year could perhaps be the year that changes, with the having two picks but is not something I will bet on. The idea of Jordan Davis to the Eagles does make a lot of sense. DT is a position the Eagles love to invest in, and Davis is a hell of a DT. He is a unicorn, weighing over 340lbs, yet still moving like a gazelle. He is ready to be an elite run stopper as soon as he steps on an NFL field.
The Eagles took a WR at 15 282 times. Jameson Williams is a name that makes sense, with the Eagles selecting him 71 different times. But there is a chance he wont be there 15. If they want him, they may have to trade up. Chris Olave and Drake London could very well be there at pick 15, but both names may make more sense at pick 18. Especially if both are still available at 15. There are only two picks between 15 and 18, so they could most likely wait until 18 and still have one of them available.
Apart from the 282 WRs, The simulations had the Eagles taking 304 linebackers, 320 Defensive Linemen, and 94 cornerbacks. The lack of corners may be surprising to some, but with Ahmad Gardner, and Derek Stingley already off the board most of the time, it makes more sense. And much like it makes more sense to wait until 18 to take either London or Olave if both are still available at pick 15, it would make sense to do the same with Booth Jr, or McDuffie.
|Andrew Booth Jr||167|
The fun thing I noticed about this collection of data is it only adds up to 999 picks. So somewhere along the way, I messed up and failed to record a pick. I suppose we can say that means in 1 out of 1000 simulations Howie Roseman screws up and fails to get a pick in on time. That is easier than acknowledging I failed at recording the data accurately.
But in the data we do have, Andrew Booth Jr leads the clubhouse being selected 167 times. Booth makes a ton of sense at 18. He was a highlight reel machine at Clemson. Often making leaping plays to either pull down an interception, or at least breakup the play. What did surprise me though was Trent McDuffie showing up 0 times at pick 18. It feels like he would be available at 18, but even in 1000 simulations he was not the pick there a single time.
Another interesting name getting a lot of love is Tyler Linderbaum. Linderbaum does not fill an immediate need, but he does fill an eventual one. Jason Kelce has considered retirement in the last few off-seasons. While he is returning this year, it could be his last. Therefore the Eagles need to be prepared to replace him, and Linderbaum is a hell of a replacement. It would be a boring pick, but likely a very good one.
Defensive Linemen were once again the most popular pick at 18. They were simulated to the Eagles in 403 out of 999 of the simulations. We have already discussed the Eagles’ love of the position, so it certainly tracks that a D-Lineman would be the pick at 18. But it’s surprising to see Jermain Johnson there, with him rising up the draft boards. Him falling to 18 would be a great result for the Eagles. Linebackers were taken 174 times, Corners 167 times, WRs 145 times, and O-Lineman 110 times.
|Andrew Booth Jr||240|
Finally, here are some additional facts from these simulations.
- On the whole, The final position tally was 723 D-linemen, 478 Linebackers, 427 WRs, 261 CBs, and 110 Linebackers.
- The conference breakdown is SEC 761 times, PAC 12 463 times, BIG 10 456 times, and ACC 319 times.
- They selected a player from Georgia 690 times (nice), which makes them the team with the most selections. No other team had more than one player selected, and Georgia had 3 different players mocked to the Eagles.
- In 6 different mock drafts the Eagles selected both Nakobe Dean and Devin Lloyd. It feels unlikely they take a single LB, but they absolutely will not take 2. It would give them a tremendous LB group if they did though.
- Also, In 5 different simulations they took a WR at both Picks. I still counted the data though because each player would individually make sense at those picks, but there is no chance they take two WRs.
- Meanwhile there were 0 QBs, RBs, or Safeties selected in any of the 1000 simulations for the Eagles, but I did try Pro Football Network’s simulator once, and it had them trade up to 9 to select Matt Corral. I decided against using that Mock Draft site any further since that would be an incredibly silly result, and the introduction of trades would make data hard to track. But it felt worth mentioning still.
- Additionally, There were no punters taken so fans of the Punt God will unfortunately have to wait until day 2 or 3 to hear his name called.
- Only 13 different players got mocked to the Eagles. Popular names like Ahmad Gardner, Kayvon Thibodeaux, and Kyle Hamilton never fell to 15. Other names like Treylon Burks, Dax Hill, and Lewis Cine were just never the pick at 15 or 18. Which makes sense because those would be candidates to trade down for