As you know, last month, we took a look at seven reputable draft services — Tony Pauline of Draft Expert; Pro Football Focus’ Steve Palazzolo; NFL Draft Scout’s Dane Brugler; Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller; ESPN’s Todd McShay (this month’s mock is behind the pay wall); Chris Burke, then of Sports Illustrated, now of The Athletic (sorry, it’s behind the pay wall, though their rate is pretty affordable); and Charlie Campbell of Walter Football — and compared their mock drafts published in May 2017 with their updated mocks in March.
It wasn’t a straight apples-to-apples comparison, as some writers moved around and some services combined prognosticators’ picks into one mock, but we did the best we could. As you can imagine, there were plenty of changes over 10 months.
With one week to go until the ’18 draft (actually, less than a week), we thought we’d take one last look before things get real. Here’s what we found.
- Last May, 11 players were listed in the first round by all seven services. This month, predictably, things have tightened: 20 players are now across-the-board first-rounders.
- In the last month, the number of players rated as first-rounders by at least one service has dropped from 56 to 49.
- Remarkably, five of the seven services see Georgia OB Roquan Smith as the No. 10 pick in the draft. The other two, The Athletic and Walter Football, have him as the 11th pick.
- After Smith, the three players with the greatest consensus in one place, all by virtue of four services, are USC QB Sam Darnold, the top pick in four mock drafts; Alabama WO Calvin Ridley, who goes No. 19; and UTEP OG Will Hernandez, who’s No. 30.
- Florida State DC Tarvarus McFadden is Exhibit A of the fickle nature of the draft process. In May, he was rated as a first-rounder by all seven services, one of just 11 player so rated. This month, no one has him in the first round.
- LSU DE Arden Key is Exhibit B. In May 2017, he was a first-rounder on all seven boards with an average selection at No. 6. As of this month, only one service, The Athletic, has him going in the top 32, and just barely (31).
- Speaking of LSU, Derrius Guice was a first-rounder in the eyes of six services last May. Today, the running back is first round in the eyes of just two services, Draft Analyst (Tony Pauline) and NFL Draft Scout (Dane Brugler), and No. 32 for both.
- Pauline was the only prognosticator to have Iowa IB Josey Jewell in his first round last May, and he stuck to his guns last month, but he’s removed him from the top 32 as of this month.
We’ll have more analysis in today’s Friday Wrap, which comes out this evening. If you’re into the draft — and I figure you are — you won’t want to miss our further breakdown of the services and who they like. As always, the Friday Wrap is free and is read by people across the industry, and you can register for it here.