Now that the draft is finally here, there will be a whole bunch of predictions from anyone who pays attention to the NFL draft. The majority of these predictions will be wrong. The problem with a lot of predictions is that they are made without any quantitative analysis to justify the forecast. Predictions will mostly come in the form of NFL Mock Drafts by professional analysts. They will also come informally by your NFL know it all friend who plays guess the pick every year through all 7 rounds. These are all opinions of what people think that a team needs and who they think the best players available are that coincide with the team's needs. What does offer quantitative predictions are recently released NFL draft props (bets).
For those who are not gamblers, the way sports bets work are that lines are listed as positive or negative numbers. If something is listed as -150, someone would have to bet $150 to win $100. Conversely, a +150 would entail that a $100 bet would reap +150 upon winning. If something is listed as EVEN, that means a $100 bet gets $100 upon winning. Betting markets have been known to make some of the most accurate predictions because it is one thing to make an outlandish statement like, "Geno Smith is going to fall out of the 2nd round" and it is another thing to be willing to put money on that prediction. So what are NFL draft props predicting about the 1st round?
*Note: To make the + and - thing easier to understand, I converted the numbers to percentages. These percentages express implied probability (IP). I'm not a math genius so I used sportility.net for the conversions. If there is anything wrong with the conversions, whoever designed the sportility converter is the one to blame.
For those who don't feel like reading all of the different betting lines and dealing with all the numbers, here are the main predictions:
- Geno Smith is not a lock to go in the top 10
- Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Sharrif Floyd, Lane Johnson and Ezekiel Ansah will be the 1st 5 picks.
- The Eagles will stay put at 4
- There will be around 13 offensive players picked
- There will be fewer than 19 defensive players picked
- There will be more than 1 QB picked
- There will be 4 WRs picked
- There will be 1 TE picked
- There will be 7 OL picked
- There will be 4 DTs picked
- There will be 4 CBs picked
- There will be 3 Safeties picked
- There will be 7 DBs picked
- There will be at least 12 SEC players picked
- Tavon Austin won't make it past the Jets at 13
- Eddie Lacey or any other RB won't get drafted in the 1st
- Manti Te'O will be picked at 25 at the latest
- Matt Barkley will be an early 2nd round pick at the latest
- Jesse Williams will be a 2nd round pick
Now on to the actual data!
When will Geno Smith get picked?
Over 8.5 (-140) Under 8.5 (even)
Over 8.5 (-165) Under 8.5 (+125)
Bovada has a 58.33% IP that Smith will be taken by the Bills at the latest. 5Dimes has a 62.26% IP that Smith will be drafted after the Bills. Smith is far from a top 10 lock.
Who will be the second pick overall? (Bovada)
Eric Fisher (EVEN) Dion Jordan +200 Ezekiel Ansah +350 Luke Joeckel +700 Geno Smith +1500
50% IP for Fisher, 33% for Jordan, 22.22% for Ansah, 12.5% for Joeckel, 6.25% for Smith. Fisher is the favorite to go here and would start at RT. Jordan and Ansah are ideal fits for Gus Bradley's LEO position.
Who will be the third pick overall? (Bovada)
Shariff Floyd -500 Any other player +300
83.33% IP that Sharrif Floyd will be an Oakland Raider. If Fisher gets past Jacksonville, there is a small chance that the pick could be traded and someone else would be drafted in this position. If Oakland is picking at 3, they are highly likely to take Floyd.
Will the Eagles trade the No. 4 overall pick? (Bovada)
Yes (+170) No (-250)
71.43% IP that the Eagles are staying put at 4. With Joeckel, Fisher and Floyd expected to be off the board within the 1st 3 picks, the Eagles could select Johnson, Lotulelei or Jordan. If this spot was traded, it would most likely be Arizona, Miami or San Diego trading up to get Johnson before Detroit.
Who will be the fourth pick overall? (Bovada)
Lane Johnson +150 Star Lotulelei +175 Dion Jordan +200 Chance Warmack +900
40% IP for Johnson, 36.36% for Lotulelei, 33.33% for Dion Jordan, 10% for Warmack. Johnson is a slight favorite over Lotulelei and Jordan to go in the 4th spot. The edge he has is probably because the 4th pick could possibly be traded if a team wants to get Johnson before Detroit. If the Eagles stay at that pick - Johnson, Lotulelei and Jordan have pretty much all equal chances ending up in Philly.
Who will be the fifth pick overall? (Bovada)
Lane Johnson +125 Ezekiel Ansah +200 Eric Fisher +300
Dee Milliner +450
44.44% IP for Johnson, 33.33% for Ansah, 25% for Fisher, and 18.18% for Milliner. If the Eagles select Jordan or Lotulelei, Johnson is the favorite to go to the Lions. If Fisher and Johnson are both gone by 5, Ansah is the favorite over Milliner to be Detroit's pick.
How many offensive players will be drafted in the first round? (Bovada & 5Dimes)
Over 13 (-130) Under 13 (-110)
Over 13.5 (+115) Under 13.5 (-155)
Bovada has a 56.52% IP that more than 13 offensive players get picked. 5Dimes has 60.78% IP that less than 13 offensive players get picked. Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson, Geno Smith, Jonathan Cooper, Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker, Tavon Austin, Tyler Eifert, and Cordarrelle Patterson are the only 1st round locks. Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, DeAndre Hopkins, E.J. Manuel, Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley, and Menelik Watson could become 1st round picks.
How many defensive players will be drafted in the first round? (Bovada & 5Dimes)
Over 19 (-110) Under 19 (-130)
Over 19.5 (+115) Under 19.5 (-155)
Bovada has a 56.52% that under 19 defensive players will be drafted in the 1st. 5dimes has a 60.78% IP that under 19.5 defensive players get drafted in the 1st. Sharrif Floyd, Star Loutulelei, Dion Jordan, Ezekiel Ansah, Barkevious Mingo, Dee Milliner, Kenny Vaccaro, Jarvis Jones, Sheldon Richardson, Demond Trufant, D.J. Hayden, Xavier Rhodes, Manti Te'O and Bjoern Werner are the first round locks. Alec Ogletree, Kevin Minter, Jesse Williams, Jonathan Cyprien, Margus Hunt, Matt Elam, Eric Reid, Jamar Taylor and Arthur Brown could sneak into the back end of the 1st.
How many quarterbacks will be selected in the first round? (5Dimes)
Over 1 (-530) Under 1 (+350)
84% IP that more than 1 QB will be selected in the 1st round. Geno Smith is likely to go early. E.J. Manuel, Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib could all be taken later in the round.
How many wide receivers will be selected in the first round? (Bovada, 5Dimes & Paddy Power)
Over 3 (-200) Under 3 (+150)
Over 3.5 (even) Under 3.5 (-140)
Over 3.5 (-137) Under 3.5 (100)
Bovada has a 66.67% and Paddy Power a 57.81% IP that more than 3 WRs will be drafted in the 1st. 5Dimes has a 58.3% IP that less than 3.5 WRs will be drafted in the 1st. Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson are first round locks. Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, and DeAndre Hopkins are fighting to go later in the round.
How many tight ends will be selected in the first round? (5Dimes)
Over 1.5 (+340) Under 1.5 (-425)
Over .5 (-700) Under .5 (400)
5Dimes has an 80.95% IP that Tyler Eifert will be the only the only TE selected in the 1st. Paddy Power has an 87.50% IP that at least 1 TE will be drafted.
How many offensive linemen will be selected in the first round? (5Dimes)
Over 6.5 (-285) Under 6.5 (+205)
74.03% IP that at least 7 OL will be 1st round picks. Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson, Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper and D.J. Fluker are the first round locks. Menelik Watson has a strong chance of being a 1st round pick.
How many defensive tackles will be selected in the first round? (5Dimes)
Over 4.5 (+170) Under 4.5 (-230)
69.7% IP that only 4 DTs go in the 1st round. Sharrif Floyd, Star Louteleilei, Sheldon Richardson and Sylvester Williams are most likely going to be the first 4. Jesse Williams and Kawann Short could sneak into the back of the 1st round.
How many cornerbacks will be selected in the first round? (5Dimes)
Over 4.5 (+150) Under 4.5 (-190)
65.52% IP that only 4 CBs are drafted in the 1st round. Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, D.J. Hayden and Desmond Trufant are the likely 4. Jamar Taylor has a good chance of being selected at the back end of the first.
How many safeties will be selected in the first round? (Bovada & 5Dimes)
Over 2.5 (-140) Under 2.5 (even)
58.33% IP that at least 3 Safeties will be drafted. Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid and Matt Elam are the highest rated safeties. Vaccaro is the only one who is a consensus 1st round pick. Reid and Elam have a chance of becoming drafted at the end of the 1st.
How many cornerbacks + safeties will be selected in the first round? (5Dimes)
Over 6.5 (-170) Under 6.5 (+130)
62.96% IP that at least 7 defensive backs will be taken in round 1. Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant, D.J. Hayden, Kenny Vaccaro, Matt Elam, Eric Reid, Jamar Taylor, and Jonathan Cyprien are the possible defensive backs.
How many SEC players will be selected in the first round? (5Dimes)
Over 11.5 (-270) Under 11.5 (+190)
72.97% IP that at least 12 SEC players will be drafted. Luke Joeckel, Sharrif Floyd, Dee Milliner, Barkevious Mingo, Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker, Jarvis Jones, Sheldon Richardson and Cordarrelle Patterson are the sure 1st round picks. Justin Hunter, Matt Elam, Eric Reid, Kevin Minter and Jesse Williams are all players that have a shot of being drafted towards the end of the 1st round.
When will Tavon Austin get picked? (Bovada & 5Dimes)
Over 13.5 (+110) Under 13.5 (-150)
Over 13.5 (+140) Under 13.5 (-180)
Bovada has a 60% and 5Dimes has a 64.29% IP that Tavon Austin will go to the Jets at 13 at the latest.
When will Eddie Lacy get picked? (Bovada & 5Dimes)
Over 22.5 (-200) Under 22.5 (+150)
Over 22.5 (-245) Under 22.5 (+175)
Bovada has a 66.67% and 5Dimes has a 71.01% IP that the earliest Lacey will be drafted is 23.
How many 1st round RBs? (Paddy Power)
Under .5 (-333) Over .5 (220)
Add on an IP of 76.91% that there won't be a 1st round running back, and all signs point to Eddie Lacey falling to the 2nd round.
When will Manti Te'o get picked? (Bovada & 5Dimes)
Over 25.5 (even) Under 25.5 (-140)
Over 25.5 (+120) Under 25.5 (-160)
Bovada has a 58.33% and 5Dimes has 61.54% IP that Te'O will go to the Vikings' "Percy Harvin Pick" at the latest.
When will Matt Barkley get picked? (Bovada, 5Dimes & Paddy Power)
Over 37.5 (even) Under 37.5 (-140)
Over 37.5 (+140) Under 37.5 (-180)
Over 35.5 (-120) Under 35.5 (-120)
Latest Matt Barkley gets drafted is early 2nd round.
When will Jesse Williams get picked?
Over 32.5 (-150) Under 32.5 (110)
60% IP that Jesse Williams falls to the 2nd round.
These are the predictions by betting markets. Draft day will decide if the gamblers got it right.
DK note: Please welcome Ace Hindu (soon to be known as Aaron Sims on here) as a new contributing author for the distinguished 'peer-reviewed football journal' known as Field Gulls (that's how I like to think of it, anyway).