NFL Mock Draft Accuracy Methodology

We’ve invested a significant amount of time to make sure we offer an objective and accurate way of assessing mock draft accuracy. Below is a breakdown of our process for determining our accuracy results. Please note that each analyst in our assessment is graded on their 1st round predictions only.

Overview

Our scoring system seeks to reward correctly identifying the following things in an mock NFL draft:

  1. How each player’s predicted draft slot compares to their actual draft slot
  2. How each player ranks among their (playing) position
  3. Which positions each team will draft in the 1st round
  4. Which players will land on which teams

There are 10 possible points for each predicted pick (and, therefore, 320 total possible points). These are:

  1. Four possible points based on the player’s draft slot
    1. 4 points if the player is drafted at the predicted slot
    2. 3 points if the player’s actual draft slot is within 1 of the prediction.
    3. 2 points if the player’s actual draft slot is within 2 of the prediction.
    4. 1 point if the player’s actual draft slot is within 5 of the prediction.
  2. Three possible points based on the player’s rank within their position (the predicted player must have been drafted in the 1st or 2nd round to get any points for this).
    1. 3 points if the player’s positional rank is predicted correctly
    2. 2 points if the player’s positional rank is within 1 spot of the prediction.
    3. 1 point if the player’s positional rank is within 2 spots of the prediction.
  3. Two points if the team drafted the predicted position in the 1st round (not necessarily the same player or the same draft pick).
  4. One point if the team drafted the predicted player (not necessarily at the same draft spot).

This system rewards predicting players’ draft spots correctly, as any system should, but also gives points for some of the correct predictions that can be present even when draft spots miss. For example, in the 2017 draft, say an analyst predicted Marshon Lattimore would be drafted 5th overall, while he actually went 11th. Even though the analyst only gets 1 point for missing by more than 5 draft spots, he also gets points for correctly predicting that Lattimore would be the first CB off the board. Additionally, while an analyst might have predicted that Tennessee would take Lattimore 5th and Mike Williams 18th, and they actually took Corey Davis 5th and Adoree’ Jackson 18th, he does get points for correctly predicting that Tennessee would take a WR and a CB in the 1st round. 

Examples from a 2017 Mock Draft

Below is a walk-through of sample picks in a 2017 mock draft to cover a variety of scenarios, with explanations for the scoring. Please note that “Analyst” refers to the predicted pick that came from an analyst’s mock draft.

Pick 1
Analyst: Myles Garrett, DE to CLE
Actual: Myles Garrett, DE to CLE
Score: 4+3+2+1=10 points

This is a perfect pick, so the analyst gets 4 points for correctly identifying that Garrett would go 1st overall, 3 points for Garrett being the 1st DE drafted, 2 points for Cleveland picking a DE, and 1 point for correctly predicting Garrett would end up on the Browns.


Pick 2
Analyst: Mitch Trubisky, QB to SF
Actual: Mitch Trubisky, QB to CHI
Score: 4+3+0+0=7 points

Here the analyst gets 4 points for predicting that Trubisky would go 2nd overall and 3 points for predicting he would be the 1st Quarterback drafted, but does not get the 2 points for predicting that SF would draft a QB, and does not get the 1 point for predicting SF would draft Trubisky.


Pick 3
Analyst: Jamal Adams, S to CHI
Actual: Solomon Thomas, DE to SF
Score: 1+3+0+0=4

The analyst didn’t correctly predict Jamal Adams’ draft spot, but he was within 5 spots and therefore gets 1 point. He also gets 3 points because Adams was the first Safety drafted.


Pick 4
Analyst: Leonard Fournette, RB to JAX
Actual: Leonard Fournette, RB to JAX
Score: 4+3+2+1=10 points


Pick 5
Analyst: Marshon Lattimore, CB to TEN
Actual: Corey Davis, WR to TEN
Score: 0+3+2+0=5 points

Lattimore was actually drafted 11th, so the analyst’s prediction was off by more than 5. He therefore gets zero points in the first category. He did correctly predict Lattimore would be the first CB off the board. The analyst does get 2 points for correctly predicting that TEN would take a CB in the 1st round (they actually took Adoree’ Jackson 18th), and misses the point for predicting Lattimore ends up on TEN.


Pick 6
Analyst: Deshaun Watson, QB to NYJ
Actual: Jamaal Adams, S to NYJ
Score: 1+2+0+0=3 points

0 points for predicting Watson’s draft spot outside 5 picks, 2 points for predicting Watson’s QB rank to within 1 (predicted 2, actual 3), no point for Watson landing on NYJ.


Pick 7
Analyst: Jonathan Allen, DE to LAC
Actual: Mike Williams, WR to LAC
Score: 0+1+0+0=1 point

No points for draft spot missing by more than 5, 1 point for DE rank within 2 (predicted 2, actual 4), no points for Allen’s landing spot.


Pick 8
Analyst: John Ross, WR to CAR
Actual: Christian McCaffrey, RB to CAR
Score: 3+1+0+0=4 points

3 points for draft slot within 1 (predicted 8, actual 9), 1 point for WR rank within 2 (predicted 1, actual 3), no points for landing spot.


Pick 9
Analyst: Soloman Thomas, DE to CIN
Actual: John Ross, WR to CIN
Score: 0+2+0+0=2 points

0 points for draft slot since it was off by 6 spots, 2 points for DE rank within 1 (predicted 3, actual 2), no points for landing spot.


Pick 10
Analyst: Malik Hooker, S to BUF
Actual: Patrick Mahomes, QB to KC
Score: 1+3+0+0=4 points

1 point for draft slot within 5 (predicted 10, actual 15), 3 points for correctly predicting S rank of 2.


Pick 11
Analyst: Reuben Foster, LB to NO
Actual: Marshon Lattimore, CB to NO
Score: 0+0+0+0=0 points

0 points for draft slot missing by more than 5 (predicted 11, actual 31), 0 points for LB rank missing by 3 (predicted 1, actual 6)


Pick 12
Analyst: OJ Howard, TE to CLE
Actual: Deshaun Watson, QB to HOU
Score: 0+3+2+0=5 points

0 points for draft slot, 3 points for correct TE rank, 2 points for predicting CLE would draft a TE in the 1st round (David Njoku 29th)


Pick 13
Analyst: Forrest Lamp, G to ARI
Actual: Haason Reddick, LB to ARI
Score: 0+3+0+0=3 points


Pick 14
Analyst: Christian McCaffrey, RB to PHI
Actual: Derek Barnett, DE to PHI
Score: 0+3+0+0=3 points


Pick 15
Analyst: Haason Reddick, LB to IND
Actual: Malik Hooker, S to IND
Score: 2+2+0+0=4 points


Pick 16
Analyst: Corey Davis, WR to BAL
Actual: Marlon Humphrey, CB to BAL
Score: 0+2+0+0=2 points


Pick 17
Analyst: Marlon Humphrey, CB to WAS
Actual: Jonathan Allen, DE to WAS
Score: 3+3+0+0=6 points


Pick 18
Analyst: Mike Williams, WR to TEN
Actual: Adoree’ Jackson, CB to TEN
Score: 0+2+2+0= 4 points

0 points for draft slot missing by 5+ (predicted 18, actual 7), 2 points for WR rank within 1 (predicted 3, actual 2), 2 points for TEN taking a WR in the 1st round (Corey Davis 5th), no points for landing spot.


Pick 19
Analyst: Derek Barnett, DE to TB
Actual: OJ Howard, TE to TB
Score: 1+3+0+0=4 points


Pick 20
Analyst: Cam Robinson, T to DEN
Actual: Garrett Boles, T to DEN
Score: 0+1+2+0=3 points

0 points for draft slot missing by 5+ (predicted 20, actual 34), 1 point for Tackle rank within 2 (predicted 1, actual 3), 2 points for DEN taking a Tackle in the 1st round, no points for landing spot.


Pick 21
Analyst: Jaraad Davis, LB to DET
Actual: Jaraad Davis, LB to DET
Score: 4+2+2+1=9 points

This looks like a perfect pick, but it actual loses a point for predicting that Davis would be the 3rd LB off the board when he was actually the 2nd.


Pick 22
Analyst: Charles Harris, LB to MIA
Actual: Charles Harris, LB to MIA
Score: 4+2+2+1=9

Just like the above, this is almost perfect, but it predicts Harris as the 4th LB off the board, when he was actually the 3rd.