Each year, in the days following the NFL Draft, numerous mock drafts for the following year are quickly released into the wild. They are generally an exercise in futility, but one mock draft does offer an interesting angle. Most use Super Bowl betting odds to set the draft order, but Todd McShay uses an early version of Football Outsiders’ projected win totals to determine his order.
For those unfamiliar with that, FO figures out the percentage chance of each team finishing within various ranges of victories. They’ll come out with a mean projection, but the real value in my mind is the various odds. For example, here is an example of how it will look in the Football Outsiders Almanac later this summer:
Mean Projection: 9.7 wins
On the clock (0-4 wins): 2%
Mediocrity (5-7): 14%
Playoff Contender (8-10): 47%
Super Bowl Contender (11+): 37%
The percentages are the more valuable tool, but McShay uses the mean projection to figure out his mock draft order. He does not include what the win total is, but we can at least tell from the order where teams are falling in this. FO will do some jiggering with things before releasing their numbers this summer.
With all that in mind, McShay has the 49ers drafting No. 16 in the first round. He has the Arizona Cardinals at No. 8, the Seattle Seahawks at No. 19, and the Los Angeles Rams at No. 27. I’m not stunned the Seahawks are ahead of the 49ers. Although some oddsmakers have given the 49ers better odds to win the NFC West, it seems like a lot of people view the two of them as a toss-up behind the Rams.
The Buffalo Bills are up top at No. 1, while the New England Patriots bring up the rear at No. 32. And for those that are curious, the perennial doormat Cleveland Browns are at pick No. 11.
If you’re curious at all about the pick, McShay has the 49ers selecting Florida safety Chauncey Gardner