2015 NFL Draft: Expectations vs. Reality

As was said in our “Let the Draft Holidays Begin” articles, about 75% of five-year starters and 80% of rookie starters, future Pro Bowl selections and All Pro selections come from the first three rounds of the draft so that is where our attention should be focused. We will summarize the complete draft next week, but for right now we will take a quick look at the first three rounds. Draftees by Playing Position First, how do the positions drafted in the first three rounds this year compare to history? The 2015 draft is pretty consistent with what would have been projected based on the 2005-2014 drafts. Here is how the numbers stack up. The largest variance is in the offensive line where three more players were drafted than would have been expected. Offsetting this variance, fewer quarterbacks and safeties were selected than would have been projected based on history. Draftees by Conference Next we looked at the number of draftees by conference. Again, the 10-year historical average was compared to the 2015 Draft. The PAC 12 led the power conferences in the number of draftees over the first three rounds and had a significantly higher number of draftees than in the recent past. Conversely, other conferences (MAC, MWC, etc.) had about half the number of selections than in past years. Information by conference is as follows: Draftees by NFL Team A combination of trades and compensatory picks resulted in five teams having more than three selections in the first three rounds. The Browns and Saints each had five selections with the Chiefs, Raiders and Rams having four selections. Trades resulted in four teams having two selections in the first three rounds. These teams were the Bills, Dolphins, Panthers and Seahawks. Trades By our count there were 13 trades during the first two days of the draft, with only two of those involving first round selections. The trades are listed below. We have also included the most recent comparable trade to help assess the reasonableness of the cost to move up in the 2015 trades. There are no perfect matches but it does provide a “ball park” look. The year in parentheses under Comparable Trades indicates the year of that trade. A number in parentheses indicates that the team trading up also received a draft selection back to “balance” the trade. The Lions trade is somewhat difficult to compare with past trades because a serviceable player (Ramirez) was included as part of the consideration. The trades generally are consistent with their comparable trades. It does appear, though, that the Panthers and Seahawks may have paid a somewhat stiff price compared to similar trades. All in all, though, nothing jumps out as unfair compensation. Follow Tony on Twitter @draftmetrics

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