Saturday, April 21, 2012

Detroit Lions: Most Likely to be Available

The Mocktopus has a number of applications, but one of the most interesting is that it can track the number of times that a given player is available at a certain point in the Mocktopus' 10,000 simulated NFL Drafts.  We can use the number of simulations to estimate the probability that a given player will be available at a given pick.  Are you a Cincinnati Bengals fan with a man-crush on David DeCastro?  The Mocktopus can give you a good idea what the chances are that the Bengals will have the opportunity to grant your heart's desire.

I'm a long-time fan of the Detroit Lions, so I was most interested in estimating the chances that each of the highly regarded players in the 2012 NFL Draft will be available to the Detroit Lions. 

A few things to keep in mind when reading this list.

First, I would guess that most would be skeptical that there is any chance, much less an over 10% chance, that Morris Claiborne or Matt Kalil could be available to the Detroit Lions at No. 23 overall.  It could very well be that the Mocktopus underestimates the accuracy with which we can project the picks at the very top of the NFL Draft, but it is also good to remember that we do not know nearly as much about where players will go in the NFL Draft as we might think we do.  Alan Branch, Winston Justice, and Da'Quan Bowers, for instance, were projected to be drafted in the middle of the first round, but all three plummeted to the second round.  Accordingly, the Mocktopus hedges its bets as to even the most highly regarded prospects--because there is a non-zero chance that they are not nearly as highly regarded amongst NFL Teams as they are amongst NFL fans and Internet draftniks. 

Second, the current state of the data available to the Mocktopus is probably causing it to underproject the draft prospects of Chandler Jones and Shea McClellin.  Recently, the general consensus in the media has been that Jones and McClellin are much more highly regarded than fans previously believed.  I don't think that this rise is yet fully reflected in the rankings that underlie the Mocktopus' value metric, but I think we'll probably see a significant uptick in their rankings in Top 100 lists closer to the draft.

Here is the list of possible first-round Detroit Lions targets (any position other than quarterback) with the probability that they will be available to the Detroit Lions based on Mocktopus' 10,000 NFL Draft simulations:

Name                      Pos.          Percent

Trent Richardson RB 2.7%
David DeCastro IL 3.3%
Mark Barron SAF 5.2%
Justin Blackmon WR 5.8%
Quinton Coples ER 6.3%
Fletcher Cox DL 10.5%
Matt Kalil OT 13.6%
Morris Claiborne CB 14.3%
Luke Kuechly LB 16.3%
Michael Floyd WR 17.4%
Dontari Poe DL 20.2%
Melvin Ingram ER 20.6%
Courtney Upshaw ER 27.5%
Michael Brockers DL 29.7%
Cordy Glenn OT 36.1%
Riley Reiff OT 39.0%
Kendall Wright WR 39.7%
Nick Perry ER 53.7%
Dre Kirkpatrick CB 58.6%
Stephon Gilmore CB 59.2%
Peter Konz IL 59.3%
Janoris Jenkins CB 60.0%
Jerel Worthy DL 64.8%
Jonathan Martin OT 69.7%
Kevin Zeitler IL 73.5%
Chandler Jones ER 74.3%
Whitney Mercilus ER 78.1%
Mike Adams OT 80.6%
Rueben Randle WR 82.6%
Kendall Reyes DL 83.4%
Dont'a Hightower LB 85.6%
Devon Still DL 87.5%
Amini Silatolu IL 87.9%
Coby Fleener TE 89.8%
Harrison Smith SAF 91.1%
David Wilson RB 92.7%
Zach Brown LB 93.0%
Andre Branch ER 93.9%
Doug Martin RB 94.5%
Bobby Massie OT 95.6%
Lamar Miller RB 97.5%
Brandon Thompson DL 97.5%
Josh Robinson CB 98.9%
Vinny Curry ER 99.4%
George Iloka SAF 99.9%

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