Probability of A Perfect Mock Draft

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Odds of a perfect mock draft

With the NFL Draft Board, I will calculate the chances of a perfect mock draft.

Because of the 100+ mock drafts that make up the NFL Draft Board we have a sufficient sample size to project what the odds of picking a perfect round one of the NFL draft.

How calculations are made

Baseball example

I’ll start with baseball for a comparison. Note: these are not actual numbers.

Odds of a batter scoring

Let’s say that a batter’s gets to first base 4 out of 10 at bats. This isn’t actually on base percentage, because that would include doubled, triples and home runs. This is just first base.

Anyway, of those that make first base, only 4 of 10 make second base. So that is actually 4 of the 4 that made first base. That is 1.6 batters make second base.

Third base is another 4 of 10 and that brings us to .64 of 10.

Finally home and we are now talking .256 of every 10 batters.

About 1 out of 10 batters score.

How many runs

A minimum of 27 batters (in 9 innings) get an at bat. Add in some on base extra at bats. And subtract double plays. And you get about 34-36 at bats.

Mix it all together and you get a team scoring about 4 runs per game.

Check our work. According to the average team scored 4.17 runs per game. Scary accurate.

NFL mock draft numbers

The problem with NFL mock drafts is they have to reach base 32. And the odds to reach a lot of the bases are less than 1 in 10.

Major assumption: The team drafts the player with the most odds. I’m not saying this won’t happen, but the odds are probably almost as bad as picking a perfect mock draft.

Perfect mock draft odds


Pick Team Player Board Odds
1 Browns M Garrett 0.98
2 49ers S Thomas 0.57
3 Bears J Adams 0.34
4 Jaguars L Fournette 0.5
5 Titans M Lattimore 0.32
6 Jets M Trubisky 0.2
7 Chargers M Hooker 0.5
8 Panthers OJ Howard * 0.08
9 Bengals R Foster 0.36
10 Bills M Williams 0.27
11 Saints D Barnett 0.21
12 Browns D Watson* 0.18
13 Cardinals C Davis 0.11
14 Eagles D Cook 0.2
15 Colts H Reddick * 0.11
16 Ravens T McKinley* 0.08
17 Redskins J Peppers 0.16
18 Titans J Ross 0.36
19 Buccaneers C McCaffrey* 0.15
20 Broncos R Ramczyk 0.28
21 Lions T Charlton 0.19
22 Dolphins F Lamp 0.19
23 Giants G Bolles* 0.16
24 Raiders Z Cunningham 0.11
25 Texans P Mahomes 0.25
26 Seahawks C Robinson 0.18
27 Chiefs D Kizer 0.12
28 Cowboys C Harris 0.12
29 Packers TJ Watt 0.13
30 Steelers T Williams* 0.05
31 Falcons M McDowell 0.09
32 Saints T White* 0.09
Probability of a perfect mock draft 9.07E-24


*Some teams on the NFL Draft Board had players that would have been previously drafted. For Example, Leonard Fornette is the top draft choice for the Jacksonville Jaguars at 4. And the Carolina Panthers at 8. So, for the Panthers I had to take their second choice. In some cases I had to drop further down their draft to get a player not previously drafted.

Tiny odds

There you have it. The odds of picking a perfect mock draft are .00000000000000000000000907. Or 1 in 110,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

Insider information

Some of the mock draft authors have the ear of NFL executives. The executives could provide them inside information about what direction they might be going. But they might also be providing misinformation to create confusion in the enemy.

Jacksonville Jaguars draft Mitch Trubisky

The perfect information warfare operation for the Jaguars would be to leak that they might draft Mitch Trubisky.

The Jaguars could use a quarterback. Blake Bortles is struggling.

That might make the Cleveland Browns panic and draft Mitch Trubisky number one overall. Then Myles Garrett drops. Solomon Thomas drops and the Jaguars might have a better pick at 4. Or, they might be able to get someone to trade down to get whoever might be available at 4. All good for Jacksonville.

Insider information is sometime insider misinformation

Of course the Insider will say, “That would never happen to me.” Because the owner, GM, whoever would lose credibility and no one would listen to them again.

Do you really believe that if Jerry Jones told Adam Schefter misinformation, that Shefter would never report what Jerry Jones said in the future?

I’ve discounted insider information.

How did we get 9.07E-24

That is a tiny tiny number. How did we get there? Let’s shift the odds in order and see how it breaks down.

Cumulative odds


Pick Odds in decreasing order Cumulative Odds
1 0.98 0.98
2 0.57 5.59E-01
3 0.5 2.79E-01
4 0.5 1.40E-01
5 0.36 5.03E-02
6 0.36 1.81E-02
7 0.34 6.15E-03
8 0.32 1.97E-03
9 0.28 5.51E-04
10 0.27 1.49E-04
11 0.25 3.72E-05
12 0.21 7.82E-06
13 0.2 1.56E-06
14 0.2 3.13E-07
15 0.19 5.94E-08
16 0.19 1.13E-08
17 0.18 2.03E-09
18 0.18 3.66E-10
19 0.16 5.85E-11
20 0.16 9.36E-12
21 0.15 1.40E-12
22 0.13 1.83E-13
23 0.12 2.19E-14
24 0.12 2.63E-15
25 0.11 2.89E-16
26 0.11 3.18E-17
27 0.11 3.50E-18
28 0.09 3.15E-19
29 0.09 2.83E-20
30 0.08 2.27E-21
31 0.08 1.81E-22
32 0.05 9.07E-24


In graph form

The graph looks a lot like 1/x. Which is what we’d expect.

Odds of a Perfect Draft
Odds of a Perfect Draft

Drops off quickly

You can see the odds of a perfect draft are pretty much gone by pick 8.

Value of a mock draft

Although the odds of a perfect mock draft are essentially nil. There is still some value in mock drafts. From the NFL Draft Board a team can see how their guy might go to an earlier pick. Or, they might be able to find a good trade partner.

And then, they might find a player further down their team  board they’d overlooked earlier.

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Two minds are better than one. And a 120 minds are better than a dozen.

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