Draft predictions have become high theater for NFL fans. There are probably over a dozen prognosticators who start putting up mock draft lists before the NFL Combine even takes place, with their final lists being posted on the eve of the draft.
One of the more widely-followed draft experts is NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, so I’ll use him as my example. Mayock annually issues a list of his first-round picks just prior to each year’s draft.
In 2014, of Mayock’s 32 first-round picks, only six were not chosen in the actual first-round, but all six of them were selected by two-thirds of the way through the second round. Mayock’s top 18 predicted picks were all selected in round one.
In 2015, six of Mayock’s picks once again weren’t taken in the first round, though five of them went in the second round. Mayock’s first 21 picks were all taken in the actual round one.
In 2016, only five of Mayock’s 31 picks weren’t chosen in round one, but all five were selected by midway through round two.
How well did Mayock do in predicting the Packers’ first-round choices? In 2014, the Packers chose Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as the No. 21 pick; Mayock had him at No. 22. For 2015, the Packers took Damarious Randall at No. 30; Mayock had him at No. 20. For 2016, the Packers took Kenny Clark at No. 27; Mayock had him as a round two pick, No. 39 overall.
It’s pretty clear that the prognosticators, the scouts, and the general managers compare notes with one another, and reach a consensus that everyone sticks closely to, at least in the first round or two.