What if NFL scouts only looked at prospects' college performances when making draft decisions? Here's how the first round of the 2016 NFL draft might go.
With so much information to evaluate, it’s no wonder projecting the draft is such an inexact science. It’s also easy to see why sometimes it seems like the least important data used to evaluate a prospect is his actual on-field performance.
Here on the college football side of things, draft picks’ on-field performance is our wheelhouse for the three to five years they spend in school. It’s why we celebrate players like Troy Smith with a Heisman Trophy while NFL draft criteria makes him a fifth-round pick.
Obviously NFL teams have good reason to consider more than just what players did on the field in college. But there are already plenty of mock drafts based on NFL scouts’ criteria. Let’s take a look at what the 2016 draft might look like if all teams had to go off of was players’ college performance. For each pick, we’ll use SI.com NFL writer and draft expert Chris Burke’s latest mock draft to determine what position each team will target and select the player at that position with the greatest college career.