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Grinding the Mocks compiles mock draft data throughout the pre-draft process. This data provides insight into when players may hear their name called and which teams may be interested in calling their name. Likewise, patterns can appear around what teams may be interested in targeting a specific position. This article focuses on what we can learn about the wide receiver and tight end in the NFL Draft, trade market, and free-agent market.
Wide Receiver Landing Spots
The second round of the draft has Detroit selecting a wide receiver 27% of the time, with Jahan Dotson (9%), Christian Watson (6%), and George Pickens (6%) among the top selections. Detroit has two first-round picks at 1.02 and 1.32, likely on each side of the top wide receivers in the class. While much of the speculation of the offseason has been Amon-Ra St. Brown will see added competition, the market indicates he is unlikely to receive it in the first round of the draft, making him an interesting investment at his cost of WR22.
Another team trading a top wide receiver, Dallas, also has a hole at the position. Dallas is mocked to select a wide receiver 11% of the time in the second round with 4% of drafts mocking each Justyn Ross and Skyy Moore. Other teams in the second round of the draft receiving interest are Houston, Indianapolis, and Jacksonville. Neither Brandin Cooks nor Michael Pittman is likely to be immediately threatened by selections in the NFL Draft. Cooks is the cheapest wide receiver with a track record of top-24 production with a high probability of top-24 production in 2022.
Tight End Landing Spots
The 2022 NFL Draft lacks elite tight ends. The highest-rated tight end, Trey McBride, has an expected draft position of 59.2. McBride appeared to be on the ascension in January and February, but he has steadily fallen toward the later part of the second round since February. McBride is the most mocked player to Green Bay in the second round (8%).
Greg Dulcich (expected draft position 83.2), Isaiah Likely (91), and Jelani Woods (92.6) are all in the round three range of the draft. Tampa Bay was mocked to take a tight end in 10% of mock drafts, the fifth most mocked position to Tampa Bay in the second round. Isaiah Likely (4%) and Jelani Woods (3%) are among the most mocked players to Tampa Bay in the second round.
Dallas (Dalton Schultz), Cleveland (David Njoku), and Miami (Mike Gesicki) have all used their franchise tag on their tight ends without long-term extensions. These teams could also be candidates to draft tight ends, with Dallas heavily using top-30 visits on tight ends.
Remaining Free Agents
Jarvis Landry, Will Fuller, T.Y. Hilton, Odell Beckham, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders are the leading free agents left on the market. Landry and Fuller are the two best bets to produce top-36 production of the remaining players on the market.
Potential Trade Candidates
The remaining situation to watch before and during the NFL draft is the trade market. Deebo Samuel, DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown, and Terry McLaurin are all in the market for new contracts with varying degrees of trade rumors circulating.
Tyler Lockett is also a potential trade candidate, though his contract makes it difficult to trade before June 1 for salary cap purposes.
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