I want to highlight how 1st rounds go in the NFL.
I decided to see how it broke down into position in top ten and full 1st round along with the prospects big board ranking. I looked at the drafts going back to 2012 for position by year. I counted up the number of the position selected and found the 5 year average. ProFootballFocus only started recently differentiating CB and S and DE OLB and ILB. This was a time consuming project so I used my knowledge to determine which players played which position. I pretty much broke it down in CB and S with the majority of their playing time in either position and for DE and OLB I used only EDGE players and ILB were ILB or OLBs in 4-3 defenses.
I then used Mike Mayoks big boards to find the rank of the players and averaged them as well. I knew there was going to be a huge spread from year to year. His data only went back to 2013.
*Disclaimer: The 2013 draft was crazy not only with the picks but the fact that it was a terrible draft. It took a lot of these players a number of years to finally get on track.
Top Ten Positional Breakdown by Year
This is the top 10 picks in every round form 2012-2016. There is clearly an emphasis on QB (1.6) and OT (2) in the top 10 picks. WR, CB, and DE (all 1.2) all have emphasis as well. It is a safe bet to predict that a QB will go top ten along with a pass rusher and tackle.
Here is the rest of each years picks broken down:
We get a better idea of the positions as well as which are still important 1st round picks but not top ten. WR more than doubles from top 10 pick (1.2-4.4) to full 32 pick round same increase with corners. Edge players are the most pick position in the first round sitting at 5.6/32 picks. In each of the last three years we have seen 4 tackles go 1st round. Tight ends and centers are both under 1 player/32 picks.
Below is my favorite graphic. It gives a breakdown of the big board rank (Mike Mayocks top 100) of the players selected in that spot. I used his most recent big board each year.
This really shows how much draft experts know, which is pretty much the same as you. Besides the top 7 it is pretty much tossing darts at a HUGE board. You can see some outliers that raise the average but for the most part this illustrates the point. A few picks here and there are pretty close such as 22 with a 20.75 ranking. The fifth pick is the only one that is right on.
Hopefully this helps you with your own mock draft.