We're about a week away from the 2016 NFL Combine, and that means that Mock Draft season is in full swing. Regardless of how much importance one puts into mock drafts, they can serve as a launching pad for discussion of what the Minnesota Vikings are going to do in the upcoming NFL Draft.
With that in mind, we're happy to announce that the 2016 version of the Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft Database will be making its return tomorrow with the "Pre-Combine" version. For the uninitiated, here's what the Mock Draft Database is all about.
We look around the web for a bunch of mock drafts. We take mocks from the big names like ESPN and NFL.com, and we take mocks from guys that might not be "experts" but still have a pretty solid idea of what they're talking about. (We get a lot of them from the Mock Draft Database at the DC Pro Sports Report.) We find who those drafts have the Minnesota Vikings selecting, in some cases up to three rounds, and we put them all in one convenient location.
After that, we talk about what players are being taken, what percentage of the pie they have, and things of that nature. To cap it off, we put things into graphic form in two different ways. The first is known as the "donut" graph, and is a reflection of that week's database only. Here's is what the final "donut" of 2015 looked like as an example:
We divide the different positional groups up by colors, with varying shades representing individual players.
We also do what's come to be lovingly known as the "Jell-o salad" graph. This graph tracks how players have trended throughout the draft process from the pre-combine version all the way to the final one, which will probably come the week before the 2016 NFL Draft. Again, here's what last year's final Jell-o salad graph looked like.
Obviously, we don't do this one right away, because one week doesn't make much of a "trend." We'll probably get to about our third iteration of this year's database before we get to this graph.
Every week, we'll add more drafts to the database. We'll start out with 30, because there are plenty of places that haven't gotten into the full swing of the mock draft process, but we'll see more as we get closer to draft night. Last year, the final version of the database had 100 mocks, and we try to weed out mock drafts that haven't updated in a while. The new version of the database will come out every Saturday morning, barring any real life hiccups getting in the way.
It's interesting to see how things change based on free agency, the Combine, pro days, and everything else that happens in the pre-draft process. Last year, as you can see from the drafts above, Trae Waynes was the dominant name in our database for the Vikings, and that's who the team ended up drafting.
If you'd like to take a look back at how the Mock Draft Database has fared over the past few years, you can check out the 2013 Mock Draft Database, the 2014 Mock Draft Database, and the 2015 Mock Draft Database.
We want to be your best source of draft information for our favorite football team, and we think that the Mock Draft Database is one of the biggest things we do towards that end. The graphs will have a slightly different look this year, but we'll still have all the same information that our readers have become used to over the past few years.
So, tomorrow morning (Central time), our first Mock Draft Database will be out there for your viewing pleasure. We hope that you enjoy it!