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Super Bowl Champions, by Draft Value

The New England Patriots won Super Bowl LI, but it wasn’t because the team was packed full of high draft picks. Of the five Patriots who had more than 10 points of AV, only one was drafted in the first four rounds. Regular readers know that I created an AV-based draft value chart, which assigns points to each draft pick based on the expected marginal production produced by that pick.

Well, you can calculate a team’s weighted average draft value by doing the following:

  • Calculate the draft value spent on each player on the roster who produced at least 1 point of AV that season.
  • Calculate the percentage of team AV produced by each player. This is key, otherwise Chris Long would skew the results in the wrong direction.
  • Multiply the results in steps 1 and 2, and then sum those values.

Here’s how it would work with the 2016 Patriots, who had an average draft value (as a roster, and weighted by AV) of 6.72.

PlayerPosAVPerc of TmAV%Draft PkDraft ValWt Draft Val
Dont'a HightowerILB145.4%2514.10.76
Malcolm ButlerCB135%udfa00.00
Tom BradyQB135%1990.90.05
Marcus CannonOL135%1383.20.16
Julian EdelmanWR114.2%23200.00
Devin McCourtyDB103.8%2713.60.52
Nate SolderT103.8%1716.60.64
Alan BranchDT93.5%3312.30.43
LeGarrette BlountRB83.1%udfa00.00
David AndrewsC83.1%udfa00.00
Shaq MasonC83.1%1313.60.11
Joe ThuneyOG83.1%786.90.21
Malcom BrownDT83.1%3212.50.38
Chris HoganWR72.7%udfa00.00
James WhiteRB72.7%1303.60.10
Trey FlowersDE72.7%1015.20.14
Martellus BennettTE72.7%618.40.23
Rob NinkovichDE62.3%1353.40.08
Jabaal SheardDL62.3%3711.60.27
Patrick ChungDB62.3%3412.10.28
Chris LongDE62.3%230.20.70
Nate EbnerDB51.9%19710.02
Logan RyanCB51.9%836.50.13
Jamie CollinsOLB51.9%529.40.18
Rob GronkowskiTE51.9%4210.80.21
Elandon RobertsILB41.5%2140.40.01
Cameron FlemingOT41.5%1403.10.05
Malcolm MitchellWR41.5%1124.60.07
Shea McClellinDE41.5%1915.80.24
Dion LewisRB31.2%1492.70.03
Stephen GostkowskiK31.2%1184.20.05
Vincent ValentineDT31.2%965.50.06
Eric RoweCB31.2%4710.10.12
Danny AmendolaWR20.8%udfa00.00
Jonathan FreenyDE20.8%udfa00.00
Ryan AllenP20.8%udfa00.00
Ted KarrasOG20.8%2210.20.00
Duron HarmonFS20.8%915.90.05
Jacoby BrissettQB20.8%915.90.05
Jimmy GaroppoloQB20.8%628.30.06
Kyle Van NoyOLB20.8%4011.10.09
Barkevious MingoOLB20.8%623.20.18
Jonathan JonesDB10.4%udfa00.00
Anthony JohnsonDT10.4%udfa00.00
Justin ColemanCB10.4%udfa00.00
Brandon KingDB10.4%udfa00.00
Woodrow HamiltonDL10.4%udfa00.00
Joe CardonaLS10.4%16620.01
Geneo GrissomOLB10.4%975.50.02
Jordan RichardsSS10.4%648.10.03
Cyrus JonesCB10.4%608.50.03
Total260100%6.72

As it turns out, 6.72 — which is roughly equivalent to the 79th pick in the draft — is really low for a Super Bowl champion, although not for the Patriots. The ’03 Patriots were a little different, but the other four New England teams that won the Super Bowl all rank 40th or lower among the 51 Super Bowl champions in terms of average draft value. The 2016 edition was the lowest ranked of the group, ahead of just three other Super Bowl champions.

RkTeamYearDraft ValPick Eq
1Kansas City Chiefs196914.125
2St. Louis Rams199912.830
3Green Bay Packers196711.836
4Dallas Cowboys199311.836
5Baltimore Colts197011.637
6Dallas Cowboys199211.438
7Chicago Bears198511.240
8Baltimore Ravens200011.140
9Green Bay Packers196610.544
10Dallas Cowboys199510.544
11New York Giants199010.444
12Oakland Raiders198010.345
13San Francisco 49ers199410.345
14Tampa Bay Buccaneers200210.346
15Dallas Cowboys197110.147
16Denver Broncos19979.452
17New York Giants20119.253
18Los Angeles Raiders19839.254
19Pittsburgh Steelers19789.155
20New England Patriots20039.056
21Indianapolis Colts20069.056
22Oakland Raiders19769.056
23Pittsburgh Steelers19798.957
24Pittsburgh Steelers20058.857
25Green Bay Packers20108.857
26Pittsburgh Steelers19758.757
27San Francisco 49ers19818.758
28Dallas Cowboys19778.758
29San Francisco 49ers19898.659
30New York Giants20078.659
31San Francisco 49ers19848.560
32San Francisco 49ers19888.560
33Denver Broncos20158.461
34Green Bay Packers19968.461
35Pittsburgh Steelers19748.065
36New York Giants19868.065
37New Orleans Saints20097.768
38Washington Redskins19917.768
39Miami Dolphins19727.768
40New England Patriots20017.669
41Baltimore Ravens20127.472
42New York Jets19687.373
43Pittsburgh Steelers20087.274
44Miami Dolphins19737.175
45New England Patriots20146.879
46New England Patriots20046.879
47Denver Broncos19986.780
48New England Patriots20166.780
49Seattle Seahawks20136.188
50Washington Redskins19826.188
51Washington Redskins19875.793

The ’87 Skins were a little weird, because they have replacement players mixed in with AV. There was a strike in ’82, of course, too, but no replacement players were used that year, so those values are truly representative of the team that won it all. The only other team below New England was the ’13 Seahawks, who also found some late round draft picks that turned into stars.