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Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: the traditional draft value chart is outdated, and it never made much sense in the first place. Trying to use logic to explain why teams operate in an illogical manner is a tall task, and probably a waste of time. So, let’s try anyway.

First, I recreated my draft value chart. To do that, I looked at the first 224 players selected in each draft from 1970 to 2009. PFR assigns Approximate Value grades to each player in each season, but since AV grades are gross units, we need to tweak those numbers to measure marginal value. As a result, I only gave players credit for their AV above two points in each season; that difference is a metric I’m defining as a player’s Marginal AV. For example, if a player has AV scores of 8, 1, and 3 in three straight years, those scores are translated into Marginal AV scores of 6, 0 and 1.

The graph below shows the average Marginal AV produced by each draft pick in each season from ’70 to ’09. The blue line shows the average Marginal AV produced by draft picks as rookies, the red line represents second-year players, green is for year three, purple for the fourth season, and orange for average Marginal AV in year five. [click to continue…]


On Friday, I examined the trades from Round 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft; yesterday, I looked at the trades from rounds two and three. Let’s take a look at what happened on Saturday:

Chip Kelly saw enough out of Barkley to trade for him.

Chip Kelly saw enough out of Barkley to trade for him.

1) Jacksonville traded #98 to Philadelphia for the 101st and 210th picks

With Kansas City reportedly interested in drafting USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Philadelphia jumped the Chiefs to give Chip Kelly another quarterback.  The Jaguars then selected Ace Sanders, the South Carolina slot receiver that they presumably wanted at 98, anyway.  If nothing else, he can do this.

Jacksonville team received 107 cents on the dollar according to the Football Perspective chart and 96 cents on the dollar according to the Jimmy Johnson chart.

Winner: Win-Win.  Kelly now has Michael Vick, Nick Foles, and Matt Barkley: we’ll see who emerges from that competition.  Meanwhile, I really like the idea of having Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts on the outside and Sanders in the slot.  If Maurice Jones-Drew is healthy, Blaine Gabbert will be out of excuses in 2013. Jacksonville also added Denard Robinson — who looks to be playing running back in the NFL — later in the draft, giving them one of the more interesting drafts of the weekend.

Chart Used: Combination of the two charts. As you’ll soon see, teams didn’t strictly adhere to the Jimmy Johnson chart often in the later rounds.
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Yesterday, I examined the trades from Round 1 of the 2013 NFL Draft. Let’s take a look at what happened on Friday:

1) San Francisco traded #34 to Tennessee for the 40th and 216th picks plus a 2014 3rd rounder

The Titans traded up to draft Justin Hunter, the wide receiver from the University of Tennessee. It’s always difficult to value future draft picks, as every team has their own discount rate. So in addition having to figure out the value to be able to pick right now, we also don’t know whether that future pick will be in the beginning, middle, or end of the round. In this particular instance, it doesn’t matter, as the 49ers made out like bandits. For purposes of the calculator, I made the 2014 3rd rounder equal to the 97th pick in this draft. In that case…

The 49ers received 140 cents on the dollar according to the Football Perspective chart and 110 cents on the dollar according to the Jimmy Johnson chart.

On the bright side, with Hunter, Kenny Britt, and now Kendall Wright in the slot, Jake Locker has a lot of weapons this year. Throw in the additions of Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack, and the Titans have done everything they can to make the offense a strength in 2013. Still, it’s hard not to love what the 49ers did.

Winner: San Francisco, significantly. Not only did they get fantastic value, they then selected Tank Carradine, a top-20 talent at defensive end, with the 40th pick. Unreal. A day after the Vikings overpaid to draft one Volunteer receiver, the Titans do the same for the other.

Chart Used: The Jimmy Johnson chart with a dash of coach/GM on the hot seat

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Analyzing the Trades in Day 1 of the 2013 Draft

There were five trades in the first round of the NFL Draft.  Who were the winners and losers?  Which draft chart was used — the traditional Jimmy Johnson chart or something closer to my chart?  I’ve never argued that teams use my chart when making trades (rather, I’ve argued simply that they should), but it’s worthwhile to see the trade market has shifted under the new CBA.

1) Oakland traded the #3 pick for Miami’s #12 and #42 picks

At the time, most thought the Dolphins were trading to select the last of the three left tackles, Oklahoma’s Lane Johnson.  Instead, Miami drafted Dion Jordan, the DE/OLB out of Oregon.  Jordan will team with Cameron Wake to give Miami an incredible set of pass rushers, although the left tackle situation remains unresolved.

My draft pick value calculator says the Raiders received 107% of the value they gave up, making it slightly in their favor.  On the other hand, the Jimmy Johnson chart says the Raiders only received 76% of the value of the third pick back.

Winner: Oakland.  The Raiders were able to select the player they really wanted (D.J. Hayden), so they essentially received the #42 pick for free.  Meanwhile, the Dolphins gave up a high second round pick, a risky move in a draft that is flat on talent.  Miami fans will be happy with Jordan now, and the team could still send their other second round pick to Kansas City for Branden Albert, but strictly on trade value, the Raiders won this one.
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Introducing the NFL Draft Pick Value Calculator

I first created a draft value chart five years ago. While the famous Jimmy Johnson chart was designed to facilitate trades, my chart was designed to measure the actual expected value from each draft pick. I fine-tuned my chart last November, and the graph below shows how much marginal Approximate Value you can expect from each draft pick over the course of the first five years of his career:

draft value chart 2

You can see all the values for each draft pick here, but today, I’m introducing the Draft Pick Value Calculator. It’s pretty simple to use: just type in the draft picks that Team A is trading and the draft picks that Team B is trading, and the calculator will let you know which team is winning the deal.
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