Introduction to the NFL Draft Trade Value Chart

THE NFL DRAFT (TRADES AND TRANSACTIONS)

The NFL Draft is the time of year where losers can become winners, optimism surrounds your favorite franchise, and yes, hope is again on the horizon. What makes the draft so special and exciting is the fact that you are watching your team be built in front of your eyes. Some so called ‘draftniks’ like to play GM during the offseason and analyze the college players eligible for the draft. This process usually starts late in the regular season, during which time teams begin stacking players against each other, seeing who is the best. You watch the different bowl games, the combine, and pro days to see these players up close. Watching teams put these players through rigorous workouts and interviews to see who is the best guy for their team. Once teams have stacked their players and a big board has been finalized, teams go into the draft with confidence that all angles, options, and players have been explored.

Draft Day

The time has finally come for teams to select players and start retooling their rosters. The one factor of the draft that teams do not have control over is if their top player is available come picking time. Unless you’re drafting number one overall, you cannot be assured your guy will be there. It is during these times that you will see teams attempt to maneuver up to snag their ‘guy’. With that being said, lets take a look at the draft value chart and some scenarios in which a draft day trade is necessary to get your guy. 

NFL Draft Trade Value Chart

In 1990, the Dallas Cowboys led by Jimmy Johnson developed a draft pick value chart. The intention was to assign a numerical value to each draft pick. This is not a guideline teams have to abide by, but rather simply a starting point.

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

Round 5

Round 6

Round 7

1

3,000

33

580

65

265

97

112

129

43

161

27

193

14.2

2

2,600

34

560

66

260

98

108

130

42

162

26.6

194

13.8

3

2,200

35

550

67

255

99

104

131

41

163

26.2

195

13.4

4

1,800

36

540

68

250

100

100

132

40

164

25.8

196

13

5

1,700

37

530

69

245

101

96

133

39.5

165

25.4

197

12.6

6

1,600

38

520

70

240

102

92

134

39

166

25

198

12.2

7

1,500

39

510

71

235

103

88

135

38.5

167

24.6

199

11.8

8

1,400

40

500

72

230

104

86

136

38

168

24.2

200

11.4

9

1,350

41

490

73

225

105

84

137

37.5

169

23.8

201

11

10

1,300

42

480

74

220

106

82

138

37

170

23.4

202

10.6

11

1,250

43

470

75

215

107

80

139

36.5

171

23

203

10.2

12

1,200

44

460

76

210

108

78

140

36

172

22.6

204

9.8

13

1,150

45

450

77

205

109

76

141

35.5

173

22.2

205

9.4

14

1,100

46

440

78

200

110

74

142

35

174

21.8

206

9

15

1,050

47

430

79

195

111

72

143

34.5

175

21.4

207

8.6

16

1,000

48

420

80

190

112

70

144

34

176

21

208

8.2

17

950

49

410

81

185

113

68

145

33.5

177

20.6

209

7.8

18

900

50

400

82

180

114

66

146

33

178

20.2

210

7.4

19

875

51

390

83

175

115

64

147

32.6

179

19.8

211

7

20

850

52

380

84

170

116

62

148

32.2

180

19.4

212

6.6

21

800

53

370

85

165

117

60

149

31.8

181

19

213

6.2

22

780

54

360

86

160

118

58

150

31.4

182

18.6

214

5.8

23

760

55

350

87

155

119

56

151

31

183

18.2

215

5.4

24

740

56

340

88

150

120

54

152

30.6

184

17.8

216

5

25

720

57

330

89

145

121

52

153

30.2

185

17.4

217

4.6

26

700

58

320

90

140

122

50

154

29.8

186

17

218

4.2

27

680

59

310

91

136

123

49

155

29.4

187

16.6

219

3.8

28

660

60

300

92

132

124

48

156

29

188

16.2

220

3.4

29

640

61

292

93

128

125

47

157

28.6

189

15.8

221

3

30

620

62

284

94

124

126

46

158

28.2

190

15.4

222

2.6

31

600

63

276

95

120

127

45

159

27.8

191

15

223

2.3

32

590

64

270

96

116

128

44

160

27.4

192

14.6

224

2

Let’s use the Bills for a hypothetical example. They own the 10th overall pick in this years draft. As mentioned earlier, as an organization you have to be prepared for movement. If an opportunity presents itself, then you have to be ready and willing to make a deal. Be able to make a decision, a splash move, all under an enormous amount of pressure. So, in this scenario the Bills are targeting Jamal Adams, a safety out of LSU. They believe this player is the number 1 player in draft. The draft commences and Adams is still available at pick four. Their evaluation of Adams is that he is not only an elite talent, but also a high quality teammate and competitor. Those traits, combined with the safety position being a position of need, leads them to decide they are willing to give up resources in order to execute a trade to move up to get him. According to the draft value chart, the 10th pick is valued at 1300 points and the 4th is valued at 1800 points. The difference is 500 points, which again, according to the chart, would take Buffalo’s 2nd round pick (43rd overall), which is worth 460 points. If the owner of the 4th pick agreed to that, then Buffalo would give up their 10th and 43rd overall pick in exchange for the 4th overall.

These kind of draft day scenarios happen frequently. So much so, in fact, that teams will run hundreds of mock drafts ahead of time to fully prepare for the myriad scenarios that may occur. Of course, on draft day things are much different. When these scenarios are taking shape and being negotiated, both sides are looking to come out of the trade feeling as if they won. The Bills under Doug Whaley have been super aggressive on draft day. Do they have someone in mind that they may want to trade up for?

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