I've had something of a hypothesis over the last few months. Looking at some of the changes taking place in the draft this year, namely the rookie wage scale and the 1st round Prime Time on Thursday thing, I thought that the "standard" NFL Draft Value Chart would change significantly for this year. Specifically, I thought that 1st round picks would become more highly desired as they cost so much less to sign both in the short and long term. So, I'm going to go through all of the trades that happened both last night and over the last couple of months to see what's going on with the Chart.
For reference, I'm using the Walter Football version of the chart (they're all roughly the same, it's just that Walter is the one that's always sited around here), and I'm looking at the ESPN draft trade ticker to see what happened last night.
Hopefully, the chart will transfer over correctly, I want to make sure that everybody sees this right...
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7|
YAYS!!! THAT WORKED!!!
OK, on to the stupid analysis...
Cleveland Browns: Acquire pick No. 3 in 2012 (2200)
Minnesota Vikings: Acquire picks No. 4 (1800), No. 118 (58), No. 139 (36.5) and No. 211 (7) in 2012 (1901.5 total)
Advantage: Trade Up by 298.5
Jacksonville Jaguars: Acquire pick No. 5 in 2012 (1700)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Acquire picks No. 7 (1500) and No. 101 (96) in 2012 (1596 total)
Advantage: Trade Up by 104
Dallas Cowboys: Acquire pick No. 6 in 2012 (1600)
St. Louis Rams: Acquire picks No. 14 (1100) and No. 45 (450) in 2012 (1550 total)
Advantage: Trade Up by 50.
Philadelphia Eagles: Acquire pick No. 12 in 2012 (1200)
Seattle Seahawks: Acquire picks No. 15 (1000), No. 114 (66) and No. 172 (22.6) in 2012 (1088.6 total)
Advantage: Trade Up by 111.4
New England Patriots: Acquire pick No. 21 in 2012 (800)
Cincinnati Bengals: Acquire picks No. 27 (680) and No. 93 (128) in 2012 (808 total)
Advantage: Trade Down by 8
New England Patriots: Acquire pick No. 25 in 2012 (720)
Denver Broncos: Acquire picks No. 31 (600) and No. 126 (46) in 2012 (646 total)
Advantage: Trade Up by 74
Minnesota Vikings: Acquire pick No. 29 in 2012 (640)
Baltimore Ravens: Acquire picks No. 35 (550) and No. 98 (108) in 2012 (558 total)
Advantage: Trade Up by 82
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Acquire picks No. 31 (600) and No. 126 (46) in 2012 (646 total)
Denver Broncos: Acquire picks No. 36 (540) and No. 101 (96) in 2012 (636 total)
Advantage: Trade Up by 10
Washington Redskins: Acquire pick No. 2 in 2012 (2600)
St. Louis Rams: Acquire picks No. 6 (1600) and No. 39 (510) in 2012, plus 1st round picks in 2013 and 2014 (Each worth 590-3000) (3290 - 8110 total range)
Advantage: Trade Down by 690 to 5510
Undetermined, at best. The trade for Robert Griffin III skews a lot. If you throw that out, it seems like NFL teams are valuing top 15 picks far less than they've valued them in the past. The average increase in value by teams winning the trade in the upward direction is 104.3. Only one out of the 8 draft day trades had the team trading down winning the trade. I'm kinda discounting the RG3 trade because that's an incredibly unique circumstance where a potential franchise cornerstone was getting passed up for ANOTHER potential franchise cornerstone. But the Rams really milked that one for all it was worth, and ended up with a pretty nice haul for that one pick.
Overall, though, I was wrong about my hypothesis. Not only were the 1st round picks not valued more highly than they have been in the past, it seems like they were greatly devalued. On average, by about the worth of an early 4th round pick. I would not have called this, and I'm now kinda glad that the Bears didn't trade down from their 19th pick. I'm a little disappointed that we didn't try and leverage our 19th and 81st overall picks into a pick in the 10-12 range, given how much these picks were going for. That would have been a package roughly equivalent in points to the package the Seahawks got for their 12th overall pick. But we can use this information for future trades, as it seems like teams are now valuing quantity of picks over quality, and that's a potentially exploitable market inefficiency.