The NFL Draft Value Chart


NFL Draft geeks around the web are aware of the “NFL Draft Value Chart”, a trade value chart used by NFL general managers and teams across the league.  It was devised in the 1990’s by Jimmy Johnson and is used by teams across the league for the sake of determining what is fair value during draft day trades. The table is fairly self explanatory. If you want to, say, move up from pick 10 to pick 7, you would have to throw in something around pick 78 to get a fair trade. It is displayed below:
[table id=2 /]
[table id=3 /]

I’m not writing to merely repost something publicly available on the web. I’m writing because this chart is mathematically unjustifiable and is long overdue for a revision. Frankly, I don’t believe that any NFL GM with any background in math uses this chart for making trades. It’s a good idea, but it’s completely flawed. For example, it costs as much to move from pick 8 to pick 4 as it does to move from pick 4 to pick 3. The first pick in the 7th round is roughly 7 times as valuable as the last pick in the 7th round. To move from pick 19 to pick 18, it costs an early 6th round pick. But to move from pick 21 to pick 20? You’ll need a 4th rounder. It costs the same amount to move up from 18 to 16 as it does to move from 26 to 21.  You can trade for picks 33 and 58 and expect to get pick 18. Or you can trade 33 and 74 and get pick 21. Picks 102 and 103 combined are worth pick 82. Seriously; 2 early 4th round picks can’t even get you into the top half of the third round.

So, here’s my table, which I don’t claim is perfect, and I’ll probably make a few edits to it later, but is definitely and improvement on the original:
[table id=6 /]
[table id=5 /]