Along with the 2014 NFL Draft starting tonight, we also might see a record-setting number of trades between teams. Spurring this exchange is the fact this draft offers the biggest number of underclassman in league history. Therefore young, talented players will be more abundant in later rounds giving team more options during Thursday night’s first round. It should also make teams hungry for more middle-round picks.
It is believed that most of the NFL teams will use a similar version of the Draft Trade Value Chart first developed by former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson. His chart assigned point value to each draft pick. The idea is to match the same number of points in order to make a “fair trade”.
Last year, the Cowboys traded their first round pick (No. 18) to the San Francisco 49ers for their first round pick (No. 31) and their third round pick (No. 73). According to the Draft Value Chart below, provided by draftcountdown.com, Dallas’ pick was worth 900 points. San Francisco’s first round pick was worth 600 points. Their third round pick was only worth 225 points.
According to the chart, Dallas got the bad end of the deal. But in reality, the Cowboys got two starters with those picks acquiring center Travis Frederick and wide receiver Terrance Williams. Still, many Dallas fans believe the Cowboys should have gotten one of the 49ers two second round picks (#40, #55) instead of the third rounder.
Despite the chart, making trades in the NFL is not an exact science. Teams use their own versions of this chart as only a guideline, and not as the “end all, be all”. At the end of the day, it’s about choosing the right player for your team. And getting in the right position to do so.