Dallas Cowboys: A best player available mock draft to fill needs

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select…

A trade! Actually four transactions trading six picks for eleven picks. Every trade was a trade down.

Three of the trades conformed to my first rule with more points being sent than returned. I made one exception when I traded a first round pick for a second round pick. I rationalized that the team trading up would receive the rookie fifth year option so the first round pick could be justified to receive a bonus.

The first trade was with New Orleans. I sent the 17th pick for the 24th, 88th and 130th picks. On the traditional Jimmy Johnson (JJ) draft pick valuation chart, the 17th pick is worth 950 points and the three picks from New Orleans totaled 932 points.

My strategy to trade down and to trade down often creates a windfall when you consider the Pro Football Reference Approximate Value (AV) draft picks provide in their first four years. I posted my rationale by using a new draft value chart last week.

The three New Orleans picks return 39.8 AV while only surrendering 23.8 AV. This occurs because the JJ draft pick chart puts a premium on higher picks, especially first round picks.

The second trade was with Green Bay. This trade was a little more complicated to work out. Green Bay’s second round pick at 62 is more desirable than their third round pick at 94.

But the 30th and 62nd picks have a JJ value of 904 which is much higher than the 740 points for the 24th pick. I added the 88th pick at a value of 150 points but was still short so added the 164th pick to bring my point total to 915.

Now I am not following my second rule to recover more picks than I trade. So I added Green Bay’s 208th and 236th picks to the deal to bring 912 points in against 915 points out.

The four picks from Green Bay have 39.4 AV. The three traded picks have 38.1 AV. So why do the trade – C.J. Henderson and Xavier McKinney were taken and K’Lavon Chaisson reminds me of Taco Charlton – potential without proven results.

The next trade was with Detroit sending them the 30th pick for the 35th and 85th picks. The JJ value was 715 points returned for 620 points sent. The AV value was nearly 29.6 AV for Dallas and 18.5 AV for the Lions.

While this trade looks lopsided, it is not without precedent. In the 2019 Draft, Seattle traded the 37th pick to Carolina for the 47th and 77th picks. Seattle received 635 points for a pick valued at 530 points.

The last trade shipped the 62nd pick to the Jets for the 68th and 158th picks. The JJ value was 277 points returned for 284 points sent. Dallas received 20.1 AV and the Jets 14.2 AV.

After all the trading was complete, I had 12 picks valued at 1681 JJ points compared to 1613 points for the original seven draft picks. The big difference and the reason trading down is a viable strategy, particularly for a team that has six players costing more than five percent salary cap, is that the 12 picks have 108.2 AV compared to the seven picks 74.0 AV.