Draft Pick Values

Below is a conventional draft pick value chart for the first round. Not all teams use the identical chart, but this is an example of a very typical one. In fact, the Massey-Thaler study plots actual draft day trades (pick for pick, no actual players involved in the trade), and the trades match the curve of this chart nearly exactly.

1 3,000
2 2,600
3 2,200
4 1,800
5 1,700
6 1,600
7 1,500
8 1,400
9 1,350
10 1,300
11 1,250
12 1,200
13 1,150
14 1,100
15 1,050
16 1,000
17 950
18 900
19 875
20 850
21 800
22 780
23 760
24 740
25 720
26 700
27 680
28 660
29 640
30 620
31 600
32 590

According to the chart, the #1 pick is worth three times the #16 pick, or the #15, #16, and #17 picks combined. At least that's how the NFL teams value the picks. As an approximate rule of thumb, the following year's value is worth one round less than an equivalent pick this year. In other words, a second round pick this year is worth a first round pick next year.

This chart gives us some insight into the thinking of GMs. Whether or not the chart is accurate, i.e. a #1 is actually worth 3 times a #16, is almost irrelevent. Teams believe it and act accordingly.

By tallying the conventional draft points by position, we can see how the teams value the importance and scarcity of skilled players at those positions. Although conventional wisdom is that good RBs can be found anywhere in the draft, are teams' actual picks consistent with this view? Just how prized are QBs relative to other positions? We can't say how truly important one position is relative to the others, but we can determine how the GMs value them.

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1 Responses to “Draft Pick Values”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I love this blog!

    It almost seems that the Draft Pick Values and the MT Values are inverse?!?

    I have to side with the MT Values because it references actual results during the career of a player verses PURE HYPE with the Draft Pick Values!!

    Can't they have a financial reward system based on results??

    But for all you Fantasy GM's out there, here is a tip when selecting your team this year, which can't come soon enough, Julius Jones is in his last year of his contract and the "Tuna" is not there to mess up his natural running style!


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