NFL Draft Value Chart

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The most complete example of an NFL Draft value chart, its origins, and usage can be found here.

The chart’s origin is somewhat of an unknown, but we do know the Dallas Cowboys and Kansas City Chiefs were among the first NFL clubs to utilize the NFL Draft value chart in the late eighties.

Its purpose is to provide general managers with a means of assigning values to Draft picks to assist in trading.

Some GMs swear by it while others swear at it.

One thing nearly all front-office executives can agree on is that the chart provides a starting point from which to begin negotiations.

Dallas and Kansas City were among the first clubs to utilize the NFL Draft value chart in the late 1980s.

When Jimmy Johnson was hired as the Cowboys head coach in 1989, he made extensive changes to the chart to match his vision of player valuations.

Johnson’s version remains largely intact today and is commonly accepted as the “official” Draft value chart.

Of course the history of the NFL Draft value chart depends on which version you’re talking about.

There’s been a number of different flavors used throughout the years and of course teams are free to use whichever one they prefer.

Some clubs prefer to use other means to gage the “fairness” of a proposed trade. It really doesn’t matter how a trade in finalized as long as both parties are satisfied with the deal.

NFL Draft Value Chart

ROUND 1 ROUND 2 ROUND 3 ROUND 4 ROUND 5 ROUND 6 ROUND 7
1 3,000 33 580 65 265 97 112 129 43 161 27 193 14.2
2 2,600 34 560 66 260 98 108 130 42 162 26.6 194 13.8
3 2,200 35 550 67 255 99 104 131 41 163 26.2 195 13.4
4 1,800 36 540 68 250 100 100 132 40 164 25.8 196 13
5 1,700 37 530 69 245 101 96 133 39.5 165 25.4 197 12.6
6 1,600 38 520 70 240 102 92 134 39 166 25 198 12.2
7 1,500 39 510 71 235 103 88 135 38.5 167 24.6 199 11.8
8 1,400 40 500 72 230 104 86 136 38 168 24.2 200 11.4
9 1,350 41 490 73 225 105 84 137 37.5 169 23.8 201 11
10 1,300 42 480 74 220 106 82 138 37 170 23.4 202 10.6
11 1,250 43 470 75 215 107 80 139 36.5 171 23 203 10.2
12 1,200 44 460 76 210 108 78 140 36 172 22.6 204 9.8
13 1,150 45 450 77 205 109 76 141 35.5 173 22.2 205 9.4
14 1,100 46 440 78 200 110 74 142 35 174 21.8 206 9
15 1,050 47 430 79 195 111 72 143 34.5 175 21.4 207 8.6
16 1,000 48 420 80 190 112 70 144 34 176 21 208 8.2
17 950 49 410 81 185 113 68 145 33.5 177 20.6 209 7.8
18 900 50 400 82 180 114 66 146 33 178 20.2 210 7.4
19 875 51 390 83 175 115 64 147 32.6 179 19.8 211 7
20 850 52 380 84 170 116 62 148 32.2 180 19.4 212 6.6
21 800 53 370 85 165 117 60 149 31.8 181 19 213 6.2
22 780 54 360 86 160 118 58 150 31.4 182 18.6 214 5.8
23 760 55 350 87 155 119 56 151 31 183 18.2 215 5.4
24 740 56 340 88 150 120 54 152 30.6 184 17.8 216 5
25 720 57 330 89 145 121 52 153 30.5 185 17.4 217 4.6
26 700 58 320 90 140 122 50 154 29.8 186 17 218 4.2
27 680 59 310 91 136 123 49 155 29.4 187 16.6 219 3.8
28 660 60 300 92 132 124 48 156 29 188 16.2 220 3.4
29 640 61 292 93 128 125 47 157 28.6 189 15.8 221 3
30 620 62 284 94 124 126 46 158 28.2 190 15.4 222 2.6
31 600 63 276 95 120 127 45 159 27.8 191 15 223 2.3
32 550 64 270 96 116 128 44 160 27.4 192 14.6 224 2

NFL Draft value chart usage

Imagine for a moment you are the general manager of the Dallas Cowboys and you’re interested in moving up the Draft board to select the top rated cornerback, who is projected to go third overall.

The Cowboys hold the ninth pick, so it’s going to require some negotiations on your part.

Okay great… but how much will I have to give up in order to move up six spots?

This is where the chart comes in.

Let’s say the Cleveland Browns have the third overall selection in the NFL Draft and are looking to trade down to accumulate additional Draft picks.

The Cowboys would need to come up with a package deal that is acceptable to the Browns (and to the Cowboys of course) for Cleveland to consider moving down from their current slot.

What’s an “acceptable” deal you ask? Typically—but not always—an acceptable deal is one where both parties receive equal point values in the transaction.

Now that we understand the basics of a Draft day trade, let’s take a look at how the NFL Draft value chart is used to obtain a “fair” trade numerically.

Proposed Trade
COWBOYS RECEIVE: BROWNS RECEIVE:
• No. 3 overall pick 2,200 points • No. 9 overall pick 1,350 points
    • 2nd round pick (41) 490 points
    • 3rd round pick (73) 225 points
    • 6th round pick (169) 23.8 points
Total 2,200 points Total 2,088.8 points

As you can see from our mock Draft day trade, the cost to move up six spots is extremely steep.

Notice too that even after receiving four Draft picks from the Cowboys, there still is a 100-plus point gap in favor of Dallas.

Does this mean the Cowboys are getting the better end of the deal?

Not necessarily.

Intangibles such as leadership, durability, and character cannot be measured using this or any other chart that assigns numerical values to a player.

This is where the general manager has to use his best judgment and instinct to gauge the fairness of a trade. Unless the player targeted at No. 3 is rated first or second on the Cowboys’ Draft board, I wouldn’t make the deal.

If I was calling the shots and the player was someone we really liked, I would try to package a player on the current roster and/or future Draft picks; hoping that the following year the Cowboys are selecting significantly lower than No. 9 in the first round.

There’s numerous ways you can slice it and it often takes some very creative thinking by both parties to get a deal done.

And to make all of this even more of a challenge, you have 10 minutes to get the deal finalized.

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