New Draft Value Chart


Lifelong Packers Fanatic
Feb 22, 2011
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That’s an interesting way to approach the trade value chart. Its creator, Chase Stuart writes, “While the famous Jimmy Johnson chart was designed to facilitate trades, my chart was designed to measure the actual expected value from each draft pick. I fine-tuned my chart last November, and the graph below shows how much marginal Approximate Value you can expect from each draft pick over the course of the first five years of his career.” Of course “approximate value” is subjective but I think it’s interesting all the same. More than one “expert” has written that the old Jimmy Johnson values top picks way out of proportion to their actual value. Because even picking at the top of the draft involves humans analyzing and projecting the future performance of young humans, I agree. It’s less of a crap shoot at the top of the draft than later, but it’s still a crap shoot.

Look at the difference between the old Johnson chart and this new one as they relate to the Packers this draft. Assume we’re ‘through the looking glass’ and Ted Thompson wants to use his #30 and #62 picks to trade up. According to the old chart those picks equal 904 picks, about equal to #18. But because top picks in the new chart have less value, the Packers two picks are worth 21.2 – about the value of pick #9. I don’t think any team would trade the #9 pick for picks #30 and #62 straight up, so it seems to me Johnson’s old chart is more in line with reality in this instance, particularly with the new CBA making top picks more affordable.

Here’s how Thompson’s first trade of the 2008 draft worked out with regard to the two charts. He traded down from #30 and received #36 and #113. Under the old chart, Thompson gave up 620 points and received 608, “losing” the trade by about 2% in value. Under the new chart, he gave up 12.9 points and gained 16.3, dramatically “winning” it by about 26% in value. Thompson picked Jordy at #36 and traded #113 along with #162 for #102. (He picked DE Jeremy Thompson with #102.) Both the new and the old chart has Thompson losing the second trade by 1.6 points (about 24%) and 2.6 points (about 3%) respectively.

Of course talent tiers and the players teams are targeting play a large role in this. And while Stuart says his new chart is attempting to measure expected value received and not to facilitate trades, the more he's viewed as correct, the more relevant his chart regarding trades.
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It's interesting to note that Johnson's value chart was developed before free agency.

It would stand to reason that high picks should have been downgraded as free agency kicked in because (1) keeping them past the first contract became uncertain and (2) the salary structure became skewed such that a larger percentage of the cash and cap pies started going to the top picks.

With the rookie salary cap, upper picks should have been granted more value because they cost less, as you noted.

Still and all, through those two major changes that should have yielded new charts, most pick trades hue pretty closely to the old Johnson chart.

I'd be curious to note what Stuart's numbers would look like with QBs excluded. There's been a lot of first round QBs in the last decade or so with the league having little to show for it.

And then we have the black box aspect of Stuart's is he measuring performance?

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