March 14, 2012

NFL Draft Series: Trading Players For Draft Picks

     I laugh every time an NFL team trades a legitimate starter for draft picks.  Because it's never for good picks.  It's always 3rd, 4th, or 5th round picks.  I understand that the front offices think they can turn a late pick into a good player, but the truth is they usually don't.  I can't figure out why anyone would make these trades. 

     For example, the Dolphins just traded Brandon Marshall to the Bears for two 3rd-round picks.  For the Bears, it's a fantastic trade; they finally get a respectable target for Jay Cutler to throw to.  But what exactly are the Dolphins getting here?  Could it be an addition-by-subtraction thing?  Has Marshall been annoying everyone in the locker room?  Even if that's the case, I'm pretty sure he's worth more than a couple of mid-round players.

     Here's how I like to think of draft picks:  Instead of thinking about the great potential of whatever arbitrary player that pick could give you, imagine it as a player who was picked from that round in an earlier draft.  More specifically, the average player from that round.  Using the approximate value statistic found at, I came up with a roughly average player from each round in the 2004 Draft.  Here's what it looks like:

1st Round:  Kellen Winslow Jr.
2nd Round:  Tatum Bell
3rd Round:  Anthony Hargrove
4th Round:  Reggie Torbor
5th Round:  Dave Ball
6th Round:  Jim Sorgi
7th Round:  Darrell McClover

And from the 2005 Draft:

1st Round:  Cedric Benson
2nd Round:  Kelvin Hayden
3rd Round:  Trai Essex
4th Round:  Sean Considine
5th Round:  Dan Orlovsky
6th Round:  Cedric Houston
7th Round:  Noah Herron

So instead of Brandon Marshall for two 3rd round picks, think Brandon Marshall in his prime for a young Anthony Hargrove and a young Trai Essex.  A top-ten receiver for two guys who can start but probably shouldn't.  There must be other factors involved, because these trades don't make any sense.  I'll explore things like contract length and salary in future posts.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed the read!