Since the first NFL Draft in 1936 the concept of trading picks has been an enigma. Two teams attempting to trade packages of inconsistently valued assets is a difficult undertaking after all. Those difficulties would remain for nearly 50 years until the first true solution was provided in the early 1990s. That solution, *Draft Trade Value Charts*, a tool which would provide a standardized value for more than 200 assets NFL Fans refer to as Draft Picks.
The first iteration of this solution was commissioned in the early 1990s by Dallas Cowboys head coach, Jimmy Johnson. His chart assigned a unique value to each NFL Draft pick beginning at Pick #1, valued at 3000, and progressing all the way into the 200s where, for example, Pick #212 is valued at 5. For 30 years this became the preeminent tool used for facilitating draft trades, until a writer for Pats Pulpit entered the fray.
In 2017, in an effort to improve on Jimmy Johnson's initial *Draft Trade Value Chart*, Rich Hill designed his own. His chart relied heavily on a sample of 124 pick only trades from 2012 through 2016. The resulting chart proved to more accurately depict how NFL General Managers constructed trade packages and, in the process, significantly improved on Jimmy Johnson's three-decade old model. Today, Hill's chart is widely considered the better of the two and is used by everyone from NFL General Managers to offseason simulation applications.
This is where I come in. As a data nerd and lover of all things football, I've long sought designing my own similar chart. So, this offseason I sat down and analyzed over 500 trades since 2002 and built what I'd argue is the most accurate and comprehensive *Draft Trade Value Chart* to date.

Uber Draft Value was built by analyzing every Draft Pick only trade to occur since NFL expansion in 2002. Utilizing a data set that consists of over 500 such trades, a value was assigned to all 7 rounds of draft picks as well as 2 years' worth of future picks. The result is 276 unique values for all draft picks that follow some key tenets:

**No two picks are equal:**It's generally understood that the later in the draft we progress the more even subsequent picks are, but that doesn't mean they are equal. For example, Pick #250 is obviously more valuable than Pick #251, even if the difference between the two is minimal. For that reason, Uber Draft Value requires that no two picks are assigned an equal value.**Rate of change must not increase:**We can all agree that the difference in value between Pick #1 and Pick #10 is significantly larger than the difference in value between Pick #201 and Pick #210. The same can be said at a much more granular level. What that means is that the rate of change between subsequent picks should always be less than or equal to the rate of change between previous picks.**Future picks deserve a value:**Neither the Jimmy Johnson nor Rich Hill charts explicitly define a value for future draft picks. The general rule is that a future draft pick is roughly equivalent to the value of a pick in the following round (i.e. a future 2nd Round Pick – current 3rd Round Pick). Uber Draft Value bucks this trend and applies an explicit value to future draft picks based on analysis of 100+ trades that have included a future pick.

The initial goal of Uber Draft Value was to create a chart which fit as many trades as possible within a fair exchange of assets. Initial attempts assumed that any trade below a 15% value difference was acceptable, while the final product ultimately used a difference under 10% as its boundary. The result was a chart in Uber Draft Value which sees more than **75.00%** of trades fall within the afore mentioned value difference. Compare that to Jimmy Johnson's **61.22%** and Rich Hill's **69.73%** and Uber Draft Value is the most consistent identifier of *fair trades*.
Further analysis was done on the difference between the trade values of all trades analyzed. This analysis found that the difference between trades under Uber Draft Value was **9.182%** as compared to **14.054%** via Jimmy Johnson and **9.205%** with Rich Hill. This demonstrates that Uber Draft Value is consistently more accurate than Jimmy Johnson and marginally more so than Rich Hill.
Obviously, these are just two simple measures comparing the three charts with more work remaining. Further, Uber Draft Value is not without its issues as its standard deviation in value differences is **14.94%**, a significantly higher variance than Rich Hill's **14.16%** (Jimmy Johnson's is **25.00%**). This suggests that despite being a better measure of fair trades, as well as a slightly better measure of average difference, Uber Draft Value can be more susceptible to high variance than Rich Hill's chart.

Want to calculate your own Uber Draft Value? Head HERE for an online calculator.

PK |
---|

VAL |

PK |

VAL |

PK |

VAL |

PK |

VAL |

PK |

VAL |

PK |

VAL |

PK |

VAL |