Draft-Value Chart Approves Chiefs 1st Round Trade

Posted May 4, 2011

The Chiefs decision to trade out of the 21st pick made them the beneficiary of the draft's most lopsided trade, according to the much-debated draft-value chart

Prior to the draft, we explored a number of trade-related topics relative to the Chiefs and the 21st overall pick - and for good reason.

The Chiefs first-round selection was sandwiched smack in the middle of a zone known for its trade activity. Specifically, the 21st pick had been traded three of the past four years. Throw in GM Scott Pioli’s penchant for draft day movement, along with Kansas City’s need at several positions, and the trade potential heightened.

Sure enough, the Chiefs found a partner for a first-round trade.

Cleveland sent its 27th and 70th picks to Kansas City for the Chiefs 21st pick. Just like that, the 21st pick had been traded four out of the last five years.

One of the pre-draft tools we reviewed was the draft-value chart – a chart where each draft choice is assigned a point value, providing GMs with a way to compare the relative value of draft picks in separate rounds.

While the modern-day relevance of the chart is up for debate, it’s yet to go extinct. Each team operates off some variation of the chart when trading draft picks. It’s especially useful as a point of reference outside the high-priced picks at the top of the first round.

“It’s not like there’s a perfect formula,” Pioli said prior to the draft.

Some teams are willing to pay a premium that others are not. Atlanta’s first-round trade-up for WR Julio Jones is a prime example.

Anyway, the Chiefs decision to trade out of the 21st pick offered a greater point differential than any other draft-day trade in 2011. According to the chart, the Chiefs were the trade-winners of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Kansas City received 920 points for Cleveland’s 27th and 70th picks (worth 680 and 240 points, respectively) and Cleveland netted 800 points for the Kansas City’s 21st selection. The point-differential gave the Chiefs a winning margin of 120 points.

Washington finished in a close second, netting 110 points in a trade that allowed Jacksonville to draft Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert  10th overall. Miami’s trade-up to select Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas in the second-round generated the third-largest point differential at 50.4 points.

Trading Up Trading Down Points Margin
Browns (27th, 70th picks = 920 pts.) Chiefs (21st pick = 800 pts.) 120
Jaguars (16th 49th picks = 1410 pts.) Redskins (10th pick = 1,300 pts.) 110
Dolphins (79th, 145th, 217th picks = 233.6 pts.) Redskins (62nd pick = 284 pts.) 50.4

“winners” in bold

ESPN’s Mike Sando has the breakdown all 18 trades, along with point-differential, here.

Value is great, but the only thing that really matters is the player acquired. Hopefully that works out just as well.

Let’s review all of the Chiefs draft-day trades since Scott Pioli took over as general manager.

2011: Chiefs trade down

Details: Kansas City sends its first-round pick (21st overall) to Cleveland for first and third-round selections (27th and 70th overall).

Player(s) Chiefs Acquired: WR Jonathan Baldwin and OLB Justin Houston

Differential: 120 points

2010: Chiefs trade up

Details: Kansas City sends fourth and fifth-round picks (102nd and 144th overall) to Houston for a third-round selection (93rd overall)

Player(s) Chiefs Acquired: TE Tony Moeaki

Differential: 2 points

*2009: Chiefs trade future pick

Details: Kansas City sends its 2010 seventh-round pick (would end up being 212th overall) to Miami for a seventh-round selection (237th overall)

Player(s) Chiefs Acquired: TE Jake O’Connell

Differential: -5.9 points

*Player-for-picks trades excluded (i.e. Matt Cassel, Mike Vrabel, Tony Gonzalez)

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