As the 2011 NFL Draft nears, one of the more intriguing scenarios surrounding the Chiefs draft day strategy involves the art of the trade. We took a look at trade history involving the 21st overall pick last week and, to say the least, the position has been extremely active in recent years.
Chiefs General Manger Scott Pioli touched on his thought process behind draft day trades during a pre-draft press conference several days ago. Specifically, Pioli focused on trading down for more picks.
“Can you trade back and still get a good player and pick up additional value that will give you organizational currency or organizational value where you still get a good player by moving back?
“It’s not like there’s a perfect formula.”
But there is a formula that most GMs at least take into consideration before pulling the trade trigger – the Draft Pick Value Board.
On the board, each draft choice is assigned a point value, providing GMs with a way to compare the relative value of draft picks in separate rounds.
|Draft Pick Value Chart|
|Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Round 4||Round 5||Round 6||Round 7||Other|
The Chiefs 2010 draft provides a good example of a “fair trade” according to the value chart.
On Day Two, Kansas City moved into the third round to select
All-in-all, a fair trade according to the value chart. Of course, there are plenty of flaws when it comes to using charts to try and perfect and imperfect process.
The rights to select Tom Brady, who was selected 199th overall in 2000, commanded a paltry 12.8 value points in return.
That same season, QB Giovanni Carmazzi’s draft slot was worth 265 points and Chris Redman was valued at 215. Chad Pennington (900 value points) and Marc Bulger (25.2 value points) each carved out solid NFL careers, but no quarterback from the Class of 2000, regardless of point value, can come close to rivaling Brady’s production.
At pick 199, Brady was the seventh quarterback chosen that year. How many Cleveland fans wish they had a do-over when it came to selecting DE Courtney Brown first overall that season - 3,000 value points according to the trust trade chart…that’s roughly 234 Tom Brady’s.
But who knew Brady would develop into what he is today? Each team passed on the quarterback multiple times before the Patriots finally took the future Hall of Famer off the board.
In reality, the decision to trade picks is about balancing positional need against player availability.
For instance, the Chiefs could face a situation where there is a run on 3-4 outside linebackers/4-3 defensive ends just prior to the 21st pick – the Patriots, Chargers and Buccaneers hold three of the four choices that precede Kansas City.
Do you try to hop those teams if acquiring an outside linebacker leads your list of team needs? What does your board look like at other positions? Is there a shortage of talent? A surplus?
“They’ll be times when we can’t put enough value together for the total package to move back or to move up,” explained Pioli.
In that case, the Chiefs stay put and may select the “best available,” regardless of position.
Just 10 days away from the draft, many seem to believe that the Chiefs are more likely to trade back than trade up if a first-round deal is actually made. Count me in that majority.
Pioli values additional draft picks and he doesn’t believe that the team is a single player away from becoming a perennial champion. Though the Chiefs are the defending AFC West Champions, there’s still plenty of work to do in improving the overall talent level on the club’s 53-man roster.
“We are still very far off from where we want to be and what kind of football team we want to have,” Pioli said. “We’ve started to put some of the building blocks in place in understanding the world and the environment that we live in, that there are a lot of needs across the board.”