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Which Teams Need to Trade Down: An Analysis

Looking at picks teams own in the upcoming NFL draft, its clear that there is a lot of disparity. As a result some teams need to trade down and some need to trade up. But how do we know which teams to look at?

Well, one way to do this is to look at a team's total haul according to the NFL Draft Value Chart (DVC). What I did is compare how many draft value points a team would have if no trades ever happened vs reality.

And no surprise, the 49ers have 854 more points than a team that won 13.5 games and went to the Super Bowl should have...its the equivalent of a top-20 pick. we have TWICE as many draft points as we should have.

An even 'cleaner' way to look at this is as a percentage, (actual draft points) / (expected draft points). That ratio should tell you who needs to trade down and who does not. We can then pick out those teams who have clear reasons for having a low number of points, like Seattle. So, here is the list:

Team Points Ratio
Seattle Seahawks 0.47
Washington Redskins 0.50
Indianapolis Colts 0.73
New Orleans Saints 0.78
Cleveland Browns 0.80
Oakland Raiders 0.83
Kansas City Chiefs 0.86
Chicago Bears 0.91
Carolina Panthers 0.91
New England Patriots 0.95
Detroit Lions 0.98
San Diego Chargers 0.99
Buffalo Bills 1.00
Tennessee Titans 1.01
Philadelphia Eagles 1.01
Jacksonville Jaguars 1.01
New York Jets 1.01
Pittsburgh Steelers 1.01
Arizona Cardinals 1.01
New York Giants 1.02
Atlanta Falcons 1.03
Denver Broncos 1.03
Houston Texans 1.03
Green Bay Packers 1.04
Baltimore Ravens 1.04
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1.04
Dallas Cowboys 1.09
Miami Dolphins 1.27
Cincinnati Bengals 1.38
St. Louis Rams 1.47
Minnesota Vikings 1.66
San Francisco 49ers 1.79


Ideally, this should include 2013 and 2014 picks, but I don't have that info. Based on this list, the Redskins, Seahawks, Saints, and Browns should all trade down to recoup missing first and second round picks. In the case of WAS and SEA, they should probably trade away 2nd round picks in order to scoop up 3rd rounders to replenish the roster. Seattle might be best served trading away their 2nd round pick for a 2014 1st rounder.

Cleveland, Carolina, and New Orleans are in good position to liquidate the value they have in the first round in order to accumulate picks. New Orleans is projected to have an explosion in salary obligations in 2014 and 2015, so its best to re-stock.

A good example of a solid trade would be MIN shipping #23 and #25 to Cleveland to draft Dee Milliner.
[ Edited by nickbradley on Mar 18, 2013 at 9:01 AM ]
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This is a fun analysis:) though I did have to turn down the TV in order to understand it. You can use it to play out different specific scenarios to see how likely it is.

For example, if you look at the low ratio teams and then assume that we won't want to trade into the top 10, it actually leaves relatively few teams that would want to trade down. Leads me to believe that we may have to offer a pretty sweat deal in the first in order to trade up and perhaps grab a defensive player we like.
Originally posted by nickbradley:
Looking at picks teams own in the upcoming NFL draft, its clear that there is a lot of disparity. As a result some teams need to trade down and some need to trade up. But how do we know which teams to look at?

Well, one way to do this is to look at a team's total haul according to the NFL Draft Value Chart (DVC). What I did is compare how many draft value points a team would have if no trades ever happened vs reality.

And no surprise, the 49ers have 854 more points than a team that won 13.5 games and went to the Super Bowl should have...its the equivalent of a top-20 pick. we have TWICE as many draft points as we should have.

An even 'cleaner' way to look at this is as a percentage, (actual draft points) / (expected draft points). That ratio should tell you who needs to trade down and who does not. We can then pick out those teams who have clear reasons for having a low number of points, like Seattle. So, here is the list:

Team Points Ratio
Seattle Seahawks 0.47
Washington Redskins 0.50
Indianapolis Colts 0.73
New Orleans Saints 0.78
Cleveland Browns 0.80
Oakland Raiders 0.83
Kansas City Chiefs 0.86
Chicago Bears 0.91
Carolina Panthers 0.91
New England Patriots 0.95
Detroit Lions 0.98
San Diego Chargers 0.99
Buffalo Bills 1.00
Tennessee Titans 1.01
Philadelphia Eagles 1.01
Jacksonville Jaguars 1.01
New York Jets 1.01
Pittsburgh Steelers 1.01
Arizona Cardinals 1.01
New York Giants 1.02
Atlanta Falcons 1.03
Denver Broncos 1.03
Houston Texans 1.03
Green Bay Packers 1.04
Baltimore Ravens 1.04
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1.04
Dallas Cowboys 1.09
Miami Dolphins 1.27
Cincinnati Bengals 1.38
St. Louis Rams 1.47
Minnesota Vikings 1.66
San Francisco 49ers 1.79


Ideally, this should include 2013 and 2014 picks, but I don't have that info. Based on this list, the Redskins, Seahawks, Saints, and Browns should all trade down to recoup missing first and second round picks. In the case of WAS and SEA, they should probably trade away 2nd round picks in order to scoop up 3rd rounders to replenish the roster. Seattle might be best served trading away their 2nd round pick for a 2014 1st rounder.

Cleveland, Carolina, and New Orleans are in good position to liquidate the value they have in the first round in order to accumulate picks. New Orleans is projected to have an explosion in salary obligations in 2014 and 2015, so its best to re-stock.

A good example of a solid trade would be MIN shipping #23 and #25 to Cleveland to draft Dee Milliner.

Nice work!
Interesting. But we can scratch Seattle off of the trade partner list. Those dips**ts got themselves into this hole be trading for Harvin. No way would I trade with them in the draft.

The Colts are an interesting trade partner though. They hold the 24th pick, about where we would need to be to get Datone Jones. We would need 140 points to move up from 31 to 24. So we could do that by swapping 1sts with them and giving them our 3rd (94th pick) and our late 5th rounder.