Blitzalytics NFL Trade Value Chart


Graphic By: Robert Robinson @RobRobGraphics

Written By: Roy Countryman @PreacherBoyRoy


It is that time of year football fans, that time of year for the fans of the franchises that know they have been eliminated from the playoff picture turn their attention towards the draft. From scoping out prospective prospects for your team, to watching endless loops of highlights of some of the biggest names in this year’s draft class, to perusing over the countless amounts of mock drafts to see what the so called “experts” say. We don’t have the entire list of players available for the draft because the underclassmen still have a chance to declare, and boy the talent that could choose to enter could present us with some start level talent. Today though, we here at Blitzalytics are going to examine one of the staples of information for the draft season. The trade value chart.


The trade value chart concept was originated by Jimmy Johnson back in the early 90s when he was the head coach of the Cowboys. He tried to quantify a way of placing a numerical value on each draft slot, that way when teams tried to conduct business in the trade market, they could try and collect equal value. Before this concept, most trades were completed strictly off of friendships between front office personnel, or by dumping draft picks to another team for established veterans. His concept has been a huge success, and has been used by multiple NFL front offices for years as a baseline in negotiations. The one drawback to his value chart is that it is now a little outdated. In 1994, the NFL started awarding Compensatory Picks, based upon an elaborate formula based off of playing time, contract, and postseason awards for each team. There is a cap as well for seasoned veterans of ten or more accrued seasons. The teams awarded such selections also must lose more qualified players than they have acquired. There is also a way to gain a pick based upon net value of total players lost, compared to player to player cancellation. These picks when awarded where not allowed to be traded, but the NFL changed course and agreed back in December, 2015 to allow these picks to be traded starting with the 2017 NFL Draft. Such adjustments, and intrigued added to the draft has led to a proliferation in front offices being more apt to trading later round picks both for a chance to move up in earlier rounds to even acquiring veteran talent from other teams come draft season. So, we have come up with a new draft value chart using some of the pillars off of the great Jimmy Johnson’s, but also updating it for the purposes of the here and now. Take a look....


*Blitzalytics has tweaked the values of some the picks in the first round, compared to the original because of the addition in the last CBA of the first-round picks having the added value of a 5th year option, which is a distinct advantage because all other draft picks at most can sign for a maximum of 4 years.


*Compensatory picks get awarded from the end of the third round through the seventh round annually, which in all actuality makes the NFL Draft an eight-round event, but rather than going with the same number of picks for each round back to back, the compensatory picks get awarded based upon the formula stated above. Being that nobody can know the exact selections in each round from a year to year basis, we have chosen to generally allot a sum from the pick directly following the last pick in the third round to the final selection, Mr. Irrelevant, pick number 256.

* Just for a baseline for readers in the last five years of the draft, starting with the 2014 NFL Draft to the 2018 NFL Draft here is the average amount of compensatory picks awarded for each round:


3rd Round: 5.2 selections

4th Round: 6.6 selection

5th Round: 6.2 selection

6th Round: 9.2 selections

7th Round: 5 selections


Which if you round off those numbers, and add them together you will see that it comes together as a neat 32 selections.


*Another rule of thumb to remember when projecting trades using future picks, the general consensus is that a pick traded in a future year is actually valued at a rate of one round less than the present. For example: A 3rd round pick, number 74 is worth a value of 400, but if you were to try and trade your following year’s 3rd round pick it would only have a value of pick 106, which is 32 selections later, or a full round later, which is a value of 232.


I hope this chart will be a bookmark for all of you in the draft universe when it comes time to start making your own mock drafts, as well as the in-depth fans that would like to have a better understanding on how the process of the draft and trades between clubs’ work.


Be a Blessing, and Stay Humble!

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