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Grading the trades

Who got the better end of the first day trades on paper? Tony Villiotti

Print This May 09, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

The following article is based on the classic Jimmy Johnson trade value chart, the Kevin Meers trade value chart, Trade Value Chart desribed in this article.

There were five trades affecting the order of the first round on the opening day of the draft. The Browns were the most active trader with involvement in three of the five trades. Movement within the first round was as follows:

• Bills move from #9 to #4
• Browns move from #9 to #8
• Saints move from #27 to #20
• Browns move from #26 to #22
• Vikings move from #40 to #32

Following are more complete description of each trade and my observations on each.

Bills move from #9 to #4 in trade with Browns
• Player selected by Bills: WR Sammy Watkins
• Additional consideration received by Browns: 1st and 4th round picks in 2015 draft
• Value of moving from #9 to #4 per Jimmy Johnson Trade Value Chart (“TVC”): #45 pick
• Value of moving from #9 to #4 per Kevin Meers TVC: #122 pick
• Value of moving from #9 to #4 per Villiotti TVC: pick in the #74-#114 range
• Verdict: By any measure, the Bills overpaid to make this move
   -Obviously they really liked Sammy Watkins


Browns move from #9 to #8 in trade with Vikings
• Player selected by Browns: CB Justin Gilbert
• Additional consideration received by Vikings: #145 selection in 2014 draft
• Value of moving from #9 to #8 per Jimmy Johnson TVC: #122 selection
• Value of moving from #9 to #8 per Kevin Meers TVC: selection after #224
• Value of moving from #9 to #8 per Villiotti TVC: 7th round selection
• After fleecing the Browns in the 2012 trade where the Browns moved from #3 to #2, the Vikings, I am sure, were only too happy to enter into another similar transaction with Cleveland
• Verdict: The Browns did well according to the Johnson TVC but not quite so well by other measures
   - My opinion is that this was a minor overpayment by the Browns and a reasonably fair trade

Saints move from #27 to #20 in trade with Cardinals
• Player selected by Saints: WR Brandin Cooks
• Additional consideration received by Cardinals: #91 selection in 2014 draft
• Saints seem to be motivated to move ahead of Eagles to take Cooks
• Value of moving from #27 to #20 per Jimmy Johnson TVC: #84
• Value of moving from #27 to #20 per Kevin Meers TVC: selection after #224
• Value of moving from #27 to #20 per Villiotti TVC: selection between #47 and #73
• Verdict: This was a reasonably fair trade for both

Browns move from #26 to #22 in trade with Eagles
• Player selected by Browns: QB Johnny Manziel
• Additional consideration received by Eagles: #83 in 2014 draft
• Value of moving from #26 to #22 per Jimmy Johnson TVC: #107
• Value of moving from #26 to #22 per Kevin Meers TVC: selection after #224
• Value of moving from #26 to #22 per Villiotti TVC: selection between #47 and #73
Verdict: Although the Johnson TVC gives a different answer, I think the Browns did modestly well in this trade
   - Slight underpayment received by Eagles, especially true given that a premium position (QB) was involved

Vikings move from #40 to #32 in trade with Seahawks
• Player selected by Vikings: QB Teddy Bridgewater
• Additional consideration received by Seahawks: #108 in 2014 draft
• Value of moving from #40 to #32 per Jimmy Johnson TVC: #102
• Value of moving from #40 to #32 per Kevin Meers TVC: #205
• Value of moving from #40 to #32 per Villiotti TVC: selection between #74 and #114
• Verdict: A fair trade for both
   - Should there be more of a premium paid for premium positions?

As mentioned, the Browns were the most frequent participant in the trade market. How did their maneuvering work out for them? For now, this can only be answered “on paper” as we will not know for several years how it works out on the football field. The preliminary answer, though, is that it looks like it worked out pretty well.

The Browns started the evening with the #4 and #26 selections in the first round. They turned these picks into three first round picks (two in 2014 and one in 2015), with a fourth round pick received and a fifth round pick surrendered basically washing each other out.

The #4 and #26 draft positions are worth slightly less in the aggregate than the #8 and #22 positions acquired by the Browns, so that is a minor advantage. The size of the advantage grows when the 2015 first round choice is included, but how much it grows won’t be known until the location of that 2015 first round pick is established after the conclusion of the 2014 season.

Follow Tony on Twitter @draftmetrics

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