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2014 NFL Draft: The Titans, the Draft Value Chart and Trading Up

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Playing the NFL Draft's version of Snakes and Ladders.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

This is the time of year when NFL insiders have a field day. Every day there are numerous leaks from sources, or anonymous reports about which team absolutely loves this one player. With that comes the usual speculation of which teams can move up or down, and as a result, the idea for this post came about.

The Titans gave up their third-round pick last year to move up for Justin Hunter and now that they are short one pick this year, there has been some talk of whether its still possible for the Titans to move up. Moving in the first round will be the focus of this article.

The NFL Draft Trade Value chart has long been used by many teams and pundits when examining potential trades and that is the best place to start.

Courtesy of DraftTek.com, here are the values for the current Titans selections:

  • 1st round, 11th overall: 1250 points
  • 2nd round, 42nd overall: 480 points
  • 4th round, 112th overall: 70 points
  • 5th round, 151st overall: 31 points
  • 6th round, 186th overall: 17 points
  • 7th round, 228th overall: 1.6 points
Now that we know the value of the Titans picks, its worth re-visiting three of last year's trades to see how the draft board worked.

  • Oakland trades the 3rd pick overall (2200 points) for Miami's 12th and 42nd pick (1200+480=1680)
  • Buffalo trades the 8th and 71st picks (1400+235) for St. Louis' 16th, 46th, 78th and 222nd selections (1000+440+200+2.6=1642.6)
  • Dallas trades the 18th pick (900) for San Francisco's 31st and 74th choices (600+220=880)

Sadly it looks like the draft value chart is still used, despite Oakland giving up the third pick for far less value.

What are the Titans' options?

According to the draft chart Ruston Webster still has enough to get a deal done if he sees his target fall past the first three picks.

  • Combining the 11th and 42nd selections totals 1730 points, which is roughly enough to move up to 4th or 5th in the draft.
  • Combining the 11th and 112th picks gives 1320 points, which only bumps the team up one or two slots.
  • Combining all three tallies nets 1800 points, good enough for the 4th spot (potentially 3rd if you combine with another late rounder).
While these moves are all technically options, it would appear that from the current selections Webster is fairly limited. Is it worth jumping six spots to fifth, for example, but not having another pick until the fourth round? The answer will always be that it depends on the player available.

The Wildcard: Ruston Webster

All this math is great, but last year showed that Webster isn't afraid to pay a steep price to get his guy. To get Justin Hunter at 34th overall (560 pts) the team gave up the 40th and 216th picks, plus the 2014 3rd-rounder. Currently that third-rounder is worth 205 points, so the Titans gave up a total of 710 points (500+5+205). Its possible (or even likely) that Webster thought the team would do well last season and so the third-rounder would be worth less, but he certainly didn't shy away from being aggressive. In each of the last two drafts he has moved up at least once, however the Hunter deal is the first time it involved a substantial amount of picks.

What does this tell us?

Unfortunately, not a whole lot. I had hoped the result of going through this would lead to something more concrete. Teams and general managers have patterns, and MCMers have already caught on to some (for example, SuperHorn caught that the Titans like to visit with their future first round pick). Still, I don't think this exercise was completely useless. It seems reasonable to suggest that short one pick this year, Webster will be in tough to find a deal that works using the 2014 draft choices, and he may be less likely to deal away another high or mid-round choice next year.