(Official Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Butler)
(Official Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Butler)

How much is an NFL draft pick worth?

April 27, 2017

With the NFL Draft approaching, one might wonder how much a draft pick is worth. How much could someone buy one for? Who could a person trade for one?

Once a year all the NFL team executives, and some fans, gather to draft the future of pro football. The draft occurs in a particular order where the worst teams from the previous season get higher picks than teams that did well. The draft picks are treated as assets of each franchise and can be traded.

Earlier this offseason, the Houston Texans traded Brock Osweiler, a sixth round pick, and a second round pick to the Cleveland Browns for a fourth round pick. The Texans got rid of $10 million in cap space. In a way, the Browns bought the sixth and second round picks from from the Texans for $10 million and a fourth rounder.


Brock Osweiler Trade

Kevin Meers, a student at Harvard University, calculated and created a
chart that has a value for each draft pick. Using his chart, people can find a value of each pick and all future draft picks that will be given values using this year’s draft order. Cleveland received a sixth round pick worth 45.6 points and a second round pick worth 137.6 points for a total of 183.2 points. Houston received a fourth round pick worth 68.0 points. To find the amount of points the Cleveland Browns received, Houston’s points are subtracted from Cleveland’s. Cleveland paid $10 million for 115.2 points and Brock Osweiler. The 115.2 points are valued at the 77th pick (13th pick in the third round) in the draft.

The first pick in the draft is 494.6 points. If the 115.2 points costs $10 million, than the first pick in the draft would cost over $42 million, a price way too high for most teams to afford (unless you’re the Browns of course). The Browns, who have over $100 million in cap space, were able to afford these picks. NFL trades aren’t always even, and in this case, the Browns paid more because they had the money to spend. Whether or not they keep Osweiler, they still spent $10 million on a second and sixth round pick.

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