The Atlanta Falcons are rumored to be one of the more aggressive teams in the 2020 NFL Draft. Both Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn are banking on this draft to save their jobs with Atlanta.
The Atlanta Falcons will enter Thursday evening picking at the 16th slot in the 2020 NFL Draft. While there may still be impact players at this spot, trading up has been Dimitroff’s forte. With this year being a bit top-heavy, it makes sense for the Atlanta Falcons to make moves to get a high pick.
What is the value of each draft pick? Every draft position has an understood value to them. Furthermore, as each pick progresses, the difference in value gets smaller and smaller. For example, there is a much bigger gap between the first and second pick than there are the 16th and 17th pick. So where does this value come from?
NFL GMs consult a chart called “Dallas Draft Pick Value Chart” created by former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson. This chart essentially places the appropriate value to a given position in order to conduct draft-day trades. The draft chart is not the tell-all be-all, however, even today it is used throughout the league.
For context, the Atlanta Falcons pick at 16th and this position has a value of 1000 points. The first overall pick has a value of 3000.
However, there are flaws. The Jimmy Johnson chart doesn’t take into consideration compensatory picks nor team needs. A team can hold higher regard for their spot in the draft if they are in a place where they can draft a player that can bring an instant impact to their squad. Take into consideration the Cincinnati Bengals with the first overall pick.
The Jimmy Johnson chart has that position set to 3000 points, but their need for a quarterback raises this value by an uncertain amount.
So what can the Atlanta Falcons give up in order to trade their way up the draft queue?
Like I said, the Atlanta Falcons 16th spot has a value of 1,000. What if the Falcons wanted to trade up to third with the Detroit Lions. The third position has a value of 2,600. The Atlanta Falcons would need to trade their 2020 16th overall pick, 47th overall pick, and a first and third-rounder in 2021 in order to get to 2630 value points.
The 2021 draft picks hold a high variable because the Atlanta Falcons could get a very high pick or a very low first-round pick. If the Falcons were to pick first overall in 2021, this value would be 4,695. A huge win for the Lions.
I only see the Atlanta Falcons trading with Detroit if the target is Jeff Okudah. If the target is Isaiah Simmons the Atlanta Falcons could trade up with Carolina for the seventh selection, which is valued at 1,700. This is much more manageable and could allow the Falcons to not give up as much draft capital in one season.
The trade I proposed gave the Atlanta Falcons 1,532 points in value, compared to that of 1669 points in value that Carolina received.
This trade would be the toughest to pull off for two reasons. First reason, the Panthers need to replace Luke Kuechly and Simmons would be the obvious choice. Secondly, why would Carolina essentially give a division rival a player of need.
Another likely trade destination is with the New York Jets for the 11th selection. This position is valued at 1250 and gives up the least amount of draft capital. The trade I proposed gave the New York Jets 1256 points in value, which is only six points higher than what the Atlanta Falcons would get for the number 11th overall selection.
It is possible that Simmons could fall to 11, it’s rather unlikely but the Falcons should pull the trigger if that’s the case. Otherwise, this trade wouldn’t make sense.
Like I said before, this method is not the ultimate decider on if teams should or should not accept a trade. However, it is still used as a means to conduct draft day trades and gives you an idea of what the Atlanta Falcons might have to give up. I encourage you to come up with your own trade scenarios and leave them in the comments by using the chart provided above.