MassanuttenRef’s Phins Mock Draft — Round 1 -- Trade Value Lesson

In my last article, I gave the my opinion of what the Dolphins will do in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft.  I mocked a first round trade between the Dolphins and the Bears — the Dolphins trade their first round pick for the Bears first round, second round and third round picks.  The article received several comments that this trade was unrealistic — the Bears are giving up too much for the Dolphins 15th pick.  So, where did I come up with the components of this pick?  

Well, the components are actually not wholely my opinion, nor is it rocket science.   Back on February 24th, I wrote an article about the Dolphins trade down possibilities in the 2011 NFL Draft.  Before I continue with my Phins Mock Draft for 2011, I thought it might be appropriate to repeat this article to remind my readers how the trades come about — especially in this year where trades cannot include roster players.  So, here is a MassanuttenRef’s Phin Mock DraftRound 1Trade Value Lesson.  I hope this will help explain things and prepare you for the upcoming draft.


PhinPhanatic Article — February 24, 2011 — Trade Down Possibilities for the Dolphins — by MassanuttenRef

Many are thinking that the Dolphins should trade down from the 15th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. This includes yours truly. In my last article, I wrote about the Dolphins trading their 15th pick for Atlanta’s 27th (1st Round), 59th (2nd Round), and 123rd (4th Round) picks. So, what are the possibilities for the Dolphins trading down in this year’s draft? And, how are the trades put together?

Well, I did some research and found that each pick in the draft is assigned a numerical trade value — there is such a Trade Value Chart posted at  The values are then used to combine draft picks to make a deal.  However, sometimes trades can include players currently on the roster making things more complicated – like last year, the Dolphins traded their 1st round pick to San Diego for the Chargers 1st and 2nd round picks plus Tim Dobbins.  This year, such a trade with a roster player will not be possible unless a new CBA is signed in the next two months before the draft in April.  This kind of makes things easier for us fans to scheme.  By the way, I don’t know who or how the values in this chart were derived.  But, I do know they have been used for years as guidelines when putting together trades.

I took the latest order of draft picks in the 2011 Draft (up to the 6th round) and combined them with their trade values in a spreadsheet to examine the possibilities.  This chart is shown below which you can click on to enlarge in a new tab or window (feel free to copy it and share).  I am sure that Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano have such a handy chart for this year’s draft.

Disclaimer: Please note that I am only human.  So, it is possible that I made a mistake.  Please let me know if something is not quite right and I will promptly correct and repost.  Hey Jeff and Tony, that means you guys too.  I am sure you guys want us fans to have the right cheat sheet when the draft kicks off.

Please also note that I will repost this chart in another article closer to the draft in the event a new CBA is signed and the draft order changes due to trades – you know like Ronnie Brown and the Dolphins 15th pick for Carolina’s 1st pick so that the Dolphins can draft Blaine Gabbert.

So, here’s how to use the chart.  The Dolphins 15th pick has a numerical trade value of 1,050.  If they were to make a deal with the Falcons, the Falcons would have to give up their 27th, 59th, and 123rd picks with respective values of 680 + 310 + 49 = 1,039.  Thus, the numerical deal is Atlanta’s three picks worth 1,039 for the Dolphins one pick worth 1,050 – maybe, Ireland can get Atlanta to throw in a 7th rounder to make the numerical values more equal.  Another simpler example is the Dolphins trade the 15th pick for the Seahawks 25th and 57th picks – this is an even swap with an equivalent numerical value of 1,050.  If you are wondering, the 1st pick has a value of 3,000 – all the Dolphins picks in this year’s draft do not have that value — sorry folks.  It should be noted that the Jests are in italics because Sexy Rexy would have to pull a Ditka trading nearly all their picks to get the Dolphins 15th pick.

The picks and values for each team that are in red are those numerically necessary to obtain the Dolphins 15th pick without the Dolphins giving up any additional picks of their own – which I think (or hope) they will be reluctant to do because of all their numerous offensive needs.  This means, the 25th pick is the first trade down opportunity for the Dolphins for solely their 15th pick.  But, for example, the Dolphins could trade the 15th pick and one of their 7th round picks for the Saints 24th and 56th picks.  There are many other possibilities that one can come up with.  I tried to summarize some with those in red.

I hope that you will enjoy using the chart to dream up the possibilities. I  personally would love a trade with the Packers that would net the Dolphins four or five additional draft picks.  This would be lots of draftees to fill the holes on offense and even add some depth on defense.

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  • phinsbin

    WOW…please stop ronnie brown and the 15th pick fron #1 overall are u kidding me. You are deff not a person that should be giving lessons…you need to be taught about realism and not be so one sided. This doesnt even belong.on fanposts nevermimd frontpage

    • Dale

      Apparently u don’t understand sarcasm. No way Carolina would go for that and no way Miami drafts Gabbert. That article was also written in Feb. It is just a way to get people to understand the draft chart.

      • phinsbin

        Apparently u dont know the article this guy wrote before. So this guy is always sarcastic? I dont think so….how bout you stfu

  • Michael

    Thanks for posting the trade value chart. It helps focus the mind on possible trade downs.
    I would love to see the Dolphins trade down to pick up a 2nd or 3rd round pick. They key, though, is whether they can find another teams that wants to do the opposite. Remember that trade value charts are fundamentally based upon perception. There is nothing that inherently forces teams to agree that Pick A is worth Pick B plus Pick C.
    My sense is that teams are increasingly seeing the value of low 1st round picks along with 2nd and 3rd round picks. A big part of it is the huge salaries that teams are forced to give to early 1st round picks. To avoid the potential franchise-killing risk of high 1st round busts, more teams would just rather spread the risk out by getting more picks in later rounds. Because of this more teams are trying to do what Miami wants to do – trade down and get more mid-round picks. If this is true, the trade value charts needs to be updated.
    By the way, does anyone know what research these trade value charts are based upon? I have heard that Jimmy Johnson essentially came up with his own chart (based upon real research) in the early 1990s. He essentially gamed the system by taking advantage of the inaccuracies of the previously existing trade value chart. JJ was so successful that GMs essentially threw out their charts and used Johnsons. I wonder if your chart is essential the one JJ came up with in the early 1990s.
    If that is the case, it must be seriously updated because that was before free agency and salary caps. If not, do you know where these numbers came from? I am not saying that they are wrong, but my guess is that they are based upon a great deal of “conventional wisdom” and outdated research.
    Having said that, I would love Miami to trade down and pick a solid OL in the lower 1st round and then pick up either Andy Dalton or Rick Stanzi in the 2nd/3rd round. I believe that these guys stand a bigger chance of success than the big four (Newton, Gabbert, Locker and Mallett) plus they can be picked up at a later round.
    I am skeptical, however, that any team will want to trade with them. Having been a Dolphin fan for over 40 years, I can’t tell you how many times I carefully work out a draft strategy for the team only to see them take a completely different direction . With hindsight, sometimes I look stupid and sometimes the team looks stupid.

    • MassanuttenRef

      The trade value chart that I used is JJ’s chart which I understand everyone uses. However, there are two mistakes in the chart. You can read about the chart and the mistakes at

      BTW, I appreciate your comments that the chart is a guide. If a high valued pick drops because of several higher slotted team needs, the chart kind of goes out the window. Similarly, it also depends how desparate the team is wanting to trade down.

      What I wonder is when trading slots, does one team get any assuranced that the trading up team will not take certain players with the receiving pick? I guess one would have to ask Parcells that question.

      • Michael

        Thanks for the link to the article. Based upon what he is saying, the existing Trade Value Chart. It looks fairly arbitrary to me. I am not trying to bash the people who come up with it because I know that it must be very difficult. But it seems to me that the chart is trying to get nice round numbers that gradually scale down.
        I think that this is the wrong logic. There is no inherent value to any pick. It is all based upon the value of the resulting player. I would think that it is much better if they looked at how well players at each pick perform (# Pro Bowls, years as starter) relative to their pay.
        Anyway, I know that I am getting way off topic here. Us mere mortals have to use some type of TVC. I am just surprised that statisticians have not come up with something based upon the results of the pick.

  • Michael Rosenbloom

    This is all well and good, but just because the values all add up does not mean a team will just give up half their draft to move up.

    You can’t just look at the numbers here. How about team needs? Regardless of the numbers, the Panthers would never do that trade because they have a few good running backs already, and they desperately need help elsewhere. Just because getting Ronnie and the 15th pick would make sense numerically, it makes zero sense since the one thing the Panthers are set at is running back.

    Focus on who these teams need and why they would move up. Don’t just assume because numbers add up, any team would be willing to move.

    • MassanuttenRef

      Remember that I posted this article back before Ronnie became a free agent. And, it was suppose to be somewhat sarcastic. I don’t think the Panthers would ever make the trade. But, I hope the Dolphins would take it in a minute. However, it is all a moot point. Brown is a FA and trades with roster players are taboo … at the moment.

  • jeremy

    Good article again.
    I`ve done my fantasy horse trading and here it is for you.
    At 15 Miami trade with San Diego for their 18 and 89 pick. San Diego will want this pick because there is a mini run of defensive ends about to come from Jaxonville and the Patsies.(1050 points from us for 1045 from them)
    At 18 Miami trade with Indy. Miami send the 18 and 146 picks for the 22 and 87. Indy do this because there is a chance that the Giants and KC will take tackles with their picks. Wouldn`t tyou want to keep Payton upright?(933 from us for 935)
    At 22 Miami trade with Dallas for 40, 71 and 143 picks. Dallas do this because it lets them get the third corner this year before Baltimore or Philly gets to him.(780 out and 772.5 in)
    Miami would then have 11 picks this year.Namely 40,71,79,87,89,111,143,175 and 3 seventh rounders.
    Going by the latest Walter football mock we could get for our team: at 40 Mike Leshoure. At 71 we could get Bruce Carter OLB North Carolina. At 79 DJ Williams. At 88 how about Jon Moffitt,left guard from Wisconsin and 89 could bring in Vernon Careys eventual replacement with Joseph Barksdale.In the fourth at 111 would guarantee Ricky Stanzi to be able to develop as an emergency third strind QB.Fifth could bring another running back in Roy Helu and the sixth could bring another guard in Caleb Schlauderiff from Utah, we seem to get someone from there every year. That leaves us with 3 seventh rounders that I cant immagine what the team will take a flyer on.
    What is obvious too me is that we can fill a lot of holes this way and I hope we do.

  • Jfish

    We have to trade down and hopefully do a better job on talent evaluation tha in recent years if we can land a few of following I would be happy.

    Marcus Cannon, jerrel Jernigan, Andy Dalton, Tj Yates, Ricardo Lockette, Ryan Williams, Alan Bradford, Taiwan Jones, Shane vereen, Bilal Powell, Derrick Locke, Edmund gates, Aldick Robinson, Tim Barnes, Virgil Green, Jake Kirkpatrick, Ryan Bartholemew, Austin Pettis, Alex Green