The notion of draft capital is a very simple one. You add up the value of each team's picks on the Trade Value Chart to arrive at a total value for each team's draft picks.
Using that approach, I’ve calculated each team’s expected draft capital heading into the 2016 NFL draft, which you'll find in the summary table at the bottom of this piece.
For now though, let's start with the Cowboys. Based on the 2016 Compensatory Pick Projection from OverTheCap.com, the Cowboys hold the following picks with the corresponding draft value:
The last time the Cowboys picked at No. 4 overall or higher was in 1991, when they had the top pick in the draft. But since 1992, this is the highest the Cowboys have drafted. It follows that the draft capital for all the nine picks above must be pretty high too. In fact, the Cowboys enter the 2016 NFL Draft with the most draft capital they've had since 1992.
In 1992, still flush from the Hershel Walker trade, the Cowboys had two picks each in the first, second, and third rounds for a combined draft capital of 3,477 points.
This year's 2,779 points narrowly beat out the 2005 draft (2,717) in which the Cowboys had two picks in the first round and had what could have been a franchise-defining draft when they picked DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Marion Barber, Chris Canty, and Jay Ratliff.
Here's an overview of the draft capital in each draft since 1992, ranked by the draft capital each year.
|Year||Draft Capital||-||Year||Draft Capital||-||Year||Draft Capital|
With such an historic amount of draft capital, the Cowboys also have an historic responsibility. The 1992 draft class delivered likely future Hall of Famer Darren Woodson, and the 2005 class delivered likely future Hall of Famer DeMarcus Ware and is generally considered one of the best draft classes of the previous decade.
Obviously, most of the Cowboys' 2016 draft capital is tied to the fourth overall pick, but that just highlights the franchise-defining potential of the pick. The Cowboys have many options with that pick. They could draft the next franchise QB; they could draft the next HoF defender; they could parlay the pick into two first-round picks or multiple additional picks; but whatever they do, they need to make sure they get it right, because as we've seen above, opportunities like these are few and far between.
There is no actual evidence that the traditional Trade Value Chart is outdated (draft day trades still adhere closely to the chart), but there are those who claim the numbers are antiquated and that there are better ways to measure draft capital.
One such method for figuring out the value of each individual pick comes from Football Perspective’s Chase Stuart, who used the Approximate Value metric to figure out what teams could expect to receive, on average, from each draft pick, and compiled his findings into a new Draft Value Chart.
The table below summarizes the draft capital each team has in the 2016 NFL draft using both the traditional value chart and Stuart's updated value chart, shown here as "FP Value". For your convenience, the table is sortable (just click on the blue column headers).
|2016 Draft Capital by Team
The picks for each team are taken from Draftsite.com, who have incorporated OTC's Comp Pick Projection into their 7-round draft order.