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Thor's Draft Haul Rankings

by Thor Nystrom
Updated On: June 24, 2020, 11:50 am ET

My Draft Haul rankings combine each team’s draft class and UDFA crop to attempt to quantify how much total talent each organization acquired against draft equity spent. 

Today, we’re going to take a bird’s eye view of the overall rankings and some of the metrics that went into it. Check back Monday for an in-depth breakdown of each AFC team’s Draft Haul, and Wednesday for the NFC.

Below, you’ll find two large tables, followed by a series of individual tables sorted by rankings. A brief explanation of methodology follows each table.


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Key

Equity: Draft equity, the value of picks used in the 2020 NFL Draft

D-Class: Draft Class, a measure of talent acquired in the 2020 NFL Draft

D-ROI: Draft Return on Investment, a rate stat showing the value each team derived out of their 2020 NFL Draft picks

GPA: Grade Point Average shows what the media graded each class, as calculated by Rene Bugner

T-Class: Total Class, a measure of combined talent acquired in the 2020 NFL Draft and UDFA signings

2021 picks: The total number of picks currently projected to be held in next year’s draft. *Note: This includes projected compensatory picks, which can change

2021 equity points: An attempt to quantify the total value of each team’s current projected 2021 NFL Draft pick holdings


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Key

Haul score: Combined elements of each team’s draft class, UDFA crop, ROI and media GPA to produce a final score to encompass and quantify how each organization performed during the totality of the rookie acquisition process

Draft score: Derived from talent acquired in the draft against draft equity spent (ROI), with media GPA used as a modifier, to rank which teams did the best inside the 2020 NFL Draft

UDFA score: My scores and rankings of each team’s UDFA class (read more here).

T-ROI: Total Return on Investment, a rate stat showing the combined value each team derived out of their 2020 NFL Draft picks and UDFA haul against the pick equity they used in the draft


tclass

 

The Dolphins spent the most draft equity this year. But, according to my numbers, the Bengals left the draft with more overall talent.

Draft “Equity” was calculated using Rich Hill’s revised trade value model, which is more accurate than Jimmy Johnson’s trade chart. NFL teams have moved away from Johnson’s more publicly-famous chart following the rookie scale and research showing the increased value of pick accumulation. (Bill Belichick discusses here).

I doubled Hill’s numbers in each slot so I could stretch his model over 500 slots, not just the 255 in the 2020 NFL Draft. This was done so I could assign like point values to players ranked in my pre-draft Big Board, the Thor 500. So that, for instance, there was a (minimal) acquisition point value to the No. 408 player on my board.

“Draft Class” refers to talent acquired in the draft, the combined score of each team’s draft crop using my revised point scale. “Total Class” adds the points each team earned from my model through their UDFA signings to give an idea of overall rookie talent acquired. 

UDFA signings move the needle in overall talent haul, but not significantly. You’ll note that the rankings for “D-Class” and “T-Class” are extremely similar. No team moves up or down by more than one ranking from one to the other. This is by design. 


gpa

 

“D-ROI”, or return on investment from NFL Draft picks, merely divides “D-Class” by “Equity” to show which teams got the most bang for their buck while picking. 

“GPA” is each team’s final industry draft grade, as calculated by Rene Bugner.

Using media GPA was my way of introducing an objective outside metric to modify the Haul and Draft Scores slightly so that 100% of each team’s rankings weren’t based solely on my pre-draft rankings and numbers. GPA was also introduced to account for things like positional needs filled and other areas draft analysts grade on but a pure numerical study -- a pure talent-acquisition exercise -- wouldn’t account for.


equity

 

Thor Nystrom

Thor Nystrom is Rotoworld’s lead CFB writer. The 2018 FSWA College Sports Writer of the Year, Nystrom’s writing has also been honored by Rolling Stone magazine and The Best American Essays series. Say hi to him on Twitter @thorku!