NFL DRAFT

BSJ Analytics: Evaluating the Patriots’ 3 trades outside the traditional value chart

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(Tim Warner/Getty Images)

The Patriots entered Friday night with two second-round picks at their disposal, and they left having somehow made three trades.

How’d they make out?

Here, I'll break each deal from the perspective of trade value. For reference, I’ll use a draft curve that I recently described here. This specific approach combines two traits – the average historical performance of each pick and the likelihood that each pick becomes a superstar -- into one, single number value.

Before starting, I'll note that it is rare that draft curves like mine will ever find value in trading up to make a choice. Historically, teams have overestimated their ability to evaluate talent, despite the fact that, in the last four decades, there's been no noticeable evidence that the league as a whole has improved at drafting.

The best way to look at draft picks is to think of them as lotto tickets, where each ticket boasts slightly reduced odds of hitting than the one before it. And, like lotto tickets, most draft picks end up as misses — even among picks at the top of the four round, there's less than a 1 in 3 chance that a given pick becomes a superstar.

Did the Patriots make good deals on Day 2 of the 2018 draft?

Find out more below.

Trade 1

Patriots trade pick No. 43 to the Lions for picks No. 51 and 117.

The Patriots’ first trade was also their best one. To slide back eight spots in the second round, the Patriots picked up a mid-fourth-round choice from Detroit. On my pick-value chart, pick 43 holds 96 points worth of value, while pick No. 51 is worth 84 points and pick No. 117 is worth 27 points. Thus, the Pats picked up 111 total points of draft value from Detroit in exchange for 96 points.

Another way of looking to it is to divide New England’s haul (in terms of pick value) by Detroit’s. In this case, 111/96 is about 1.16, so the Patriots picked up about 16 percent more value than the Lions.

This is a good deal for New England, and it's an argument I can comfortably make regardless of whether or not Kerryon Jonhson (Detroit's selection at No. 43), Dante Pettis (San Francisco's selection at No. 44), or Josh Jackson (Green Bay's choice at No. 45), players otherwise available, work out.

Trade 2

Patriots trade pick No. 51 to the Bears for pick No. 105 and a 2019 second-round pick.