First Round Draft Capital and the Consensus Board: Who Wore it Best?

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One of the things we can do with the consensus board is use the values there to “grade” draft picks. Though we do not have the information that teams do (and therefore, the board will too heavily reward whomever picks Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith), it gives us some idea of how teams did against the evaluation of third-party scouts.

Let’s look into the draft capital teams spent and look at first-round “winners.” Assuming that the evaluator board is better at pure talent evaluation, a hypothesis weakly confirmed by previous work, we can grade the picks against where they were ranked in the evaluator board.

Because having a higher pick means having more capital, it’s easier to represent the gains and losses by value returned as a percentage of the total capital available. The results shouldn’t be too surprising.

Team Value
Miami Dolphins 179%
Minnesota Vikings 128%
Buffalo Bills 126%
Jacksonville Jaguars 122%
Washington Redskins 114%
New York Jets 113%
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 103%
Carolina Panthers 101%
San Diego Chargers 100%
New Orleans Saints 100%
Cincinnati Bengals 100%
Denver Broncos 99%
Arizona Cardinals 97%
Dallas Cowboys 95%
San Francisco 49ers 95%
Detroit Lions 94%
Baltimore Ravens 93%
Cleveland Browns 89%
Green Bay Packers 89%
Seattle Seahawks 83%
Houston Texans 74%
Indianapolis Colts 72%
Tennessee Titans 72%
Chicago Bears 69%
New York Giants 67%
Los Angeles Rams 67%
Oakland Raiders 64%
Philadelphia Eagles 63%
Pittsburgh Steelers 63%
Atlanta Falcons 59%

I don’t think anyone’s surprised that the Rams and Eagles are ranked so lowly. The Raiders’ low ranking is one I disagree with, as I think the evaluator boards were not properly assessing how good Karl Joseph is.

The Falcons take the cake with Keanu Neal at 17th overall and though a strong safety is important to their scheme in a way many safeties are not (and more important than their free safety), it still feels like an incredible reach—and the board doesn’t even take into account the existence of the other box safeties in the draft.

The Dolphins, of course, “won” with Laremy Tunsil and the Vikings have matched their previous return-on-board value records as a team that traditionally takes the most value on the board with their selection of the board’s top receiver.

This analysis will be more interesting at the conclusion of the seventh round, but this gives us a sneak preview as this constitutes most of the grade for most of the teams.

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