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2017 NFL Draft trade: Buffalo Bills get value from Kansas City Chiefs

What was the value of the Bills-Chiefs trade?

On Thursday night, the Buffalo Bills traded the tenth pick in the draft to the Kansas City Chiefs in exchange for the 27th overall pick, 91st overall pick, and a 2018 first round selection. Football perspective called it the best trade of the night in their analysis. What’s the actual value of those picks?

The standard for trades in the draft for the last 20 years has been Jimmy Johnson’s draft value chart. He assigned a point total to each selection and added them up on both sides to balance the scale. Using his chart, the tenth pick is worth 1300 points. Kansas City’s picks were worth 680 (27th), 136 (91st), and 1000 (2018 first) for a total of 1816. Even if Kansas City wins the Super Bowl, the total point value would be over 1400, so Buffalo clearly made out well using Johnson’s method.

Some students at Harvard have attempted to refine the trade value chart using advanced historical analysis. Their values vary from the Johnson chart, and Buffalo makes out much better here. The tenth pick is worth 299.1 points and the Chiefs collection of picks is 214.7 (27th), 102.7 (91st), and approximately 255 points (2018 first) for a total of 572.4 points. That means Buffalo almost doubled their value. Even if Kansas City wins the Super Bowl, Buffalo would receive 517.7 points in value. According to this chart, the Chiefs first and third this year would have been adequate compensation.

It’s also worth noting that Buffalo will actually see increased Approximate Value, as well. ESPN analytics expert Brian Burke says Pro Football Reference values Buffalo’s new collection of picks as a 12 AV and their former pick as 6 AV using historical data.