Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Figuring out which team drafts the best wasn't an easy task. In fact, the formula that we came up with was our best attempt to put actual numbers on the value of an NFL team's draft.
Here are the guidelines of the system we used:
We went through every team's current depth chart and valued the starters on their roster. Each team was given one point for a starter drafted between the first and fourth rounds.
A team was given two points for a starter that it drafted between rounds five and seven, since finding a starter that late in the draft should hold more value.
An example would be the Arizona Cardinals drafting Larry Fitzgerald. He starts for them and was drafted in the first round by Arizona, so his worth in this category would be one point.
Another example would be Carl Nicks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was drafted in the fifth round, but was selected by the New Orleans Saints, so the Saints would get two points for drafting a starter between rounds five and seven.
*We used current NFL depth charts. Free agents that haven't been signed weren't included. Also not included were positions that will likely have starters from the 2013 NFL draft (i.e. Arizona Cardinals' quarterback).
The Pro Bowl is one way to measure, albeit not the best way, a player's impact for a team. Much like with the starters, players who have made the Pro Bowl who were drafted between rounds one and four receive two points. Players drafted between rounds five and seven receive four points.
Nicks is another example. He was drafted in round five and has made numerous Pro Bowls so his value in this category is four points for the Saints.
*We used the 2002 NFL draft through the 2012 NFL draft for this category.
AP All-Pro Teams
Making The Associated Press All-Pro team proves that a player was one of the best at his position over the course of a season. For this honor, players drafted between rounds one and four will get three points for the team that drafted them. As in the previous two categories, players drafted between rounds five and seven who have made the AP All-Pro Team will get their team six points.
Once again, using Nicks as an example, he would be worth six points to New Orleans in this category.
*We used the 2005 AP All-Pro Team through the 2012 AP All-Pro Team for this category. This will keep up somewhat current in terms of players not be drafted too far outside our wanted time frame.
Super Bowl Wins
The last category for points was simply looking at the teams that have won Super Bowls since the 2002 season.
We gave this category a value of three points for each Super Bowl win, since it is hard to determine exactly just how much of a championship roster was due to the draft. However, there is definitely some value and correlation between Super Bowls and the draft, so it would be foolish to leave it out completely.
This certainly isn't an exact science or calculation, but it was a good way to give numerical value to how well teams scouted players and drafted for value.
Let's take a look at the results.