Bill Belichick: Every team uses the same draft chart

Getty Images

The 1990s Cowboys were built in large part by Jimmy Johnson’s wheeling and dealing with draft picks, and Johnson developed a chart that demonstrated how to value draft picks. Soon every other team started using the same chart.

That chart is now obsolete, as the rookie wage scale and research showing greater value in accumulating more picks has changed the way teams evaluate draft trades. But Patriots coach Bill Belichick says all teams have arrived at more or less the same place on how to value draft picks.

“I would say that, in general, the trades over the last several years for the most part have been, let’s call them within 5 to 10 percent, pretty equitable trades,” Belichick said. “So, for you to have a chart that’s different than the other 31 charts isn’t really that productive because now we’re just arguing about which chart – ‘My chart says this. Your chart says that.’ . . . I would say everybody probably uses about the same value chart. I’d say in our draft trade negotiations through the years, especially the last two or three years, there hasn’t been a lot of, ‘My chart says this. Your chart says that.’ Now 10 or 15 years ago there was some of that. ‘Oh, here’s what we think it should be.’ Well, the other team’s in a different ballpark because they’re looking at a different chart. I would say that when you look at the trades now, over the past few years, a majority of them fall within what we would say is a range of a fair trade. What the going rate would be is what the team gave up and what the team got is about what you would expect them to get, whether it’s our trade or not. I’m just looking league wide. The first round is a little bit different because you’re trading for a very specific player at that point. Not that you’re not trading for a player in the second and third round – I’m not saying that – when a team moves up, they move up to take a certain player that they want. But not everybody’s necessarily after that player, whereas in the first five, 10 picks, whatever it is, when you’re trading there you’re trading for a certain guy and when they trade out of it they know that they’re trading away from that player. It might be one or two players but it’s a much more defined situation.”

Ultimately, every team knows more or less what constitutes a fair trade of draft picks. Some teams are willing to go above and beyond for a particular player, especially to move up for a quarterback in the first round, but the chart is not highly protected intellectual property anymore. anymore.

53 responses to “Bill Belichick: Every team uses the same draft chart

  1. I don’t know. I’d say that’s true generally.. the Top 5 is a different animal. Washington overpaid to get to 1 for RG3 .. the Rams overpaid to get to 1 for Goff. Don’t forget the Browns moving up 1 spot for Trent Richardson. Also the Bears paid heavily to move up 1 spot for Trubisky.

  2. ezpkns34 says:
    April 10, 2019 at 7:21 pm
    I hate the Pats, but would love to pick Belichick’s brain one day
    **********************************

    The Patriots, what you hate, are his creation. That’s largely what you’ll find in his brain. That’s a strange way to express respect and admiration.

  3. See what happens when you actually ask an interesting football question? You get a long answer from Belicheck…

  4. I get that people hate BB… but why the down votes. There isn’t anyone, that follows football, that wouldn’t want him as their favorite team’s coach.

  5. I honestly think his draft philosophy is one of the best routes to take if you wanna be a contender consistently

  6. Belichick’s reticence is often frustrating precisely because whenever he does open up and talk he usually has something very interesting to say

  7. Interesting subject.

    His right hand man, Ernie Adams, has likely created a secret draft chart, along with another chart that breaks down a player’s salary cap value. Ernie is a genius as well. He made a fortune as a municipal bond trader on Wall Street.

  8. If he were fired tomorrow, the stampede of owners rushing to sign him as HC/GM would rival shoppers at Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving evening.

  9. Problem is BB uses Chess board and the rest Checkers! He wins offseason which sets him always ahead. Guy is just brilliant!

  10. cribbage12 says:
    April 10, 2019 at 8:16 pm
    He’s getting closer to Lombardi. Not the same zip code but the same town anyway.

    @@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Quite a few NFL coaches have passed Lombardi, BB included.

  11. Understanding the value of a pick – by draft position – for trade purposes, is one thing. Understanding how to use a pick is something else entirely. As in Johnny Manziel.

  12. Going back to Jimmy Johnson, he pulled off the greatest heist in NFL history when he traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for 5 players and 8 draft picks in exchange for Walker and 4 future draft picks. Johnson had determined that Walker was vulnerable to being knocked off his feet within his first few steps because he wasn’t real quick off the mark and his legs weren’t strong enough to break tackles. Anyway, Dallas used those draft picks in building a team that won 3 Super Bowls. Walker never distinguished himself as a running back and Minnesota never amounted to much for years after that trade.

  13. I like his take on trading a fifth round draft pick for a vet for one year. Does good in playoffs. Said vet leaves via free agency, Bill gets third round comp pick. Cant believe thats not copied.

  14. Well then the difference is the subjective analysis of the talent decision maker. An example of this featuring the decision making of one Bill Belichick is his acquiring wide receivers that are productive due to quickness and separation ability. He goes out of the box for normal physical size of a wide receiver chosen. Belichick ignores size and goes with separation, quickness as the main skill set. Great hands is also involved but the ability to create separation right away rather than having the typical NFL size requirements is most important!

  15. He’s really saying that so everyone thinks they have the same draft chart as him. However his is probably very different. Always one step ahead! I hate the Patriots but respect Belicheck.

  16. kghia75 says:
    April 10, 2019 at 8:28 pm
    He wins offseason which sets him always ahead
    ———–
    Considering the Browns won this offseason, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter.

  17. Much respect for BB. But honestly drafting becomes so much easier when you never have to worry about who your starting QB is. I would love to see if BB can have success without TB.

  18. I don’t think he is a mage when it comes to draft. You just should check his resume regarding his picks in the past 19 years: as many swing and misses as any other GM.

    I believe the main difference between him and the Regular Joe GM is that he is not hesitant to pull the plug on anyone, no matter of draft position. A lot of teams keep ineffective players on their roster just because they were drafted in the first or second. Not him. Cut Stork (4 round) for Andrews (undrafted) not because Stork was bad, just Andrews is better.
    Ras-I Dowling, Dominique Easly early second rounds where BB just pulled the plug after 2 seasons.

    So what make BB great as a GM is in fact his ability to admit his mistakes.

  19. kghia75 says: Problem is BB uses Chess board and the rest Checkers!
    =================================================================
    Slight correction there…….

    BB isn’t playing chess, he’s playing 3Dchess in my estimation.

    Not often mentioned, but another area where BB and Ernie excel, is their ability to put value on different drafts and strength at different positions across the years, and knowing when the best value of a draft pick is to trade it for a veteran; or better still, to trade for a veteran and take a lower/cheaper draft pick. True genius and true deep football knowledge……..

    More like BB & Ernie are playing 3Dchess, whilst the others are playing jump rope……

  20. Maybe it should be obsolete, but teams still roughly adhere to the Jimmy Johnson trade chart. If you look at trades in the last few drafts they are very close to what the JJ trade would dictate. Maybe a slight bump in value for late 1sts that teams in 2nd round trade for and then a slight devaluation compared to the JJ trade chart later on in the draft but still closer to the JJ chart than any other I’ve seen.

  21. I don’t know. I’d say that’s true generally.. the Top 5 is a different animal. Washington overpaid to get to 1 for RG3 .. the Rams overpaid to get to 1 for Goff. Don’t forget the Browns moving up 1 spot for Trent Richardson. Also the Bears paid heavily to move up 1 spot for Trubisky.

    —–

    The first sentence of the 3rd paragraph: “I would say that, in general, the trades over the last several years for the most part have been, let’s call them within 5 to 10 percent, pretty equitable trades,”.

    He didn’t say they were ALL equitable. there will always be teams that get too eager and overpay. same thing with free agency.

  22. Every Indy racing team uses the same guidelines too, but some people are just smarter than others. Look at Joe Gibbs. He won 3 super bowls, and now his racing team is dominant. If you’re smarter than everyone else, you can beat them at anything. If you saw Gibbs’ offense in action, you can’t help but see the similarities between his and Belichick’s offense. Bill was one of the guys trying to stop it as Defensive Coordinator of the Giants. Stealing from the smart guys isn’t a bad idea. I’ve always wondered why more people don’t try to steal from Belichick/Gibbs. Just because they’re not big self-promoters, doesn’t mean they’re not smarter. It’s up to everyone else to figure that part out.

  23. BB misses on draft picks just like all GMs but his misses do not cost him an arm and a leg.Thats the difference. The RG3 trade set Washington back for years and the rams did not improve, seeing they wasted most of those picks also. BB builds teams that you cannot identify by just looking at them on paper, offensively or defensively.The majority of his misses only costed one pick, not multiple picks.

  24. Because the Patriots have been so good the last decade, they have only drafted once in the Top 20 in that period, Nate Solier at 17 in 2011. So all Belichick can do is look backwards.

    Belichick drafted Brady in the 6th. He also drafted the new Arizona Cardinals head coach, Kingsbury, in the 6th, 3 years after Brady.

  25. Mike Ditka gave up his entire draft to pick Ricky Williams… BB would never do that. He has the ammo to move up high in the draft but he puts his team, present and future, first.The experts say “BB should have resigned, drafted or overpayed such and such” and they ask him why. His answer is “I just repainted my boat”. He may not say it out loud but the look on his face speaks volumes.

  26. If you haven’t figured this out, you never will. It’s the back of the draft that wins you titles. Bill knows this. He’s been drafting there for more than 15 years. Accessing talent and heart in a pool of guys who are only a fraction off from one another is his brilliance. Any team can get a top 10 pick and make a no brainer selection based on need or if they’re a generational talent.

    Having Tom Brady doesn’t hurt either.

  27. Jimmy was a gambler. He picked Steve Walsh in the supplemental draft AFTER taking Troy Aikman with the 1st overall pick. That supplemental pick for Walsh cost them their 1st rounder, which ended up being the first overall. But wait- Jimmy wasn’t done yet. A few games into the 1990 season, Jimmy was able to then trade Walsh to New Orleans for their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd!! That 1st netted them Erik Williams. The two others? Traded to New England to re-secure the 1st overall selection, and chose Russell Maryland.
    In summary, Jimmy flipped a bust supplemental QB for 2x first rounders. So the Walker heist to Minnesota wasn’t the only ace up his sleeve.

  28. radrntn says:
    April 11, 2019 at 9:38 am
    what is his overall coaching record without Tom Brady again? Oh thats what I thought.

    —————

    The BB vs Brady debate is futile. It’s pretty clear if you look at any NFL dynasty the QB and coach together were a key part. Belichick could win without Brady, but not nearly as much. Brady could win elsewhere, but the other 52 guys would also have to be good. If the OL is bad then no QB can look good.

  29. senileoldfart says:
    April 10, 2019 at 10:00 pm
    Going back to Jimmy Johnson, he pulled off the greatest heist in NFL history when he traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for 5 players and 8 draft picks in exchange for Walker and 4 future draft picks. Johnson had determined that Walker was vulnerable to being knocked off his feet within his first few steps because he wasn’t real quick off the mark and his legs weren’t strong enough to break tackles. Anyway, Dallas used those draft picks in building a team that won 3 Super Bowls. Walker never distinguished himself as a running back and Minnesota never amounted to much for years after that trade.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Why Mike Lynn, GM of the Vikings at that time, isn’t in the Cowboys Ring of Honor, is beyond me.

  30. SAS721 says:
    April 11, 2019 at 1:58 am
    Much respect for BB. But honestly drafting becomes so much easier when you never have to worry about who your starting QB is. I would love to see if BB can have success without TB
    ————————————————————————–
    Ummmmmmm….. he did that already. He drafted Brady, played him over Bledsoe.. history…

  31. Belichick has consistently employed two strategies in team building: (1) stockpile as many draft picks as possible to increase the likelihood of adding a few contributing players to the roster each year; (2) trade draft picks for more easily evaluated and proven veterans.

  32. belichick uses the other peoples charts when it suits him, he uses his own when it suits him. And he rarely picks outside of the bottom 8, so it might not matter too much.

  33. mikespillane337 says:
    April 11, 2019 at 8:55 am
    Mike Ditka gave up his entire draft to pick Ricky Williams… BB would never do that. He has the ammo to move up high in the draft but he puts his team, present and future, first.The experts say “BB should have resigned, drafted or overpayed such and such” and they ask him why. His answer is “I just repainted my boat”. He may not say it out loud but the look on his face speaks volumes.

    ——————-

    Roster depth seems to be de-prioritized by many teams. Great players are sidelined for every team by the end of the year. It’s just a fact of life in the NFL. Teams that rely only on talent (Bengals for example) and not scheme, system, coaching or player intelligence generally can`t replace the parts that go missing as the year progresses and can`t win consistently late in the season or in the playoffs.

  34. Hoodie knows the game. First round picks are better for others to overspend on due to the salary structure. 2nd round down have a better structure, also the players better match their expectations. Except for the rare exception, e.g. Sony Michel this year. Note how he picks up veterans and doesn’t oversign them, because he gets 3rd round compensatory picks and the like. Doesn’t use the franchise tag. Screws the team. Can’t trade the player for value, overpaid. Better to let them walk and get comp. Watch and learn.

  35. radrntn says:
    April 11, 2019 at 9:38 am
    what is his overall coaching record without Tom Brady again? Oh thats what I thought.

    4 17 Rate This

    ——————-

    1. He drafted and developed Brady.
    2. Matt Cassel 11-5 in 2009.
    3. He never had say who his qb was in Cleveland.

    That is what smart people think.

    lol

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!