Guess the price of Andrew Luck

Following the discussion in another thread, I'm curious what you all think will be the final purchase price for the #1 pick in next year's draft. More specifically, what do you think it's worth in players/picks and what do you think it will ultimately go for if it comes down to the Rams trading it away.

I'm sorry to post yet another article about Andrew Luck, but the subject has gotten almost Lebronian. It's too fascinating to stop talking about. I am not advocating pursuit of Luck by the Redskins, nor do I think it's a realistic consideration.

Popular thinking about value

To get things moving, I will quickly recap the infamous pick value chart (, which prizes the top pick at 3000 points. Elsewhere:

600-2600 points for a 1st

250-600 for a second

100-250 for a 3rd

50-100 for a 4th


Recent examples

As others have pointed out, according to this chart the top pick is usually worth 2-3 lesser first round picks, depending on draft position. 

In the Redskins draft-day trade with Jax last year, for example, they traded the 10th pick (1300 points) for the 16th and 49th (1410 points). In 2009, the draft value chart suggests that Matthew Stafford was worth a little less than three Brian Orakpos. 

In the 2011 draft, the Atlanta Falcons paid about 2000 points in order to pick WR Julio Jones at number four.

In 2004, the Chargers actually got better than market value in the Eli Manning hostage negotiations, receiving about 3300 points in picks from the Giants. Those picks became Philip Rivers, Shawn Merriman, and Nate Kaeding.

The valuation is harder if you try to talk about veteran players. The price that the Raiders recently paid for Carson Palmer can be estimated at around 2000 points in this scheme. In trades from the last few years, we saw Jay Cutler go to the Bears for 1500 points, Jared Allen to Minnesota for 1350, Jason Peters to Philly for 750, and Brandon Marshall to Miami for 660. The Redskins paid about 560 points for Donovan McNabb, then traded him to the Vikings for about 40 points.


Extreme example

In Mike Ditka's famous trade for the right to pick Ricky Williams, he gave up almost 5000 points in draft value, giving away the Saints' entire 1999 draft and a 1st and 3rd rounder in 2000. There has been no higher total paid for a draft pick in the salary cap era- interesting that it was not paid for a top pick.


What are good veterans worth? What are elite veterans worth?

Jay Cutler and Jared Allen are good data points for blue-chip veteran players. I think most would agree that they were worth more than they got traded for.

Who is the most valuable player in the NFL? Based on youth and skill, Aaron Rodgers is a likely choice. That's an important data point, actually, because the list of NFL players more valuable than the Luck pick (context dependent though it is) is probably a short one. Joe Thomas, for example, is the premium player at the 2nd most valued position in football. Do you think the Browns would trade him for Andrew Luck? I don't know the answer; I'm personally leaning towards "no," but they'd have to think about it. The Cowboys have the best defensive end in football in Demarcus Ware- in a world where Tony Romo suffers a career-ending injury, would the Cowboys swap Ware for the Luck pick? My Texan friend Zach says no, but he also says that Tony Romo would regenerate like Wolverine and that fossils are something the Jews buried in 1924.

A franchise quarterback is the most valuable commodity in the NFL. What is one worth? Impossible to say- franchise quarterbacks only get traded by coaches who don't think they are franchise quarterbacks. Value is relative.


Perception of Andrew Luck's relative value

Some bloggers have argued that since Andrew Luck is the greatest thing to come out of college since Elway, he is worth substantially more than the average top pick, i.e. more than 3000 points. I have seen quotes of three 1st rounders and up, which for a rebuilding team could amount to 5000-6000 points (i.e. two Sam Bradfords).


What do you think?

If the pick gets traded, what will the package be? Will the seller get "full value?" Finally, what is full value? If you ranked the most valuable commodities in the NFL, presumably with Rodgers at the top, where do you think Luck would rank?

Correct guesses will win cash and prizes.

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