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The History of McCloughan Draft Day Trades & Value

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Redskins GM Scot McCloughan has a history of wheeling and dealing on draft day, but what type of trades does he usually make and how successful is he with them?

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It's no secret that Scot McCloughan wants to trade down in this year's draft to acquire more picks.  He did it last year twice and if he wants to hit his goal of adding four more selections then he'll need to trade down two or three times this year as well.

With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to look at all of the trades that he's made in the past both to give us an idea of what kind of trades he makes and what kind of value he gets out of them in terms of draft picks and the actual players that he eventually selects with them.

In order to determine the value of the picks I used several draft value charts and tools.  Of course I used the old Jimmy Johnson trade chart.  However, we need to take those numbers with a grain of salt because they are based on the history of draft-day trading by teams and not the average of the actual value of the picks and the players selected with those picks.  Most of those trades also took place in a time when the NFL did not have a salary cap, free agency and when the draft was 12 rounds.

I also used Chase Stuart's (proprietor of Football Perspective) draft value chart that uses actual draft pick value based on the players selected at each pick according to approximate value, the median games started metric for each pick in Rotoviz's draft pick trade calculator and the values given to each pick by Smash Draft.com (the self-proclaimed #1NFL draft pick calculator on the internet).  These metrics give us a much better idea of the actual historical value of each pick.

I did not discount the value of future year picks even though teams obviously do when they make these deals.  I've looked around and researched it, and in my opinion there is really not a standard or a clean way of doing it.

For the actual value of the players I used Pro Football Reference's Career approximate value metric.  I listed the total career AV for each player up to this point and not just the value that the team that originally drafted the player got out of them.

I included all of the trades that were made by a McCloughan team when he was a personnel executive (Director of College Scouting, De Facto General Manager, General Manager and Senior Personnel Executive).  This gives us a bigger sample size and allows us to look at all of the trades that were made when he was a key decision-maker in his team's war rooms.

I did, however, delineate what his role was at the time of each trade, and at the end of this article I looked at his trends and results both as an executive in all capacities (including as GM) and just as a general manager.

I did not include his time in Green Bay because a) he was only a regional scout then, b) they really didn't make that many draft-day trades during his time there and c) it was about 20 years ago.

The trades are listed in order of McCloughan's team's original pick (i.e. the highest pick that was traded by his team in the deal).  The year that each trade was made in and the teams involved in them can be found in the header of each trade table.

1st Rounder Trades

2001 - Exec Round 1 Trade Down (Seahawks - 49ers)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 9, 88, 222 7, 191 1 Pick 3 to 2
Rounders 1st, 3rd, 7th 1st, 6th
Jimmy Johnson 1532.6 1515 17.6 1.01
CS Approx Value 27.3 23.4 3.9 1.17
Median GS 98.5 81.2 17.3 1.21
Smash Value 83.5 70.2 13.3 1.19
Wins (Out of 4) 4 0 4 4 to 0

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

Actual Players Selected: Koren Robinson, Heath Evans and Dennis Norman (66 AV) for Andre Carter and Menson Holloway (76 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: 49ers

  • A very good trade in terms of draft pick value that fell just short in terms of player value. 
2012 - Exec Round 1 Trade Down (Seahawks - Eagles)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 15, 114, 172 12 2 Picks 3 to 1
Rounders 1st, 4th, 6th 1st
Jimmy Johnson 1138.6 1200 -61.4 0.95
CS Approx Value 23.6 18.8 4.8 1.26
Median GS 83.6 72.3 11.3 1.16
Smash Value 73 55.2 17.8 1.32
Wins (Out of 4) 3 (AV, GS, SV) 1 (JJ) 2 3 to 1

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

Actual Players Selected: Bruce Irvin, Jaye Howard and Jeremy Lane (46 AV) for Fletcher Cox (38 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

  • Cox is easily the best player in the deal, but McCloughan won with quantity over quality.  This makes two first round trades where Scot's team only went down by a few spots.
2002 - Exec Round 1 Trade Down (Seahawks - Packers)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 28, 60 20, 156 0 Picks 2 to 2
Rounders 1st, 2nd 1st, 5th
Jimmy Johnson 960 879 81 1.09
CS Approx Value 21.9 17.9 4 1.22
Median GS 87.5 69.6 18.0 1.26
Smash Value 66.1 54.9 11.2 1.20
Wins (Out of 4) 4 0 4 4 to 0

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

Actual Players Selected: Jeremy Stevens and Anton Palepoi (24 AV) for Javon Walker and Aaron Kampman (108 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: Packers

  • A solid win in terms of draft value for McCloughan's Hawks, but a blowout loss in terms of player value. The 20th pick is just one slot away from the Redskins' pick and 28 is just about where the team would like to trade down to, so if there's a trade that his teams made that might reflect what you might see tonight it's this one.  I've also heard that one of the most famous draft value studies (Massey and Thaler) found that the bottom of the first round is where the most value in the draft is.

2007 - GM Round 1 Trade Up (49ers - Patriots)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 28 7 (Future), 110 Minus 1 Pick 1 to 2
Rounders 1st 1st (Future), 4th
Jimmy Johnson 660 1574 -914 0.42
CS Approx Value 13.4 26.9 -13.5 0.50
Median GS 56.3 88.6 -32.3 0.64
Smash Value 39.9 80.1 -40.2 0.50
Wins (Out of 4) 0 4 Minus 4

Trade Value Winner: Patriots

Actual Players Selected: Joe Staley (76 AV) for John Bowie and pick that was ultimately used to acquire Jerrod Mayo and Shawn Crable (59 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (49ers)

  • Possibly McCloughan's worst trade from a draft pick value stand point, but when it came to selecting the right players he came out on top with his selection of Joe Staley.  I arguably shouldn't have even counted the trade for Mayo because the Patriots used an additional pick to make that deal happen.

2nd Rounder Trades

2007 - GM Round 2 Future Picks Trade Up (49ers - Colts)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 29 (Future), 126 42 2 Picks 2 to 1
Rounders 1st (Future), 4th 2nd
Jimmy Johnson 686 480 206.0 1.43
CS Approx Value 17 10.8 6.2 1.57
Median GS 63.6 44.2 19.4 1.44
Smash Value 52.1 32.6 19.5 1.60
Wins (Out of 4) 4 0 4 4 to 0

Trade Value Winner: 49ers (McCloughan)

Actual Players Selected: Kentwan Balmer and Dashon Goldson (60 AV) for Tony Ugoh (20 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (49ers)

  • The trade value would probably flip if this pick was discounted.  Balmer was an absolute bust, but former Redskin Dashon Goldson saved the day for Scoty Mac in this case.

2009 - GM Round 2 Future Picks Trade Up (49ers - Panthers)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 17 (Future) 43, 111 Minus 1 Pick 1 to 2
Rounders 1st (Future) 2nd, 4th
Jimmy Johnson 950 542 408 1.75
CS Approx Value 16.9 16.2 0.7 1.04
Median GS 67.1 54.0 13.1 1.24
Smash Value 48.9 47.3 1.6 1.03
Wins (Out of 4) 4 0 Minus 4 4 to 0

Trade Value Winner: 49ers (McCloughan)

Actual Players Selected: Mike Iupati (59 AV) for Everette Brown and Mike Goodson (13 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (49ers)

  • Another case where discounting would affect the value, but nevertheless this was a big win for the 49ers.  McCloughan left a few weeks before the actual pick of Iupati was made, but draft boards are usually set by then, so I like to think he had a big hand in this pick.  Iupati is a McCloughan player if I've ever seen one too.

2012 - Exec Round 2 Trade Down (Seahawks - Jets)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 47, 154, 232 43 2 Picks 3 to 1
Rounders 2nd, 5th, 7th 2nd
Jimmy Johnson 459.8 470 -10.2 0.98
CS Approx Value 12.6 10.6 2 1.19
Median GS 46.0 43.4 2.6 1.06
Smash Value 41.6 32.2 9.4 1.29
Wins (Out of 4) 3 (AV, GS, SV) 1 (JJ) 2 3 to 1

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

Actual Players Selected: Bobby Wagner, Jaye Howard and Jeremy Lane (52 AV) for Stephen Hill (4 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

  • What a huge difference in player quality here.

2013 - Exec Round 2 Trade Down (Seahawks - Ravens)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 62, 165, 199 56 2 Picks 3 to 1
Rounders 2nd, 5th, 6th 2nd
Jimmy Johnson 321.2 340 -18.8 0.94
CS Approx Value 11.3 9 2.3 1.26
Median GS 38.1 33.9 4.2 1.12
Smash Value 38 27.4 10.6 1.39
Wins (Out of 4) 3 (AV, GS, SV) 1 (JJ) 2 3 to 1

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

Actual Players Selected: Christine Michael and pick that was ultimately used to acquire Jesse Williams (8 AV) for Arthur Brown (2AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

  • Another case where the antiquated Jimmy Johnson trade chart had the value wrong.  Marginal players were selected all around here, but Michael is the only one of them that has really made any sort of an impact.  Also, this is the fifth time on this list where we've seen McCloughan's team only trade down between two and eight spots.  That's 33% percent of his trades.  Keep that in mind for tonight and this weekend.

2011 - Exec Round 2 Trade Down (Seahawks - Lions)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 75, 107, 154, 205 57, 157, 209 1 Pick 4 to 3
Rounders 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th 2nd, 5th, 7th
Jimmy Johnson 334.2 366.4 -32.2 0.91
CS Approx Value 15.1 11.9 3.2 1.27
Median GS 42.9 41.9 1.1 1.03
Smash Value 51 39.6 11.4 1.29
Wins (Out of 4) 3 (AV, GS, SV) 1 (JJ) 2 3 to 1

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

Actual Players Selected: John Moffit, Kris Durham, Richard Sherman and Lazarius Levingston (52 AV) for Mikel Leshoure, Doug Hogue and Johnny Culbreath (7AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

A 3-to-1 trade value win (only loss according to the JJ chart) and using one of the picks to acquire one of the best (and most hated) players of the league in Richard Sherman can do all the talking for me here.

3rd Rounder Trades

2015 - GM Round 3 Trade Down (Redskins - Seahawks)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 95, 112, 167, 181 69 3 Picks 4 to 1
Rounders 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th 3rd
Jimmy Johnson 233.6 245 -11.4 0.95
CS Approx Value 13.7 7.6 6.1 1.80
Median GS 33.6 25.9 7.7 1.30
Smash Value 46.8 23.6 23.2 1.98
Wins (Out of 4) 3 (AV, GS, SV) 1 (JJ) 2 3 to 1

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Redskins)

Actual Players Selected: Matt Jones, Arie Koundijo, Kyshoen Jarrett and pick that was ultimately used to acquire Evan Spencer and a 2016 6th round pick (8 AV) for Tyler Lockett (9 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: This is technically currently a Seahawks win, but it's really too early to call, especially considering that the Redskins haven't even used all the picks they acquired from this deal yet.

  • McCloughan totally crushed it in terms of draft value with this trade, but the actual player value might be a different story.  This will be a very interesting trade to follow as time goes on.  Jones struggled last year -but the potential is there, we don't really know what the team has in Koundijo yet and now Jarrett's future is in doubt.  We also won't even know all the players on the Redskins' side until Saturday either.  However, Tyler Lockett is good enough to carry the day for the Seahawks all on his own.

4th Rounder Trades

2005 - GM Round 4 Trade Up (49ers - Eagles)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 94 102, 175 Minus 1 Pick 1 to 2
Rounders 3rd 4th, 6th
Jimmy Johnson 124 113.4 10.6 1.09
CS Approx Value 5.7 6.8 -1.1 0.84
Median GS 15.0 16.7 -1.7 0.90
Smash Value 18.1 23.5 -5.4 0.77
Wins (Out of 4) 1 (JJ) 3 (AV, GS, SV) Minus 3 1 to 3

Trade Value Winner: Eagles

Actual Players Selected: Adam Snyder (41 AV) for Sean Considine and Anttaj Hawthorne (17 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (49ers)

  • Another trade up that lost value where the resulting selection ended up saving the day.

5th Rounder Trades

2003 - 5th Round Trade Down (Seahawks - Packers)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 165, 203 147 1 Pick 2 to 1
Rounders
Jimmy Johnson 35.6 32.6 3 1.09
CS Approx Value 2.9 2.8 0.1 1.04
Median GS 8.0 6.1 2.0 1.32
Smash Value 12.1 10 2.1 1.21
Wins (Out of 4) 4 0 4 4 to 0

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

Actual Players Selected: Chris Davis and pick that was ultimately used to acquire veteran Norman Hand (6 AV) for James Lee (1 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (Seahawks)

  • I hesitated counting the value accrued from a veteran here, but it seemed like the best way to go about it.  Anyways, it's another win for McC and company.

2013 - Exec Round 5 Trade Up (Seahawks - Lions)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 137 165, 199 Minus 1 Pick 1 to 2
Rounders 5th 5th, 6th
Jimmy Johnson 37.5 37.2 0.3 1.01
CS Approx Value 3.3 3 0.3 1.10
Median GS 6.8 8.1 -1.3 0.84
Smash Value 11.3 12.4 -1.1 0.91
Wins (Out of 4) 2 (JJ, AV) 2 (GS, SV) 0 2 to 2

Trade Value Winner: Lions

Actual Players Selected: Jesse Williams (0 AV) for Sam Martin and Theo Riddick (19 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: Lions

  • A rare double loss for Scot.  At least the picks he gave up were of the late-round variety.

2015 - GM Round 5 Trade Down (Redskins - Saints)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 187, Future 187 167 1 Pick 2 to 1
Rounders 6th, 6th 5th
Jimmy Johnson 33.2 24.6 8.6 1.35
CS Approx Value 2.6 2 0.6 1.30
Median GS 7.1 4.7 2.4 1.50
Smash Value 11.4 7.7 3.7 1.48
Wins (Out of 4) 4 0 4 4 to 0

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (Redskins)

Actual Players Selected: Evan Spencer and 2016 6th Round Pick (0 AV) for Damian Swann (1 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: This is technically currently a Saints win, but it's really too early to call, especially considering that the Redskins haven't even used all the picks they acquired from this deal yet.

  • For counting purposes this one goes to New Orleans, but this is definitely a big "TBD" in my book because our fearless leader has been known to make magic with is late round choices.

7th Rounder Trades

2006 - GM Round 7 Trade Up (49ers - Jaguars)
Category Received Traded Difference Ratio
Pick #s 197 213, 236 Minus 1 Pick 1 to 2
Rounders 6th 7th, 7th
Jimmy Johnson 12.6 6.2 6.4 2.03
CS Approx Value 1.0 0.5 0.5 2.00
Median GS 3.2 3.2 0.1 1.03
Smash Value 4.7 4.8 -0.1 0.98
Wins (Out of 4) 3 (JJ, AV, GS) 1 (SV) 2 3 to 1

Trade Value Winner: McCloughan (49ers)

Actual Players Selected: Melvin Oliver (6 AV) for James Wyche and Dee Webb (1 AV)

Actual Player Value Winner: McCloughan (49ers)

Personnel Executive Trade Summary

# of Trades 15
# of Trade Downs 9
# of Trade Ups 6
Difference 3
Ratio 1.50

  • Fifty percent more trading down sounds good to me.
By Rd # of Trades
Trade Down Trade Up Difference
1st 4 3 1 2
2nd 5 3 2 1
3rd 1 1 0 1
4th 1 0 1 -1
5th 3 2 1 1
6th 0 0 0 0
7th 1 0 1 -1

  • There has definitely been a lot of trading in the first two rounds for McCloughan's clubs over the course of all of his years as an executive.

All Executive Received Traded Difference Ratio Win %
# of Picks 33 24 9 1.38 63%
Jimmy Johnson 7518.9 7825.4 -306.5 0.96 60%
CS Approx Value 188.3 168.2 20.1 1.12 87%
Median GS 657.3 593.6 63.73 1.11 80%
Smash Value 587.2 521.5 65.7 1.13 80%
Player Value 504 375 129 1.34 67%

  • That's an average value gain of 1.17 on the dollar and an average winning percentage of 73%.  Yeah, I'll take that.

General Manager Trade Summary

# of Trades 7
# of Trade Downs 2
# of Trade Ups 5
Difference -3
Ratio 0.40

  • Believe it or not, but Scot actually did a lot more trading up than trading down as the GM of the 49ers.

By Rd # of Trades
Trade Down Trade Up Difference
1st 1 0 1 -1
2nd 2 0 2 -2
3rd 1 1 0 1
4th 1 0 1 -1
5th 1 1 0 1
6th 0 0 0 0
7th 1 0 1 -1

  • Too many rounds in the red for my liking, but it looks like he is starting to change his philosophy with more trade downs (see last year and his statements about trading down in this year's draft).

GM Received Traded Difference Ratio Win %
# of Picks 12 11 1 1.09 43%
Jimmy Johnson 2699.4 2985.2 -285.8 0.90 71%
CS Approx Value 70.3 70.8 -0.5 0.99 71%
Median GS 245.8 237.2 8.66 1.04 71%
Smash Value 221.9 219.6 2.3 1.01 57%
Player Value 250 120 130 2.08 71%

  • The 2-to-1 player value ratio makes his total average ratio (1.19) even higher then it was as an executive in all capacities (including GM).  His average winning percentage dropped by about 9 points (64%) when we look at his performance as a GM, but 64% is nothing to sneeze at either. 

If you win more than sixty percent of the time in just about any competitive professional setting - no less in one of the biggest sports leagues in the history of the world - then you are pretty damn good at what you do, if not one of the best at it.  Scot McCloughan is both.