The NFL draft-value chart proved generally reliable in first-round trading Thursday night.
According to the chart, which serves only as a general guide, St. Louis sacrificed 50 value points to Dallas in the trade that sent the sixth pick from the Rams to the Cowboys for the 14th and 45th choices.
2012 Rams-Cowboys Trade
In theory, the Rams gave up the first corner drafted (Claiborne) for the third defensive tackle (Brockers) and a second-round choice.
How Dallas and St. Louis valued those players will largely determine how those teams fared in the trade, even without the second-round consideration. Both teams can come out ahead on their own scorecards, in other words.
Going strictly by the value chart, the Rams could have come out ahead by 18 points had they also secured the Cowboys' fourth-round choice, 113th overall. But they had already spent significantly on free-agent cornerback Cortland Finnegan. They had not spent as big on a defensive tackle in free agency. Their need at defensive tackle conceivably made Brockers more valuable to them than Claiborne would have been.
2012 Eagles-Seahawks Trade
The Seattle Seahawks ran a similar deficit in their trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, according to the value chart. They gave up the 12th overall choice, valued at 1,200 points, for the 15th, 114th and 172nd choices. The 60-point differential in chart value equates to the 117th overall choice.
Going by the players selected so far, the Seahawks landed the first defensive end drafted, while the Eagles took the second defensive tackle. The bigger question is whether Seattle was right in valuing Bruce Irvin as the first defensive end. But if Irvin truly was the best pass-rusher in this draft, and if the New York Jets or another team was going to draft him in the top 20 or so, the Seahawks came out of the trade just fine.
Brockers and Fletcher Cox were the other defensive linemen the Seahawks were considering when they traded back from the 12th spot. Both were gone when Seattle picked 15th; the Eagles took Cox at No. 12.
In other trades, the Cleveland Browns held a 2,200-1902.5 points edge in their trade with Minnesota. Jacksonville came out ahead by a 1,700-1,596 margin in a trade with Tampa Bay. Baltimore held a 658-640 edge over Minnesota. Cincinnati held a 808-800 edge on New England. Tampa Bay edged the Broncos 646-636; and New England edged Denver by a 720-646 score.
Again, the point totals do not reflect winners or losers. Teams value players differently. Teams have different needs and priorities. In some cases, teams trading back at a points deficit might have wound up selecting the same players they would have taken had they remained in the higher slot.