Thursday’s shocking trade by New York Giants general manager Joe Schoen, who sent Kadarius Toney to the Kansas City Chiefs for two draft picks, has had the football world buzzing since it was announced. In exchange for Toney, the Giants received a compensatory third-round pick which the Chiefs received following the hiring of Ryan Poles as general manager of the Chicago Bears, as well as the Chiefs’ sixth-round pick in of the 2023 NFL Draft.
There has been a wide range of opinions on the trade among Giants fans. Some argue that since Toney was a first-round pick (No. 20), getting anything other than a first back meant the Giants weren’t given equal value in the trade. If Toney had been as successful as other 2021 first-round picks…say, Micah Parsons or Rashawn Slater (to put salt in the wound for those who didn’t like the Dave Gettleman trade that led to Toney’s choice), this argument might have some merit.
Ranking by approximate value
But Toney was an undervalued asset – a player who couldn’t stay on the field, appearing in just 12 of 24 games and having just two standout performances, in back-to-back games against New Orleans and Dallas in 2021. What value should we assign to that? Pro Football Reference calculates an approximate value (weighted from most successful to least successful years to emphasize the former) for each NFL player which is effectively a combined assessment of how much the player has played and how good he was when he played. Their current weighted AV for Toney is 3. That’s tied for 66th with 18 other players among 2021 rookies. Here are the other players whose performances are judged by PFR to have been of comparable value to Toney so far. here :
Perhaps you see names in this list that you would have been happy to trade directly for Toney. But if so, then either these are players who are expected to be very successful (e.g. RB Khalil Herbert) or you’re probably judging mainly by your view of them before the game. repechage. The AV of these players tells us that despite the pedigree of some of them (the list includes four other first-round players), their performance to date in the NFL has been disappointing, or inconsistent, or both.
If the NFL were to reformulate 2021 and rank exactly by AV, Toney would equate to an upper-middle pick in Round 3. So by that metric, getting a late Round 3 pick (likely near No. 100, since compensating picks are added at the end of each round) plus a pick from round 6 seems like a reasonable carry.
A common sentiment seen on Twitter over the past 24 hours is that since the Round 3 pick is a compensation pick and therefore at the end of Round 3 it is actually just a fourth round. This is objectively incorrect, of course. But here’s another way to look at it. The New York Football Giants sit today with a 6-1 record, the second-best in the NFL. If you think they’ll end up anywhere near that lofty rank by the end of the season, then they’ll be drafted somewhere near the 90-96 picks in Round 3 next year. is the case, then the resulting compensation pick for Toney may be within 10 picks of their own third-round pick.
Business Value Charts
Another way to approach the question is to ask what the draft picks acquired by Schoen correspond to. There are many trade value tables for this purpose. Most often cited is Jimmy Johnson’s chart, which assigns excessively high value to high draft picks and almost no value to late draft picks. There’s no science behind that chart — it simply reflected what Johnson thought was right and what the prevailing opinions of NFL insiders were at the time.
We now know that high draft picks are greatly overvalued and lower draft picks are undervalued by most people. A more objective approach to business value was created by Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald and Pro Football Focus’ Brad Spielberger. Their approach was to let the spending behavior of the NFL determine the value: the salary paid to each rookie at the end of their rookie contract was their measure of how good the NFL itself considers each rookie to have been once that they had the chance to play. in the NFL. The resulting Fitzgerald-Spielberger graph is much flatter than Jimmy Johnson’s graph:
If we use this chart to evaluate the trade, this is what we get. Let’s assume, for illustration purposes, that the comp pick is #100 and the Chiefs’ round 6 pick is #224. The combined value of these picks is 666 + 258 = 924 points. According to the chart, that’s roughly equivalent to pick No. 60, at the end of the second round. Actually getting a late second-round pick for a first-round pick who’s played in half of his team’s games? Not bad.
Another way to look at the picks Schoen got is to ask what types of players were drafted in those stages. The always informative NYGfaninCLT provided information on players drafted into the third-round and early-fourth-round pick lineup over the past two years:
It all comes down to whether Giants fans trust Schoen to find good value late on Day 2 of the draft. Schoen drafted tight end Daniel Bellinger at No. 112 this year, and he is arguably the best of all TEs drafted in 2022, despite being the sixth selected. Dane Belton, drafted at No. 114, is part of the regular rotation of safeties used by Wink Martindale.
Other gems found late in Round 3 and early in Round 4 over the past two years include Houston running back Dameon Pierce (505 yards, 3 TDs, 81.7 PFF), center Denver’s Quinn Meinerz, rated 80.0 by PFF in a part-time role this year, edge defenseman Baron Browning (3 sacks and a 70.7 PFF rating this year) and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown of Detroit (90 receptions, 912 yards, 5 touchdowns last season).
As for the sixth round, it’s worth remembering that as of the 2022 draft, the Giants’ Darrian Beavers were on course to get some important snaps at linebacker this season before his injury. Offensive lineman Jamaree Sayer claimed the starting left tackle position for the Chargers following Rashawn Slater’s season-ending injury. Round 6 of the 2021 draft included running backs Elijah Mitchell, who won the starting job for the 49ers over third-round pick Trey Sermon, and Khalil Herbert, who rotates as a starting RB for Chicago. No Giants fan will forget goaltender Trey Smith, the Chiefs’ starter since entering the league. And Giants fan favorite edge defenseman Quincy Roche was a sixth-round selection by Pittsburgh.
Maybe Toney will play as soon as Kansas City comes back from his goodbye a week from Sunday, stay healthy and become the otherworldly receiving threat we all saw he had the potential for. be. Or maybe he will continue to hurt himself and wear down his home in Kansas City as quickly as he did at 1925 Giants Drive. There’s no way of knowing right now, just like there’s no way of knowing if the picks Joe Schoen has acquired for him will produce one or two great giants of the future. But the murky crystal ball we have right now indicates that it was fair trade.
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