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In ESPN The Magazine's NFL Draft Issue, I edited our graphical look at the best-drafting NFL franchises since 1994.

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  • 64 ESPN The Magazine 04/29/2013 i l lustrat ion by JOSUE EVILLA FROM LEFT: K IM KLEMENT/USA TODAY SPORTS; STEVE MITCHELL/USA TODAY SPORTS; KEVIN REECE/AP IMAGES; ALLEN KEE/GETTY IMAGES

    THE BEST-DRAFTING TEAM IS To uncover which teams have been the wisest pickers since the NFL draft went to seven rounds in 1994, we turned to Pro Football References Approximate Value metric (see right). Turns out, the six franchises atop our rankings have won 11 of the past 13 titles. In other words, the Super Bowl really is won in April. NEIL PAINE

    0

    -30

    +50

    WHATS AV? AV is an approximate measure of a players value within a given season or career. To calculate AV, Pro Football Reference first accounts for how good or bad a given team was on offense/defense (relative to the league average), then assigns an approximate value to each player based on his contributions to that team, using metrics like games started, Pro Bowls and All-Pros, along with stats particular to each position.

    WHATS SURPLUS AV? For a player, its calculated by subtracting the expected value of his draft slot (Expected AV) from his actual value (Career AV). For example, Tom Bradys Career AV (178.0) exceeds the Expected AV of the No. 199 pick (7.9), giving him a +170.1 Surplus AV. For a team, Surplus AV per yearthe metric by which every team is rankedis the Surplus AV of all its picks divided by the number of drafts in which it participated since 1994. The equation:

    SUR

    PLU

    S AV

    /YEA

    R

    WHAT'S AV?

    CAREER AV( YEARS EXPECTED AV ) SURPLUS AV/YEAR

    HOW WE RANKED THEM

    PACK

    ERS

    STEE

    LERS

    COLT

    S

    RAVE

    NS

    PATR

    IOTS

    GIAN

    TS

    SEAH

    AWKS

    JETS

    BRON

    COS

    EAGL

    ES

    OILE

    RS/T

    ITAN

    S

    49ER

    S

    FALC

    ONS

    PANT

    HERS

    COW

    BOYS

    VIKI

    NGS

    BEAR

    S

    BILL

    S

    BUCC

    ANEE

    RS

    JAGU

    ARS

    DOLP

    HINS

    RAM

    S

    CHAR

    GERS

    CHIE

    FS

    BENG

    ALS

    CARD

    INAL

    S

    TEXA

    NS

    REDS

    KINS

    SAIN

    TS

    RAID

    ERS

    LION

    S

    BROW

    NS

    1

    2

    3

    Since 1994 the Packers have drafted 22 Pro Bowlers, despite averaging the

    second-lowest first-round slot in the NFL. Their knack for finding contributors in the later rounds, most notably sixth-rounder Matt Hasselbeck (+95.2 Surplus AV) and seventh-rounder Donald Driver (+88.3), is a big reason theyve won the second-most games of any team over this span.

    The Rams picks have accumulated the seventh-highest Career AV since 1994.

    So why is the team's ranking so mediocre? The Rams have also had the leagues most valuable collection of picks, with an average first-round selection between No. 13 and 14 overall.

    Thanks to their penchant for trading picks in exchange for overvaluedand often

    unproductiveveterans, the Redskins have made the second-fewest picks per draft (6.8), and their Expected AV per year is the lowest in the NFL over this span (102.5).

    +45.

    7

    +45.

    3

    +42.

    2

    +39.

    9

    +28.

    6

    +21.

    2

    +20.

    8

    +18.

    6

    +17.

    6

    +16.

    6

    +15.

    2

    +14.

    7

    +14.

    1

    +13.

    6

    +12.

    1

    +11.

    3

    +10.

    6

    +10.

    4

    +10.

    2

    +9.2

    +8.1

    +2.6

    +2.2

    +1.3

    +0.8

    +0.4

    -0.3

    -4.4

    -7.0

    -9.7

    -23.

    9

    -28.

    3

    1

    2

    3

    From left: Ronde Barber, Jason Taylor and Matt Hasselbeck.

    BEST

    WORST

  • NO. 3BROOKS+152.4

    NO. 5OWENS+143.9

    NO. 1LEWIS+183.3

    NO. 2BRADY+170.1

    To determine each franchises best picks since 1994, we once again turn to Surplus AV: the difference between what a player has actually produced in his NFL career and what he was expected to produce based on his draft slot. Naturally, some of the most valuable picks are those who come later in the draft, since much less was expected of them.

    THE BEST PICKS ARE

    0

    +100

    +200

    +300

    SUR

    PLU

    S AV

    NO. 4MANNING

    +146.4

    FR

    OM

    LE

    FT: P

    AU

    L S

    PIN

    EL

    LI/A

    P IM

    AG

    ES

    ; TOM

    DIP

    AC

    E (4

    )

    49ER

    S

    BEAR

    S

    BENG

    ALS

    BILL

    S

    BRON

    COS

    BROW

    NS

    BUCC

    ANEE

    RS

    CARD

    INAL

    S

    CHAR

    GERS

    CHIE

    FS

    COLT

    S

    COW

    BOYS

    DOLP

    HINS

    EAGL

    ES

    FALC

    ONS

    GIAN

    TS

    JAGU

    ARS

    JETS

    LION

    S

    PACK

    ERS

    PANT

    HERS

    PATR

    IOTS

    RAID

    ERS

    RAM

    S

    RAVE

    NS

    REDS

    KINS

    SAIN

    TS

    SEAH

    AWKS

    STEE

    LERS

    TEXA

    NS

    OILE

    RS/T

    ITAN

    S

    VIKI

    NGS

    From 1995 to 1997, the Bucs and Dolphins made four of

    the 10 best picks of the past 19 years. Among the

    groupTampa Bays Derrick Brooks (third-best pick, +152.4 Surplus AV) and

    Ronde Barber (No. 8, +132.3), and Miamis Thomas

    (No. 6, +137.2) and Jason Taylor (No. 7, +133.9)only Brooks was selected before

    the third round.

    The backbone of the Ravens No. 4 overall ranking is the

    recently retired Lewis, whose +183.3 Surplus AV is the

    highest of any player since 1994. For now. Patriots

    sixth-round gem Tom Brady (+170.1) needs only one

    more good season to beat his perpetual rival a final time.

    TERR

    ELL

    OWEN

    S

    +14

    3.9

    BRIA

    N U

    RLAC

    HER

    +98.

    8

    CHAD

    JOH

    NSO

    N

    +71

    .8

    ERIC

    MOU

    LDS

    +

    51.1

    TOM

    NAL

    EN

    +

    105.

    4

    AND

    RA D

    AVIS

    +40.

    3

    DER

    RICK

    BRO

    OKS

    +

    152.

    4

    ANQU

    AN B

    OLD

    IN

    +62

    .3

    DRE

    W B

    REES

    +

    125.

    0

    TON

    Y GO

    NZA

    LEZ

    +1

    22.8

    PEYT

    ON M

    ANN

    ING

    +1

    46.4

    LARR

    Y AL

    LEN

    +

    81.9

    ZACH

    TH

    OMAS

    +13

    7.2

    BRIA

    N D

    AWKI

    NS

    +1

    13.2

    TOD

    D M

    CCLU

    RE

    +7

    2.9

    TIKI

    BAR

    BER

    +8

    5.2

    MAU

    RICE

    JON

    ES-D

    REW

    +59

    .4

    JAM

    ES F

    ARRI

    OR

    +73

    .4

    JOH

    NN

    IE M

    ORTO

    N +

    45.0

    MAT

    T H

    ASSE

    LBEC

    K

    +

    95.2

    STEV

    E SM

    ITH

    +

    89.5

    TOM

    BRA

    DY

    +

    170.

    1

    LA'R

    OI G

    LOVE

    R

    +1

    00.3

    ISAA

    C BR

    UCE

    +101

    .9

    RAY

    LEW

    IS

    +

    183.

    3

    CHAM

    P BA

    ILEY

    +94

    .3

    JAH

    RI E

    VAN

    S

    +7

    5.8

    KEVI

    N M

    AWAE

    +91.

    2

    HIN

    ES W

    ARD

    +

    97.4

    OWEN

    DAN

    IELS

    +38

    .7

    DER

    RICK

    MAS

    ON

    +

    95.3

    RAN

    DY M

    OSS

    +11

    8.8

    12

    2

    3

    Three of our six best picks everRay Lewis, Zach

    Thomas and Terrell Owenscame in the 1996 draft. So

    did Marvin Harrison (+117.5 Surplus AV), Brian Dawkins (+113.2) and LaRoi Glover (+100.3), making the class

    of 1996 the best overall draft we charted.

    1 2 3

  • NO. 4ROGERS

    -67.1

    NO. 6WADSWORTH

    -59.9

    NO. 1LEAF-76.0

    NO. 2CARTER

    -75.0

    NO. 5 SHULER

    -65.4

    THE WORST PICKS ARE 49

    ERS

    BEAR

    S

    BENG

    ALS

    BILL

    S

    BRON

    COS

    BROW

    NS

    BUCC

    ANEE

    RS

    CARD

    INAL

    S

    CHAR

    GERS

    CHIE

    FS

    COLT

    S

    COW

    BOYS

    DOLP

    HINS

    EAGL

    ES

    FALC

    ONS

    GIAN

    TS

    JAGU

    ARS

    JETS

    LION

    S

    PACK

    ERS

    PANT

    HERS

    PATR

    IOTS

    RAID

    ERS

    RAM

    S

    RAVE

    NS

    REDS

    KINS

    SAIN

    TS

    SEAH

    AWKS

    STEE

    LERS

    TEXA

    NS

    OILE

    RS/T

    ITAN

    S

    VIKI

    NGS0

    -100

    -200

    -300

    SUR

    PLU

    S AV

    R

    EGGI

    E M

    CGRE

    W -

    39.0

    CU

    RTIS

    EN

    IS -

    54.1

    K

    I-JA

    NA

    CART

    ER -

    75.0

    MIK

    E D.

    WIL

    LIAM

    S -4

    0.1

    MAR

    CUS

    NAS

    H -

    35.7

    T

    IM C

    OUCH

    -56

    .3

    GAIN

    ES A

    DAM

    S -2

    5.4

    AN

    DRE

    WAD

    SWOR

    TH -

    59.9

    R

    YAN

    LEA

    F -7

    6.0

    SYL

    VEST

    ER M

    ORRI

    S -3

    5.6

    TREV

    ALB

    ERTS

    -59

    .7

    D

    WAY

    NE

    GOOD

    RICH

    -27

    .9

    YA

    TIL

    GREE

    N -

    45.1

    BER

    NAR

    D W

    ILLI