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Draft trade values: Arizona Cardinals

4/26/2010

NFC West teams made 15 trades involving 2010 NFL draft choices. I've consulted the draft-value chart and crunched numbers to see how the 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals and Rams valued picks -- and players.

The value chart isn't infallible. Some teams are happy to sacrifice chart value when they know -- or at least strongly feel -- as though a move will position them to draft an uncommon talent.

The chart does provide a reference point for a team-by-team look at trades involving 2010 picks. I'll begin with trades made by the two-time defending NFC West champs.

Arizona Cardinals

Trade with Patriots: The chart says Arizona paid a 35-point premium in moving up from the 58th overall choice to the 47th choice, used to draft TCU linebacker Daryl Washington. New England received the 47th pick (430 points) for the 58th (320 points) and 89th (145 points) picks. The 35-point difference is the equivalent of the 142nd overall choice, which the Chiefs used to draft Troy linebacker Cameron Sheffield.

The disparity doesn't matter so much if the Cardinals valued Washington as a player worth drafting, say, among the top 43 overall choices (the 43rd choice is valued at 470 points).

As Bill Belichick told Sirius radio before the draft: "It looks like there are a few players that are kind of the consensus that will go in the top eight, top 10, and after that I get the feeling that there is quite a big swing of who likes who. Some teams could draft a player in the teens that other teams wouldn't take until the 30s, and vice versa."

The key is manipulating those disparities to one's advantage. It's possible New England and Arizona both did this in the same trade, given that the Cardinals selected Washington during a run on linebackers and it's quite possible Washington wouldn't have been available at No. 58.

McFadden trade: The Cardinals also traded cornerback Bryant McFadden and the 195th overall choice to the Steelers for the 155th choice. The chart says the Cardinals and Steelers valued McFadden the same as the 191st overall pick (16 points), which the Bengals used for Kansas receiver Dezmon Briscoe. Arizona appears worse off for making this move, but if McFadden wasn't going to start, he would have been overpaid as a third corner. He did rework his deal for the Steelers. Players are often more willing to do that for their new teams than for their old ones.

Saints trade: The Cardinals traded the 123rd overall choice (49 points) to the Saints for the 130th (42 points) and 201st (12 points) picks. The difference -- five points in the Cardinals' favor -- equates to the 218th pick, which the Bears used for West Texas A&M tackle J'Marcus Webb.

Pre-draft trades: The Cardinals gave up the equivalent of the 123rd overall choice (49 points) for safety Kerry Rhodes. They netted the equivalent of the 84th overall choice (170 points) in sending Anquan Boldin to the Ravens.