2024 NFL Draft Capital: Which Teams Should Own the NFL Draft

The NFL Draft. It was invented to add players from college in a way that rewards the NFL’s worst teams more than the NFL’s best teams in an effort to maintain some semblance of competitive balance.

While prior year record dictates current year selections, several elements cause the distribution to be imbalanced every year.

For instance, trades cause some teams to be better off. Additionally, the overlooked (by most fans) world of compensatory selections allows some really good teams to have even more value than expected based on their finish the year before.

So which teams should own the 2024 NFL Draft?

The teams with the most draft capital.

2024 NFL Draft Capital Rankings:

Draft Capital RankTeamTotal Draft Value
1Arizona Cardinals112
2Washington Commanders103
3Chicago Bears82
4Los Angeles Chargers79
5New England Patriots78
6Atlanta Falcons75
7Green Bay Packers75
8Minnesota Vikings68
9Cincinnati Bengals68
10Los Angeles Rams66
11New York Giants65
12Philadelphia Eagles62
13Las Vegas Raiders62
14Jacksonville Jaguars61
15Tennessee Titans60
16Pittsburgh Steelers60
17San Francisco 49ers60
18Carolina Panthers59
19Indianapolis Colts58
20Buffalo Bills58
21Denver Broncos57
22New Orleans Saints57
23Baltimore Ravens55
24Tampa Bay Buccaneers54
25Houston Texans53
26Seattle Seahawks51
27New York Jets50
28Kansas City Chiefs49
29Detroit Lions47
30Dallas Cowboys46
31Miami Dolphins42
32Cleveland Browns28

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2024 NFL Draft Capital Visualization

The first few teams are not surprising. The teams that own the first five draft picks also rank in the top 5 in overall draft capital.

However, the last four teams in the top 10 in total draft capital don’t own any picks in the top 10.

The Packers don’t pick until No. 25 overall, but they own the seventh-most capital thanks to two factors: owning 11 overall draft picks and owning 5 picks in the first three rounds, giving them the fourth-most draft capital in the first three rounds.

That is a remarkable feat considering they don’t own any of the most valuable picks in the draft – nothing in the first 24 picks.

But how do we define draft capital?

The total number of picks isn’t a sound basis because first-round picks are worth substantially more than seventh-round picks.

To judge draft capital, we will rely on two very smart public models to create our own.

The first model is average performance delivered in a player’s first five years based on draft slot (the AV model created by Chase Stuart), and the second model is average dollars earned in non-rookie deals based upon draft slot (the OTC model created by Brad Spielberger & Jason Fitzgerald).

Several years ago, I focused on only the performance aspect when assessing draft capital. But then the guys at Over The Cap created the contractual valuation, and it seemed wise to incorporate the two together.

Performance. Dollars. Together into one metric, the Sharp Football Analysis Draft Value metric. But we’ll refer to it as simply “draft value” from here on out.

Arizona Cardinals Draft Capital

Clocking in with the most draft capital they’ve had in at least 25 years, the Arizona Cardinals lead the way in 2024 draft value.

For nearly a decade, between 2014-22, the Cardinals had below-average draft capital.

In 2019, they drafted Kyler Murray at No. 1 overall. In 2023, they drafted OT Paris Johnson Jr. at No. 6 overall.

But this year, they have more draft capital than either of those two drafts. They own three picks in the first 35 overall and have 108% more draft capital than average over the first three rounds.

Washington Commanders Draft Capital

The Washington Commanders don’t have much reason to thank Ron Rivera.

After three straight seasons which saw the team float in purgatory with 7 to 8 wins each year, the bottom fell out in his fourth and final year. The Commanders lost 8 straight games to close the year to end the season with a 4-13 record.

But Commanders fans can thank Rivera for landing them with the most draft capital in modern franchise history.

Washington has the No. 2 most draft capital of this year’s draft and, by far, the most for the organization in the last 25+ years.

Washington hasn’t been inside the top 5 in draft capital since 2000. Now, in addition to the No. 2 overall draft capital in this year’s draft, they possess 109% above average over the first three rounds.

Chicago Bears Draft Capital

Rounding out the top 3 are the Chicago Bears.

The Bears have the fewest picks in the draft (4), but they have the third-most draft capital of any team thanks to how high those picks are.

It is the most draft capital their franchise has held since 2003.

From 2019-2022, the Bears had below-average to league-worst draft capital. But last year they had the sixth-most, and now they have the third-most.

It is an exciting time to be a Bears fan rooting for the team to win their first playoff game since 2010.

Draft Capital Usage by Team, 2010-2024

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