Long-time reader, first-time poster. There's been a lot of talk this offseason and last about transactions and potential transactions involving draft picks and whether those transactions are worth the price. Examples are Wes Welker (was he worth a second rounder?) and Deion Branch, as well as rumored trades involving Randy Moss and Lance Briggs. The question that I wanted to hear your thoughts on (since many of the posters here are very knowledgeable about football) is how much is a draft pick really worth? In this era of the salary cap, the units of currency might best be considered dollars against the cap. I would propose one measure of the value of a draft pick: the difference between what the team would have to pay the player if he (and he alone among the draft class) were allowed to shop himself as an unrestricted free agent and what they actually pay him. For example, to figure out the value of the Maroney pick last year, guess how much Maroney would have received as a UFA (perhaps $20M over 5 years?) and subtract the amount he actually received (around $10M over 5 years), and the value of the pick works out to very roughly $10M over the 5 years. That makes for some interesting analysis. For example, the combined value of the contract and draft pick the Seahawks payed for Branch may be around $50M over 6 years (what were they thinking?). Also, one could argue (as some have including Bob Kraft) that draft picks at the end of the first round are more valuable than those at the beginning of the first round. The reason for this could be that the teams feel so much pressure to sign an early first-round draft pick that they cannot take advantage of the exclusivity they have to press the player for a below-UFA deal. Any thoughts?