10 NFL Teams With the Best Odds of Winning the 2014 Draft

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Source: Marianne O’Leary / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s the Texans, right? The Houston Texans. They’re winning the 2014 NFL Draft. They’ve got the first overall pick. In some respects, they’ve already won. Right? If only the universe were so simple. Turns out, the reality is a little more complicated than that. Not to get all “math” on anyone, but the Approximate Value of each pick is far from the should-be-obvious “first pick is the best, then second, then third,” all the way down to the end of the seventh round.  Why the caps on “Approximate Value”? Because it’s “an attempt to put a single number on the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year (since 1950),” according to Pro Football Reference. The same way  people capitalize Player Efficiency Rating, or PER.

Anyway, AV isn’t limited to players — with some creative application of mathematics, it’s possible to figure out what each draft pick is worth, more or less. To do that, you start with the “Perceived AV which weights [a player's] best season 100%, next best 95%, 90%, etc,” per Pro Football Reference. Then, after calculating the Perceived AV for each position, you average those out to get the Average Approximate Value for each draft pick. You can read more than you want to about AV here (it’s actually really informative).

Make sense? You’re taking the average career score of each player to get drafted at each position in the draft since 1950, then figuring out which teams have which picks, and how many points each team is likely to accrue. Stat nerds for the win, basically. Check out the 10 teams that are the most likely to grab winners based on the historic value of each pick.

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