Does an NFL player’s draft order mean a lot for the player?


This Thursday, April 28, college football players will be awaiting knowing their futures in the NFL.Every spring, roughly 250 college football players are drafted by NFL teams through the NFL draft.  Team rosters, careers, and multi-million dollar contracts are on the line ...  This is one of the biggest days of a football players life.

Should a football player be overly concerned with where in the draft order they will be picked?  How much does where they are drafted effect their earnings?  How does draft pick selection relate to player contracts?  Check out the graph below:

Click on this image to see it larger in a new window.

In this activity students interpret the graph relating draft pick number and contract value.  They consider key characteristics of the graph and bring those characteristics back to the context of the draft.  Students calculate a player's annual salary (factoring in agent fees, taxes and other expenses).  They consider how much being selected earlier or later, either by a few picks or rounds effects a player's earnings and if players should really be concerned with where in the order they are selected.  Older students can model and extrapolate the data with a quadratic, exponential or inverse function using our Excel file or our Desmos graph.  This data is from the 2018 draft.  You might ask students to predict what the graph of the 2019 or 2020 contracts might look like.  Will they look similar to or different from the 2018 graph?


CCSS: 6.EE.9, 8.F.3, HSF.LE.A.1

For members we have our editable Word docx, our Excel sheet of the data, and solutions.

NFLdraft-pick-contract-price2020.docx    NFLdraft-pick-contract-price2020-solution.pdf



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