The NFL Draft is here, along with the immense pressure placed on the league’s 32 franchises to get things right. The decisions made over the course of draft weekend have major implications for how the coming campaigns play out on NFL fields. Those who have performed the worst in the NFL Draft over the last five years have felt the brunt of those blunders.

To measure who exactly has received the least amount of value from their draft picks over the last half-decade, I utilized Pro Football Reference’s Weighted Approximate Value (wAV), which measures “the seasonal value of a player at any position from any year.” The weighted element also balances the input of a player’s best and worst seasons. I added up the wAV of each player selected by each team in the 2018 through 2022 NFL Drafts to determine the total value of all picks made in the last five Aprils. These are my findings.

Disclaimer: This isn’t the only way to look at things. You could have a team that has been very efficient with its draft picks, but because it didn’t trade for more or shipped out some for other assets, its cumulative wAV number was affected. Conversely, loads of mid-level picks and busts could yield an inflated wAV total for a team that made tons of selections but struck gold on a small percentage. Plus, this doesn’t take into account where a team drafts – if you have one of the best rosters in the NFL, loaded with talent that goes on deep playoff runs every year, you’re probably picking late in most rounds, and your newly-acquired draftees are less likely to break through into the lineup, thus depressing your wAV stat.

However, I think this metric does a good job of painting the overall impact the last five drafts have had on each team in the NFL. Whether you pick first or 32nd, you have to live with the repercussions of how well that player fits into your system. Even if there are perfectly good explanations for a team to have a higher or lower wAV from the last five years, that doesn’t make it any less real. The NFL Draft doesn’t snake for a reason. Teams that win are supposed to eventually drop down to teams that used to lose. The best teams should have the worst drafts.

Enough arguing with myself. Let’s enjoy the show or lack thereof.

5 Worst NFL Draft Teams of the Last 5 Years

5: Tennessee Titans – 250 wAV

Tennessee’s 2019 draft went pretty well. Jeffrey Simmons and A.J. Brown, the team’s first and second-round selections, have already been to two Pro Bowls each, and in all, that class has yielded the franchise with 15 seasons worth of primary starters. In total, 2019 makes up 128 of the team’s 250 cumulative wAV since 2018.

But the Titans only had four picks in 2018, and only one of their six draftees from 2020, Kristian Fulton, became a primary starter at his position. Tennessee made 17 combined draft decisions in 2021 and 2022, with eight of those in the drafts’ first 100 picks. If some of those players pan out nicely, this will look much different down the road. But 2018 and 2020 have the Titans here, at least for now.

4: Kansas City Chiefs – 249 wAV

The Chiefs have been to every AFC Championship Game since 2018 and won two Super Bowls in that time. They have had bottom-priority picks for years, and their team is already full of NFL stars. My five-year cutoff also excludes the Patrick Mahomes draft class by one year. It makes sense that they’d be low on this metric’s list.

Each year, Kansas City has added some starters to its team through the draft. But the Chiefs haven’t generated any big hits yet, just a handful of decent pickups each time out that are surrounded by duds. Last April was the only draft of the last five in which Kansas City had more than six picks, adding 10 players to its arsenal. Perhaps that class, currently headlined by seventh-rounder Isiah Pacheco and first-rounder George Karlaftis III, will carry the Chiefs out of this bottom five.

3: New York Jets – 224 wAV

Considering how high the Jets have been picking the last five years, this is absolutely disgusting.

Despite drafting in the top four in four of the last five Aprils, New York has still been one of the worst teams on draft day in the past half-decade. The Jets aren’t down here because they whiffed on all of those early opportunities – Quinnen Williams and Sauce Gardner already have All-Pro distinctions to their names. But there have been a ridiculous number of misses otherwise on the enormous amount of picks this franchise has made in recent drafts.

Dating back to 2018, the Jets have made 38 draft picks, but those have only accounted for 28 seasons worth of primary starters. The 2020 draft is looking like a fantastic flop, with nine players returning an output of just 33-total wAV for New York. There are some exciting prospects from the last two drafts, but it’s impossible to ignore what looks like a bad decision to take Zach Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in 2021.

As the 2021 and 2022 classes phase further into the lineup, perhaps the Jets will reap rewards. But there’s no question that they’ve been one of the worst drafting teams in the NFL for years now.

2: Houston Texans – 205 wAV

Tytus Howard, Houston’s first-round pick in 2019, has offered the franchise the best wAV of any player it has selected in the last five drafts: 23. In 2020, the Texans added only two-seasons worth of primary starters to their roster. This team has not maximized its opportunities on draft day.

It also hasn’t had very many. Between 2018 and 2021, the Texans made just one first-round pick: Howard in 2019. Houston shipped its 2018 first-rounder to Cleveland in 2017 for the pick it used to select DeShaun Watson, unknowingly giving away a top-five overall draft selection. The team’s 2020 and 2021 first-rounders were used to acquire Kenny Stills and Laremy Tunsil from the Dolphins, which included what became the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft.

Houston picked up plenty of draft capital by dumping DeShaun Watson onto the Browns, bringing that saga full circle, and made two first-round picks in 2022, with even more on the way in the coming Aprils. How the Texans use those picks over the next few years will have serious ramifications on their escape from the NFL’s basement.

1: New Orleans Saints – 168 wAV

If you moved the cutoff back by one year, the Saints could claim the 2017 draft that includes Alvin Kamara, Ryan Ramczyk, Marshon Lattimore, and Trey Hendrickson. But I only went as far back as 2018, which captures a long draft-day dry spell in New Orleans.

The Saints have not picked a player with a wAV of 25 or more in the last five years. Between the 2018 and 2022 drafts, New Orleans has only generated 22 seasons worth of primary starters, the joint-fewest in the league with the Rams. In 2019 and 2020, the Saints only made nine picks, and second-rounder Erik McCoy was the most impactful of the bunch. This team was also winning for the first half of the considered period, making the playoffs in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Even when it had picks, they weren’t especially high. Plus, Chris Olave, the team’s choice with the No. 11 overall pick in 2022, racked up more than 1,000 receiving yards in his rookie season and could blossom into something greater.

Still, the Saints have little to show on their return from the last five rounds of youth investment. Almost 60 percent of their picks between 2018 and 2021 have never become primary starters at their positions. New Orleans has not done well with their recent drafts, point blank. Based on wAV, this franchise has been the worst in the last five NFL Drafts.

NFL FAQs

How do you play football survival pool?

Players pick one team each week they think will win the game outright. They may only pick a team ONCE per season, meaning you can't pick the same team twice in one season. If their pick is correct, the player survives another week and continues to play. An incorrect pick eliminates the player from the contest entirely. This is sometimes called an elimination or suicide pool. The last person standing wins.

How to make a football pool?

A football pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use football pool hosting service like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

How to run a weekly football pool?

In order to run a football pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

What is a football survivor pool?

In a Football Survivor Pool, players choose one team weekly they think will win. Usually, a team can be picked one time per season. Picks are made "straight up," no spreads necessary. If a pick is correct, members survive another week. An incorrect pick eliminates the player, unless a mulligan is used.

How does a football pool work?

Football pools are games of skill played among a group of people. There are a variety of pool types to fit every players needs, from casual to competitive. Pool commissioners can set up pools manually, or use a hosting service like RunYourPool whiel still customizing your own settings. Some examples include NFL Squares, NFL Survivor, NFL Pick 'Em, and Playoff Brackets.

What is an NFL pickem pool?

In an NFL pick’em pool, simply pick the outcome of each NFL game throughout the season. You can pick straight up winners or losers, or pick each game against the spread.

How to play a football pool?

The way one plays a football pool varies on the game type. For example, in Survivor, you pick one team to win each week and can't pick that team again. Guess wrong and you lose. Another example is Pick'em Pools in which you simply pick every game each week.

How does a fantasy football pool work?

Fantasy football pools don’t involve a traditional fantasy football draft. You can have as many members in your pool as you’d like, meaning no more 12 or 14 team limits! You pick a new lineup of players each week, and once you use a player once, you can’t use them again for the rest of the season.

What is a fantasy football pool?

A fantasy football pool is similar to a traditional fantasy football league but without the draft. Pick a new lineup each week, and once you use a player, you can’t use them for the rest of the season. Your players will receive points based on their in-game stats, and the member with the most points at the end of the season is the winner.

What is a football pool?

"Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

How do football pool squares work?

There are different kinds of football square pools. Most have a 10x10 grid with one team for the rows and columns. In an attempt to win, participants select a square where they believe the last digit number of each team's score will intersect at the end of each quarter, and the game's end.

How do you play football squares pools?

To play a football squares pool, you're going to want to pick the squares with the best odds. As winners are determined by the point totals at the end of each quarter, try to consider options where scores are most common. Some of the most popular squares include 7-3, 7-0, 7-7, and 0-0. Numbers divisible by seven are good starting points.

How many squares in a football pool?

In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

How to play squares football pools?

Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

What is a football squares pool?

Also called Grid, Block, or Box Pools, Football Squares Pools can be played with any single game, but are most popular during the Super Bowl. Pool members claim squares on a 25, 50, or 100-square grid by putting their information in the square. Game scores are matched to the winning square(s), usually with winners being determined every quarter.

How to read a football pool sheet?

In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

How do you play football credits pool?

In the credits format, all players start with the same number of credits. Players make picks each week by risking a certain number of credits on games, assigning more credits to the picks with a higher confidence level. Members receive double the credits risked for each win. The member with the most credits at the end of the season wins.

What is a football credits pool?

In Football Credits Pools, players start with the same number of credits. They then make picks each week by risking a number of credits on games, assigning more to the picks they have more confidence in getting right. Members double credits risked for each win. The member with the highest credits at the end of the season wins.

How to run a football pool?

How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

How do you play football confidence pool?

A football confidence pool is played straight up, not with a point spread. Not only do members pick the winning teams, they must back up their picks by giving them a relative confidence ranking. Your score reflects the number of confidence points given to winning teams. So if your confidence for a team winning is '1', then you can only win one point at most. If your confidence for a team winning is '5', then you can win five points for a win. The member with the most credits at the end wins.

What is a football confidence pool?

"Football Confidence Pool" refers to how you rank the teams that you think will win each week. For example, in the NFL, there are often 16 games weekly. In this scenario, you would rank each game from 16 to 1, based on the your confidence in that team winning.

How do you play football margin pool?

Margin pools are an NFL pool format that rewards members for picking a winning team each week. Pool commissioners can decide whether they award points equal to a winning teams margin of victory or the point spread for that game. When a commissioner chooses the point spread option, this format is often referred to as an NFL Underdog Pool.

What is a football margin pool?

In a Football Margin Pool, you are awarded points for picking a winning team. Pool commissioners get to decide whether they award points equal to a winning teams margin of victory or the point spread for that game. The player with the most points at the end of the season wins.

How do you play football 33 point pool?

The football 33 pool format is a casual pool where members are each assigned an NFL team (these pools are 32 members max, as there are 32 NFL teams). Members win when their team scores 33 points. Options for changing the target score, or having the closest to the target win each week is also available.

What is a football 33 point pool?

In the football 33 pool format, each member is assigned a unique NFL team (32 members max). A member will win when their team scores 33 points. This is a casual pool where you can change the target score or the option to have the closest to the target that week win.

How to run a weekly football pool?

In order to run a football pool, you must first crown yourself as Pool Commissioner. Begin by picking a game type like Survivor or Pick'Em. You'll want to establish rules before inviting friends, family, and colleagues to join. As commissioner, you make the rules and also need to enforce them equally and fairly.

What is an NFL Playoff bracket pool?

NFL Playoff Bracket pools are simple NFL pool formats where members pick every round of the playoffs before they start in an attempt to predict every match up correctly. It's optional to configure a multiplier for each round, or add a tiebreaker option of total points in the Super Bowl.

How to make a football pool?

A football pool generally requires the creation of a shareable spreadsheet (like Google Sheets) so that members may pick teams. Then depending on the game type, creators must use several kinds of formulas (e.g. CountIF), data validation, and conditional formatting. Or, you can just use football pool hosting service like RunYourPool where we do all the work for you!

How to set up a football pool?

To set up a football pool, you'll need to first choose a pool type like Survivor or Pick'em. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As pool commissioner, you'll enforce these rules and make sure the game runs smoothly throughout the season. Many commissioners use pool hosting sites like RunYourPool to make it easier and more engaging.

What is a football power ranking playoff pool?

In a power ranking playoff pool, members rank all 12 NFL teams competing in the playoffs from strongest (12 points) to weakest (1 point). Picks are made only ONCE before any games begin. Members are awarded the number of points assigned to a team when they win. Commissioners can optionally set up a point multiplier for each playoff round.

What is a football confidence pool?

"Football Confidence Pool" refers to how you rank the teams that you think will win each week. For example, in the NFL, there are often 16 games weekly. In this scenario, you would rank each game from 16 to 1, based on the your confidence in that team winning. This is similar to the Playoff Pool Power Ranking, just less teams.

How to run a football pool?

How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

What is a football playoff precision pool?

In a playoff precision pool, members attempt to pick the winner of every playoff game each week. You can decide if it’s straight up or on a point spread picks, but point totals are also added. Points are awarded for correct picks AND for how close to the correct combined point total they were.

How to read a football pool sheet?

In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

What is a Super Bowl Prop Bets Pool?

A Super Bowl Prop Bet Pool is a fun and thrilling way to compete against friends and family during the big game! It's a simple questionaire of prop betting questions revolving around the Super Bowl, and whoever earns the most points based off correct answers wins!

How does a Super Bowl Prop Bets Pool work?

Pool members simply fill out a wide range of prop questions, each question worth a different value. Commissioners decide on the point value for each question, along with the amount of questions. Whichever member earns the most points based on corret answers wins the pool.

What is a football Super Bowl Squares pool?

Also called Grid, Block, or Box Pools, Football Squares Pools can be played with any single game, but are most popular during the Super Bowl. Pool members claim squares on a 25, 50, or 100-square grid by putting their information in the square. Game scores are matched to the winning square(s), usually with winners being determined every quarter.

What is a prop bet?

Prop bets are any sort of pick or wager on a game that has nothing to do with the score or the final score outcome. Props can range from game types, to team types and even player types - such as who will score the game's first and last touchdowns? Other props, such as novelty or exotic, feature bets on things such as the coin flip or the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

How to read a football pool sheet?

In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

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