The NFL Positional Value Pyramid: A visual of Chiefs GM John Dorsey's production

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

From the FanPosts. This is really neat. -Joel

In 2010, Matt McGuire (Walter Football Draft Report) created the NFL Positional Value Pyramid. Although it was heavily inspired by Bill Simmons (and what would become Nate Silver's 538 staff) NBA Trade Value Chart most of the chart comes from the research and work of former Colts GM Bill Polian, former Dallas Cowboys Vice President and Player Personnel director Gil Brandt and founder of modern day scouting (and father of New England head coach) Steve Belichick.

The NFL Positional Value Pyramid has adjusted to various team schemes (3-4 vs 4-3 , Air Coryell vs Bill Walsh WCO). However the main principals in play are based on the following mathematical formula.

Note: Special Team Kickers , Kick Returners, Punters, Long Snappers were included at a bottom tier that is unlisted on my graph.


After the ROOKIE CONTRACT expires what is the Franchise Tag number given to the position (ie QB Brady vs DB Revis vs FB Leach )


This has more to do with how often this position (as a starter) is let go onto the market than draft. For example, the last time a "decent" starter became a free agent at QB was Drew Brees. The last time a "decent" starter at DT became available was Ndamukong Suh.


How many games does the average starter of this position play in a 16 game season?


This is more of a sub-component of durability. It’s based on teams win percentage if a player at a certain position goes down.


The formula's findings were that these were the 25 Most Valued Positions of the Collective 32 NFL Franchises.

Once again, the Pyramid has little to do with on-the field stats or never ending debates of "which position is tougher to play?" or "which position is more important?" We all can agree that Jamaal Charles is more important than Chris Conley and Husain Abdullah. The basics are on money, playing time and ability to land as a modern era street free agent.


For a larger view of the PYRAMID please click HERE.



The first thing that jumps out at John Dorsey's first three seasons is the top of the Pyramid. In the TOP TWO UPPER LEVELS, Dorsey has replaced three (Alex Smith, Sean Smith, Eric Fisher ) of the four main positions. In the TOP THREE UPPER LEVELS there are only two Pioli prospects (Justin Houston and Dontari Poe) remaining.


USA Today Sports - Joe Nicholson


All Three Dorsey first round selections have been TOP TIER selections (LT Eric Fisher, Edge Rusher Dee Ford, CB Marcus Peters) - positions that are cost effective in street free agency and hard to acquire in their respected value.


Of the 25 positions on the Pyramid, Dorsey has drafted eight starters (Eric Fisher, Marcus Peters, Travis Kelce, Phillip Gaines, Mitch Morse, De'Anthony Thomas, Demetrius Harris, Chris Conley). It's in my opinion that Conley has the best chance at starting outside. Even if it ends up being Albert Wilson, he's still a prospect acquired from Dorsey via "draft". Same should be said of Eric Kush. Harris, UDFA, is listed here as the No. 2 tight end. James O'Shaughnessy was also a draft prospect of Dorsey's so that is also indifferent.

Via street free agency and trade, John Dorsey has eight starters as well (Alex Smith, Sean Smith, Husain Abdullah, Mike DeVito, Ben Grubbs, Josh Mauga, Anthony Sherman)

This leaves us with nine players (Justin Houston, Dontari Poe, Eric Berry, Allen Bailey, Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson, Jamaal Charles, Donald Stephenson, Jeff Allen) who were part of the former Pioli regime (EDITED : or prior to the Pioli regime ) .


USA Today Sports - Kirby Lee


It goes without saying that Dorsey and co. haven't used this chart as a bible but they likely have a similar chart when handling executive decisions at hand. Because there was no "exit strategy" with Dwayne Bowe's offseason cut, the Chiefs had to pay the piper with Jeremy Maclin.

That being said, Dee Ford's draft allowed KC to restructure with Tamba Hali. Just as Marcus Peters may help lessen the blow of losing Sean Smith to re-sign Dontari Poe and Justin Houston. The Chiefs have no 'exit strategy' right now for Poe, and to some regard Justin Houston.

Even as a No. 2 corner (who I believe will be a very solid No. 1), Marcus Peters' positional value is tiers higher than a center (Cameron Eving), right tackle (DJ Humphries) or three-tech (Malcolm Brown). And still higher than No. 2 WR (Nelson Agholor).

IN THEORY : even if Peters has a solid career as a No. 2 corner and Erving is in the Pro Bowl seven years in a row, the Chiefs won't have to bust the bank (and ruin the cap) hoping to beat out competitors for a No. 2 corner over a position that has a higher percentage of being found via draft, free agency, trade, etc.

Some of these mistakes were not Scott Pioli's fault but bullets he had to take. By failing or putting less of a concentration on WR depth, KC had to overpay Bowe, Avery and now Maclin (positions that tend to come with higher price tags than their worth). These moves don't create the cap space for re-signing draft picks or allow the "luxury" of a big name free agent without having to put solid starters on the waiver wire.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.