View Full Version : Drafting the "Best Player Available"
03-31-2008, 12:04 AM
Do you believe this is the best strategy to work with in the draft? Or do you think that filling needs and "reaching" are the way to go, at least relative to a teams draft board, not Mayocks and Kipers board.
No team can fully subscribe to this strategy- for example, if the BPA at #7 is Matt Ryan, there is no way that the Patriots will take him because of Tom Brady, etc. But is taking the BPA at a minor need better than reaching for a major need?
I'll use a example of my own team to illustrate the point a little further. Last year at pick #11, many 49er fans debated between two choices- Adam Carriker and Patrick Willis. A lot of fans wanted Carriker- he filled the bigger need as an defensive lineman, rather than a 3-4 ILB. However, the 49ers took the 3-4 ILB before the DE because they believed he would be the better player. The end result was getting a first-team All-Pro and the DROY. (This isnt a slight on Carriker who i think will have a fine career)
So, is taking the BPA at a position of minor need over a lesser talented player of major need always the best choice?
And i know this topic will draw some obvious responses, but since there is a bit of a lull before the draft i thought i would try to spark some new discussion.
03-31-2008, 12:08 AM
Way too much of a blanket concept. Depends on the team's situation, how much the team likes the BPA, how much of a need the position is, how big of a reach filling that need would be. Every pick is a different situation in and of itself and should be treated that way. There's no general wrong or right way to draft. You just try to get the guys you think have the best shot at making you better.
03-31-2008, 12:27 AM
I feel that, in the first two rounds, if the value is there, you should always acquire players to fill your biggest needs. The keyword is "if the value is there". If it isn't, trade down or take the best player if he's high enough on your board.
After that, there's no reason not to go BAP. You've filled your biggest immediate needs, and your secondary needs should take care of themselves when you're drafting the best available players.
03-31-2008, 12:52 AM
If your biggest need is DE but a player like Peyton Manning is there...I don't think there's any way you can not draft him...and that's not taking into account what he's done in his pro career...just his draft stock...
03-31-2008, 12:53 AM
The thing about BPA that is hogwash is this:
The GMs or Scouts, (or whoever is in charge) always THINK that they are taking the best available player. They don't know. It's always an educated guess.
They like to pretend like they are rocket scientists, but guys like Brady and Romo and Antonio Gates, and David Carr and Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, Cedric Benson, Charles Rogers, etc.... prove otherwise.
I think the BPA, in theory is great. But since it's always a guess, if a team needs some LBs, but has 2 good QBs, then they have to take the Patrick Willis before the Brady Quinn, even if they grade Quinn a 98.2 and Willis a 97.4.
The Lions thought ALL those WRs were the BPA, and they were wrong. They should have taken a more surefire player at a weaker position of need and at worst, patched their holes.
03-31-2008, 12:58 AM
I'm a firm believer in taking need over BPA, but it isn't always the best fit. It has to be within reason. If you have a gaping hole at a specific position and there is someone you think would fill that hole nicely, you should take him, regardless of if others think it's a "reach".. it's the main reason why I wouldn't be upset for us (Chiefs) to take Clady at 5.
It is a bit of a reach, but I think this kid will be an excellent pro and offensive line is our biggest NEED but there is no way he will be the BPA at the 5th pick.
03-31-2008, 07:39 AM
The Seahawks took Lofa Tatupu a lot earlier than people thought he should have gone, so, I would say if you want a guy, take him. If it works out, great; if not, well that's what gets GMs fired. Saves for Millen, apparently.
03-31-2008, 08:00 AM
Ya i agree first two rounds should go with needs unless you have an elite prospect available. Later rounds go with best player available. If your team doesnt have major needs then just go with best player available.
Shane P. Hallam
03-31-2008, 08:28 AM
It's all about balance.
How much of a need are my needs? Does this guy who has fallen and is good value going to be a lot better than anyone there?
You look at Tennessee with Keith Bulluck. They picked him as BPA when there was NO need for him. Guess what? The need opened up very soon and he stepped right in. I look at Philidelphia who really has looked to the trenches in the 1st round every year. Do they always have a strong need there? No, but it has worked out for them as many have stepped in and contributed in some form of fashion, and it stops the bust factor more.
If you have a strong need and have a guy you want (someone mentioned Lofa Tatupu,). If you believe he will be excellent, why not reach? It's like a fantasy football draft. If you pick at the end and have two picks in a row, you have to reach for a guy you REALLY want.
But, GMs do talk, and I'm SURE they know universally who is high on almost all boards, who varies on some boards, etc. So, if a guy is universally high and falls or is kinda good value at your pick, you may take him. If no one fits that bill, and you have a guy you like and others don't, reaching for need may work .
04-02-2008, 12:05 PM
Gotta find the happy medium of need and value.
04-02-2008, 01:44 PM
Gotta find the happy medium of need and value.
Exactly. Depends on the state of the team as well. Take the Falcons who are essentially rebuilding. They should go BPA all the way. The 'need' concept I think is not as prevalent with Free Agency as teams tend to not only lose good players (therefore they should draft BPA to keep the highest base level of talent on the team) but you can gain them (therefore draft BPA and fill holes via free agents if possible). Historically, teams that have reached because of need have not been that successful with that pick.
Again, there are always exceptions. The Bengals have the #9 pick and even if a QB was the BPA on their board he would not be selected. When you talk about balance this would also be the case if a CB was the BPA at #9 (which is quite possible). The last two #1's were spent on CB's so it is not a great idea to do that again.
If you look at a successful drafting team like the Pats you can also see that they trade a lot. I think they target players at certain value spots and move up and down to take them.
04-02-2008, 01:52 PM
If you trust your scouting dept, you go for bpa early at least the first 3 rounds, and just make sure those positions are "somewhat" of a need...For instance the Texans dont need to take another MLB in the first 2 rounds no matter how good he is because their set at that spot, but teams like the Colts can draft bpa and have them sit and learn because they have a track record on hitting most of their picks...You usually end up in a bind trying to find certain positions if noone available is deserving of that spot, usually its best to trade down but im not a fan of reaching unless he's your guy, youve wanted him all draft and dont want to take a chance on passing him, thats completely different then just reaching on a guy to fill a need.
04-02-2008, 01:57 PM
Drafting the "best player available" is a better strategy than the one the Pats used last year, which was to draft the "worst player available".
04-02-2008, 04:33 PM
Every team has needs, but if the team doesnt have any glaring ones and a player falls to them that should have been taken a lot earlier they will take him because he is significantly better than the other options.
Cant really use this unless its late rounds or the team is really good.
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