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View Full Version : Drafting need or best player available?


SuperPacker
12-23-2011, 04:22 AM
Which one is better and why? I see the pros and cons to both and cant make my mind up which one i would go for if i was a GM.

Oh btw there is no mixture of both. You cant draft the best player available at a position of need. If you're going BPA you just look at your draft board and take the guy at the top and if you're going needs then you pick your #1 need and find the highest guy that plays that position

Also im assuming there is no such thing as free agency so you cant just go out and get your needs in free agency then draft BPA in the draft because you have no needs.

descendency
12-23-2011, 04:24 AM
I'd say BPA is easily better, because you can always plug holes with veteran free agents. While it might give you a few holes you have to deal with, in general the quality of your team should be higher. (by "plugging needs" I don't mean sign every major FA available. I mean getting guys after the draft - ie guys that are cut from other teams and guys that don't make it in training camp... UDFAs)

If you draft for need, you will draft more busts and have more mediocre players.

SuperPacker
12-23-2011, 04:40 AM
I'd say BPA is easily better, because you can always plug holes with veteran free agents. While it might give you a few holes you have to deal with, in general the quality of your team should be higher. (by "plugging needs" I don't mean sign every major FA available. I mean getting guys after the draft - ie guys that are cut from other teams and guys that don't make it in training camp... UDFAs)

If you draft for need, you will draft more busts and have more mediocre players.

I did put "assuming there was no free agency".

EDIT: So just for the sake if argument, you're going to leave massive holes in your team and hope to fill them with UDFA's?

nepg
12-23-2011, 05:23 AM
Depends on what the BPA is...and what the BPA is compared to the need player, really...

Zycho32
12-23-2011, 05:30 AM
I hope you're not looking for a Black-or-White, either/or answer to this question.

Fact is, you draft for need when permitted; if you can select a player in a certain round that fills a certain need without that pick being a major reach- Tavaris Jackson being a prime example. If said needs cannot be sufficiently fulfilled because the players who play that position aren't talented enough, then you have to go with BPA or move on to a lesser need.

At the same time, even the BPA strategy has moments where it is not ideal. For instance, the BPA on your draft board plays a position you are heavily stocked in. And if you are not totally convinced that player could significantly out-perform the cadre of players you currently have, or can;t be shifted to another position, then you move down your board.

NOTE: QB's are trickier to evaluate when it comes to BPA. Case in point- Aaron Rodgers being drafted by Green Bay when Brett Favre still started for them. Using the above criteria, it would make sense to avoid Rodgers in the first and possibly pursue a QB in the latter rounds. However, attention has to be given to Favre's age and his tendency to waffle about continuing on. This muddles the matter, but it gives a good argument for going BPA in a position with a clear starter. This same scenario may apply in the next draft if Indianapolis takes Andrew Luck.

JHL6719
12-23-2011, 05:50 AM
I think if you're picking in the top 5 or so, you should just about always go BPA. You're a bad football team and there's probably an elite talent there for you to take, even if you already have a solid player at that position.

After that, it gets kinda grainy.

You have to start balancing out BPA vs. need and approach each situation individually and go with the best combination BPA/Need that best benefits your team.

However, I think there's certain positions where you should probably just go ahead and take BPA. If that BPA is an elite pass rusher, you need to take him ...period. If it's a QB, take him. If it's a CB, take him.

If the BPA happens to be a guard or RB, etc.... you'd probably be just fine passing that position up and addressing your biggest need at that time with the highest graded player at a more valuable position that makes sense.

SuperPacker
12-23-2011, 06:28 AM
Dont need a black and white answer just wondered what everyone thought.

Rosebud
12-23-2011, 08:40 AM
You do what Jerry Reese does, you make a big board that accounts for need by giving similarly ranked guys who play a need position a bump over similarly ranked guys who don't.

Sloopy
12-23-2011, 08:55 AM
I think if you're picking in the top 5 or so, you should just about always go BPA. You're a bad football team and there's probably an elite talent there for you to take, even if you already have a solid player at that position.

This, BPA pretty easily for teams in **** situations. If your the Pats, Steelers etc. you take needs and develop them under your current starters... Unless our sexy like the Ravens, then you ball out and take BPA like a boss.

BeerBaron
12-23-2011, 09:21 AM
I hate this question because it's not a black and white issue.

You do what Jerry Reese does, you make a big board that accounts for need by giving similarly ranked guys who play a need position a bump over similarly ranked guys who don't.

That's what I would do. That's what everyone should do.

It's incredibly naive to chant a mantra of "BPA! BPA! BPA!" all the time.

Need will help you to differentiate similarly ranked players of different positions.

No team, anywhere, ever, goes PURELY BPA because that would be incredibly stupid.

JBCX
12-23-2011, 09:26 AM
It depends on where in the draft you are picking, and the status of your roster.

For example, if you don't have a franchise-caliber QB on your roster, you are obligated to pick a QB in the first round before any other position.

BeerBaron
12-23-2011, 09:29 AM
It depends on where in the draft you are picking, and the status of your roster.

For example, if you don't have a franchise-caliber QB on your roster, you are obligated to pick a QB in the first round before any other position.

As long as there is at least one who is somewhat worthwhile I think, then I agree.

Like the years where the Rams fans wanted Suh over Bradford, or Lions fans wanted ...snort... Aaron Curry over Stafford, or when the Falcons wanted Dorsey over Ryan....

(By "fans" I mean the casual fans in general, though there were definitely some posters here who argued those same idiotic things.)

But if there were a year without an elite QB prospect, like let's use 2000 as an example, I'd understand them not taking a QB.

But in most years, teams bad enough to need a franchise QB are typically picking high enough to take one.

San Diego Chicken
12-23-2011, 10:39 AM
There are some positions where you can never have enough depth. Example, DL and DB.

BeerBaron
12-23-2011, 10:42 AM
There are some positions where you can never have enough depth. Example, DL and DB.

While true, there comes a point where it overtakes reason to do so. If you have a terrible o-line but the "BPA" is a DE who would be your teams 5th rotational pass rusher, you may want to skip it in that case.

vidae
12-23-2011, 11:03 AM
Why isn't both an option?

Sloopy
12-23-2011, 11:10 AM
There really is way to much grey area here not to use both. So much of it is situational with an infinite # of factors involved, as well as the mixed BPA/need approach.

DraftSavant
12-23-2011, 11:21 AM
I've always been more preferential towards BAP. But it's like asking "what's the best type of defense?" If there were a unanimously correct answer, everybody would be copying it. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

I will say this, though: neither one works if your front office can't scout/rank worth a ****.

Bengalsrocket
12-23-2011, 11:30 AM
There really hasn't been a "complete" football team in the NFL (at least not for about 20 years). You'll never fill all of your team's needs if you consider every weak position a team need.

I believe the NFL is really about finding a philosophy, then building a roster with 5-9 core players around that philosophy. Then use FA / late draft / journeyman type players to fill in the gaps on your roster and hope that the "core" members of your team don't get injured.

So if I personally was involved in the drafting process, I would always draft BPA and obviously skip over positions I'm stacked at (If I'm the Packers, I'm not drafting a QB in the first round just because he's "BPA")

Sloopy
12-23-2011, 11:31 AM
I do think that teams who reach for need are more likely to end up with busts. There is a reason why the bust potential after say the top 10 goes up and doesn't go back down again until the bottom half of round one/early round two.

The teams picking in that top 10 have lots of wholes so BPA often gives them a great net gain (I.E. a position of need). This means that they aren't looking for a specific position and thus are less likely to take a reach on a certain position to fill a need.

Once you get outside of that area you find teams reaching on say a QB who really isn't worth that slotting or trading into the bottom of round one and taking a guy who really isn't a first rounder.

descendency
12-23-2011, 11:35 AM
I did put "assuming there was no free agency".

EDIT: So just for the sake if argument, you're going to leave massive holes in your team and hope to fill them with UDFA's?

That's basically what I am saying.

However, if you are restricting it to BPA always, there is some distinct possibility that you will not have a certain player or two that you need.

For example, if you never have a BPA QB, then you'd have to have a mixture of BPA and need drafting, but since I have to choose one or the other, I'd have to take drafting by need. (since the BPA is never a QB)

My point was that I would rather take weaker players in the holes and take the best players I can get even if they are all RDEs. I'd build a team of RDEs and release the over the hill ones.

Sometimes when you are taking the BPA, you have to just remove players from your board and those players all might be at a certain position.

DraftSavant
12-23-2011, 11:49 AM
Part of the season why I prefer BPA: no NFL team really knows what their needs will be from year-to-year. Needs change quickly. Players get old fast. Guys get hurt.

Rosebud
12-23-2011, 02:17 PM
As long as there is at least one who is somewhat worthwhile I think, then I agree.

Like the years where the Rams fans wanted Suh over Bradford, or Lions fans wanted ...snort... Aaron Curry over Stafford, or when the Falcons wanted Dorsey over Ryan....

(By "fans" I mean the casual fans in general, though there were definitely some posters here who argued those same idiotic things.)

But if there were a year without an elite QB prospect, like let's use 2000 as an example, I'd understand them not taking a QB.

But in most years, teams bad enough to need a franchise QB are typically picking high enough to take one.

Well that's also an oversimplification. I didn't think Ryan would be a top tier QB coming out and I thought Dorsey could be amazing in a 4-3. If that's how it played out I don't think picking Dorsey over Ryan would've been a mistake. Similarly I hate Jawalrus coming out and loved Megatron and think picking CJ first overall would've been the right move. Yes when you've got an elite QB available you pick him over anybody else, but when the QB's not so good or even bad that out weighs the positional value of a QB.

Brodeur
12-23-2011, 02:41 PM
I like the Colts strategy of neither.

Brent
12-23-2011, 03:04 PM
I like the Colts strategy of neither.
just change the rules to hide that you cannot draft.

A Perfect Score
12-23-2011, 03:17 PM
If you take a close look, most of the consistently successful franchises lean towards the BPA method, especially towards the latter part of the first round. Obviously you can't limit yourself exclusively to one way or the other, but the perennial contenders seem to adhere more to BPA then drafting for need.

Then again, that could be because they're continually in a position where they can afford to draft BPA and bring the players along slowly, rather then drafting them in hopes of early contributions at positions of weakness.

As for my own opinion, I'm a Ravens fan. It speaks for itself.

Vox Populi
12-23-2011, 06:06 PM
its circumstancial but generally is bpa. if bpa is a qb in round one and you have tom brady, you probably look a couple spots further down your board. positions where this isn't as much of an issue are mostly for versatile linemen, linebackers and db's.

J-Mike88
12-23-2011, 08:02 PM
There's a bit of a misnomer with this in that people are led to believe that a smart GM who sticks to the BPA available doesn't still make errors in judgment/evaluations.

They still draft busts by going with their BPA.

I generally believe there are usually, on average, only 2-3 "special" players in a particular draft. Some have none, some have 5 or 6.
Beyond that, on average, I believe the teams who stockpile picks have the best chance to succeed.

DraftSavant
12-23-2011, 11:01 PM
There's a bit of a misnomer with this in that people are led to believe that a smart GM who sticks to the BPA available doesn't still make errors in judgment/evaluations.

They still draft busts by going with their BPA.

I generally believe there are usually, on average, only 2-3 "special" players in a particular draft. Some have none, some have 5 or 6.
Beyond that, on average, I believe the teams who stockpile picks have the best chance to succeed.

Yeah, that's why I said it really doesn't matter which one you do if your front office can't scout worth a **** to begin with.

Ravens1991
12-23-2011, 11:16 PM
If you take a close look, most of the consistently successful franchises lean towards the BPA method, especially towards the latter part of the first round. Obviously you can't limit yourself exclusively to one way or the other, but the perennial contenders seem to adhere more to BPA then drafting for need.

Then again, that could be because they're continually in a position where they can afford to draft BPA and bring the players along slowly, rather then drafting them in hopes of early contributions at positions of weakness.

As for my own opinion, I'm a Ravens fan. It speaks for itself.

This past draft we really lucked out. Jimmy and Torrey Smith were arguably the bpa at that pick and they also filled our two biggest needs.

descendency
12-23-2011, 11:57 PM
Fortunately, the best team in the AFC does neither. It just seems to draft out of a hat.

Hines
12-24-2011, 12:31 AM
Fortunately, the best team in the AFC does neither. It just seems to draft out of a hat.

What you mean? The Steelers are one of the best, if not THE best drafting teams in the NFL.



See what I did there? :)

WCH
12-24-2011, 06:27 AM
I've heard of teams setting up their boards with the prospects in organized into vertical tiers, and then sorted horizontally by position. So if your pick comes up and you have three second tier players and a first tier player, you would draft the first tier player. If you only have three second tier players and nobody ranked higher, then you take the second tier player who plays the position of greatest need.

Zycho32
12-24-2011, 04:06 PM
I've heard of teams setting up their boards with the prospects in organized into vertical tiers, and then sorted horizontally by position. So if your pick comes up and you have three second tier players and a first tier player, you would draft the first tier player. If you only have three second tier players and nobody ranked higher, then you take the second tier player who plays the position of greatest need.

Or you move on to first tier players in positions of second or third or fourth greatest need. The principle still applies.

I've seen professional draft boards in segments of NFL Films arranged in such ways, in fact. I would presume that's how the professionals set this stuff up for the draft days.

Dangermouse
12-30-2011, 11:13 AM
Here's my line of thinking:


1. If you don't have a franchise QB and you've got a chance to acquire one, then do it, even if that means trading up.

Sub rules for teams that have franchise QBs or at least a young QB they think is a QB.

A. If you're one player away, then go all in and trade up to get him.

B. If the best player available fits a need, you've won a watch!

C. If there someone that fits a need in the top 5 BPAs, assuming there isn't a massive drop off in talent, take him and it's not a "reach."

D. Don't overreach.

E. Try and trade around the board to find a player that fits a need.

F. If all else fails, BPA is better than reaching.

Halsey
12-30-2011, 11:26 AM
Best available player at a position of need.

49erNation85
12-30-2011, 04:53 PM
First with Need then go with BPA at the position . ...

Caulibflower
12-31-2011, 02:56 PM
Best available player at a position of need.

First with Need then go with BPA at the position . ...

So... you guys are just saying, "Need." To me, through the first couple rounds you draft the most talented players on the board, because after that the talent level, and probably also the depth to which players have been scouted, becomes more disparate and it makes more sense to start targeting guys at positions you think your team is weak at. But when teams go into the first round thinking, "I need an X player," there's a huuuuuge chance you'll be reaching for a guy, because there are 22 positions on offense and defense, and hoping your need matches up to value is just not smart drafting. Really, you've got to build strong teams over the years by drafting good players and finding gems in the later rounds, not by trying to use the draft as a quick fix, which is what teams drafting for need, in my eyes, seem to be doing. I've said it a few times, but even as a Seahawks fan - we've got a team that's a competent QB away from playoff contention - I do not want to reach for a QB. I'd rather continue adding the best talent we can at all positions, and when we do get the opportunity to bring in a bona fide starter, the supporting cast will already be there, and the team will just be that much tougher. Do we need to draft a QB? Is that the ideal scenario? Hell yes. But you just can't reach for guys. You screw yourself twice by trying to convince yourself a mediocre player is a good player and investing in him, and by missing out on the good player you could've drafted instead.