The NFL Draft is where you build your team in the world of professional football. The question that has always boggled many a football mind is do you have to draft for need or can you simply draft the best player available? This is a question the New York Giants general manager, Jerry Reese, must ponder going into the draft.
The Giants have an opportunity to pick a top 10 talent, with the 9th overall selection. Let’s say for the sake of conversation that Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota are taken within the first 5 picks. The Giants are not drafting a quarterback so this pushes down more talent for the Giants to choose from. There will be some very tempting options at the 9th slot that may not fit the Giants most pressing needs.
Dec 6, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Amari Cooper (9) runs the ball during the second quarter of the 2014 SEC Championship Game against the Missouri Tigers at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
Beckham was a sensational draft pick but one could argue that linebacker C.J. Mosley would have been much more practical. Cooper would have to be at least considered. You can never have too much talent on an offense can you?
Lucky for the Giants, they have many needs. In the first round there will be many options at every draft need. It is almost impossible for the Giants to draft somebody that does not fit a need. The Giants biggest needs are on the defensive side of the football as well as the offensive line. The Giants will get their first choice with at least one of their needy positions.
These decisions don’t just happen in round one, but throughout the entire draft. I have always been a believer of BPA (Best Player Available) drafting. It is like the Miracle on 34th Street (my favorite Christmas movie). Just like a child should never have a toy it doesn’t really want pushed on them just because Macy’s has it in stock, an NFL team should not force itself to take a player they value less just because it fits a need.
Each team ranks the players in order of value. They rank each prospect, not just the ones that fit their weak areas. That is also why we here at GMenHQ.com try to get draft profiles done of every prospect regardless of position. By drafting the best player available, you’re assuring the most value for your investment.
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The best drafting teams draft the prospects that they value the most regardless of position. This is what the New England Patriots, the Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens and Green Bay Packers do.
These teams have been shown consistent success. The draft is about getting the most value for each draft pick. Value is measured by the projected production of the prospect. BPA often gives you players from position of need and insures that you get the most value from your draft picks.
In the end it is a balance. You cannot ignore positions of need but you can’t pass up on the best players either. Using the BPA strategy as a flexible guideline will allow the Giants to become a better team through the draft. The Giants have so many needs however that whomever they select in the first round will most likely fill a need any way.