Drafting for Need

Discussion in 'National Football League' started by NCJetsfan, Apr 28, 2019.

  1. NCJetsfan

    NCJetsfan Well-Known Member

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    The general consensus is that drafting for need is wrong and will kill your team, and that few NFL teams do that. I was curious and decided to see how/what NFL teams did in this regard. See below for results, but it appears that things at least for this year have changed dramatically, and that GMs DO draft for need, or at least strongly take it into consideration, and not just BPA.

    Source: https://www.nfl.com/draft/tracker/

    The Bengals drafted players at 5 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Broncos drafted players at 5 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Colts drafted players at 5 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Giants drafted players at 5 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Redskins drafted players at 5 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Seahawks drafted players at 5 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Vikings drafted players at 5 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Bills drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Browns drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Buccaneers drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Cardinals drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Chargers drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Chiefs drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Jaguars drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Jets drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Lions drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Niners drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Packers drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Raiders drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Texans drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Titans drafted players at 4 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Dolphins drafted players at 3 out of 5 positions of need (if you add trading for Rosen).

    The Patriots drafted players at 3 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Eagles drafted players at 2 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Saints drafted players at 2 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Rams drafted players at 4 out of 4 positions of need.

    The Falcons drafted players at 3 out of 4 positions of need.

    The Ravens drafted players at 3 out of 4 positions of need.

    The Steelers drafted players at 3 out of 4 positions of need.

    The Panthers drafted players at 3 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Cowboys drafted players at 3 out of 5 positions of need.

    The Bears drafted players at 1 out of 4 positions of need.
     
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  2. Biggs

    Biggs Well-Known Member

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    255 players were drafted the idea that the difference in grades between a player of need and a player is usually amazingly small. There are some drafts that are top heavy in a couple of positions. The idea that teams don't draft for need is crazy. BPA is a slogan not a strategy.
     
  3. Harpua

    Harpua Well-Known Member

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    This list means nothing without context. How many picks did each team make? What rounds were they supposedly drafting need over talent? trying to break it all down properly would be time consuming, but this is shoddy reporting at its worst.
     
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  4. DefenseWinsChampionships

    DefenseWinsChampionships Well-Known Member

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    Of course teams draft by need. Um. That's what both Free Agency and the draft are for; roster needs.

    Heading into the draft we all knew we wouldn't be drafting QB (Sam), RB (Bell), SS/FS (Adams/Maye) etc, etc.

    But Q. Williams was a huge need because games are won within the trenches and he's the #1 rated D-Lineman who's came out in quite some time and STEVE MCLENDON just wasn't cutting it.

    I remember I made a thread that was locked on how bad I hated and wanted to upgrade our NT/DT position in order to give us an animal in order to give an MLB such as Darron Lee a fighting chance while also giving Leonard Williams much needed help within the trenches.

    Because of Q. Williams the likes of C.J/Williamson/Lee can now run wild and Leonard Williams now becomes physically dominant.
     
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  5. Biggs

    Biggs Well-Known Member

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    Hyperbole but I get your point. FYI Nagata who was probably the best NT coming out in years went at 12 in the 2006 draft and Vince Wilfork went at 22 in the 2004 draft. Aaron Donald went at 13.
    Low value position for the Jets and not worth the 3rd overall pick in this draft to us.
     
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  6. statjeff22

    statjeff22 2008 Green Guy "Most Knowledgeable" Award Winner

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    Teams obviously draft for need, since they don't draft players to replace their best players. Even when they draft BPA it's usually BPA in a position where the person will actually play, not truly BPA. Is this supposed to mean something?
     
  7. NCJetsfan

    NCJetsfan Well-Known Member

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    That's your opinion and you're free to have it. It's easy to sit back and criticize others' work. How about doing some of your own work if you're so smart? To begin with, I made no claims that it was conclusive proof of anything. I qualified my post with that it "appears that for at least this year." I stated that I did it for my own curiosity. I wasn't intending to create a scholarly article with conclusive evidence.

    You and every other poster here know that most teams have 7 picks in the draft. A few only had 5-6 picks, and a few teams had more. Logic tells one that if a team has 7 draft picks and 5 needs, and they drafted players at all five positions of need, that most of their draft was spent on need rather than just BPA. If it had only been a small handful of teams that drafted such that they addressed 3 out of 5 needs or more, then it could have been only a coincidence, but when most of the teams in the NFL drafted players at position of need to the tune of 3, 4 or 5 out of 5 needs were drafted or 3 or 4 out of 4 needs were drafted, that's pretty conclusive. It doesn't matter which round they were drafted in. Players taken in lower rounds could have simply been at positions of lesser need. Some of the teams who didn't address as many needs took multiple players at those positions of need. Of course when one only has 6-7 picks and 5 needs, then some of those needs are going to be addressed with players from middle and lower rounds.I provided the link where you and other posters could go and answer those questions. It's not rocket science. I say that you are the lazy one. You obviously didn't think about it or even go to the link and look at some of the team's drafts. If you had, then at least some of your questions were answered.

    If teams and GMs didn't put such strong emphasis on need in this draft and didn't draft for need, they wouldn't have drafted so many players at positions of need.

    You try going through the entire draft team-by-team, taking notes of what their needs were and if they drafted players at those positions. It took a very long time as it was to go through the entire draft. I invite you to do better! IMO people who sit on their duffs, don't do any research of their own, and then share it with the site have no right to criticize what others do.
     
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  8. Ohnoit'sGeno

    Ohnoit'sGeno Active Member

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    Couple of points that I don't agree with. Q Williams is not playing NT on the run downs.( might play there on the obvious passing downs. The jets are going to be 3-4 defense( Cj and Williamson are best as inside clubs in 3-4). Darron Lee has no role on the Jets, and will be gone before the season starts.

    Jmo look for Q Williams and L Williams to be 3-4 defensive ends . with Mclendon the NT . Cj Mosely and Williamson the inside lb's. Polite and
     
  9. stinkyB

    stinkyB 2009 Best Avatar Award Winner

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    Body
    Parts
    Available
    ? :confused:
     
  10. jetophile

    jetophile Bruce Coslet's Daughter

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    BPA stands for bisphenol A. BPA is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles.
     
  11. TonyFtLaud

    TonyFtLaud Well-Known Member

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    It's also known to cause cancer and birth defects.
     
  12. jetophile

    jetophile Bruce Coslet's Daughter

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    Jets gonna Jet.
     
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  13. Patriot

    Patriot Well-Known Member

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    Nobody can argue that you're not analytical. You might be too analytical for most people here. I always enjoy your questions and premises even if I don't agree with them.

    The problem with your question is that it doesn't address the fact that teams can also address there needs via free agents and the old waiver wire.

    New needs can always pop up in a season due to injuries. Your desire to fulfill a need gets squashed because teams ahead of you drafted those type of players. Or nobody has a similar need, so you don't have to compete with other teams for that type of player.

    Also what if the best player available also addresses a need? What if the team decides to go in a different approach because they were not able to address a need. For example, go from a 1 Tight End Set to a two Tight End Set. Go from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense.

    Then there is the fact that every year the talent pool in a certain position can be weak or strong which affects how you address your needs.

    Last but not least, Bill Parcells, in my humble opinion, was right when he said the draft was a crapshoot.

    I can also add more, but I hope you see my point that the premise of your question is not a black and white answer but mostly gray. There is more to managing a football team than just drafting. You can draft the best players but if you can't develop them you're not going to do well.

    Common sense states that bad teams should get better because they have better draft choices than good teams. However, it doesn't work out that way so perhaps it is not just about the draft that matters.
     
  14. NCJetsfan

    NCJetsfan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your kind words.

    I don't disagree with anything you've said here. I wasn't advocating that teams should draft for need. I was just curious to see if they did, because the prevailing "wisdom" around here is that teams don't. It seems as if they do. I think there should be balance and that BPA and need should both be considered. If the BPA also fits a need, great! It's a bonanza. If not, then one could opt to take a player at a position of need whom you have rated very closely to the BPA. Importance of positions is also a factor as should be likelihood of being able to address that need in next year's FA or draft. Where I think that BPA is a waste is when one's team is already strong at the position of the BPA, and the upgrade would be only marginal, if any. Yes, injuries happen, but in general, one isn't helping one's team improve with only a marginal upgrade. One needs instead to take a player at a position where it will potentially be a big upgrade.

    IMO needs should primarily be addressed via FA and the waiver wire, but the draft is also a place where needs can and should be addressed. New needs can always arise in season due to injuries. The problem with drafting for need is that other teams can take a player you want before it's your pick or even trade ahead of you and take him. That's why I don't think teams should fall in love with a player at a position of need. I think they should identify at least 2-3 players in a draft at a position of need that will fit their scheme and that they think will help upgrade their team and at least fix the need at a B level. If the #1 player at that position gets taken ahead of them, then they should have contingency plans where they trade up or down to try to get the 2nd player at that position.

    I totally agree with the bolded statement. That's why I think that GMs have to look 2-3 draft and FA periods ahead and consider what their options might be in future years. Of course, there are no guarantees, as some players decide to stay in school, others opt for the draft early, the play of some declines and the play of others precipitously rises overnight, but GMs can get a general idea of what their chances are of addressing a need in any particular draft, and when the best time to try to address that draft is. As you said, some drafts are weak in certain positions. This was considered to be a pretty weak draft for OL. There were a few good players, but little depth, and those few probably got overdrafted because of need. This wasn't really the year to try to rebuild one's OL. Next year's draft is supposed to be very strong and deep with OL players. This was a great year for edge rushers, and for teams with a need at edge rusher, this was the year to try to get an edge rusher. I firmly believe in drafting to the strength of a draft, not the weakness. I also believe in comparing the top player at a position in a draft with other players at his position in recent past drafts and upcoming drafts. While a player might be the best player at his position in the draft that year, he may have only been the 6th best at his position the previous couple of seasons and maybe only the 8th best if he were in next year's draft.

    I agree that the draft is a crapshoot, that there is more to managing a football team than just drafting, and that players must be developed. Bad teams often make bad picks and they're bad at developing players. Lots of coaches try to fit square pegs into round holes and they try to force a player to fit their system rather than changing or adapting their system to the talents of their players. GMs draft players who were very good in one system or style of play (read and react vs aggressive, attacking D), and "hope" that they will work in their system (which is different) rather than drafting a player who is perhaps rated lower but excelled in the system in which that team uses. This is an area where I think Patriots excel. They don't just go after BPA. They go after a certain type of player and whom they think will fit their system.
     
  15. Biggs

    Biggs Well-Known Member

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    Even with context it's hard to really get a grip on how each team has graded 250 plus players.

    If you have a great edge rusher and you can't cover anyone how can your GM and scouting department ignore that from their bias in their grading system? Unless grading players is done by computer based on analytics human bias becomes part of the grading system.

    The GM's job is to put together a 53 man squad that can win. There is arguably lots of approaches to do that. It's hard to believe you can get perfect analytics based on different competition and limited playing times by players who aren't even fully developed to project a perfect grading system of one guy against another at a completely different position.

    I suspect it's part experience and part analytics and mostly it's good judgement and a plan. BPA is GM speak for I hope the kid is the next HOF player and not a bust.

    The real questions is do teams draft for need when their grading system has a higher rated player available. I don't think we can really answer that by actual draft picks.
     
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  16. stinkyB

    stinkyB 2009 Best Avatar Award Winner

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  17. James Hasty

    James Hasty Well-Known Member

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    Most coaches and GMs want to win now to look good an advance their careers so they reach for players to fill current needs so they can win now.

    Once in a while you get a front office who does things right and takes the best player regardless of need knowing that when those players develop in two to three years it is almost impossible to guess what the team needs will be at that time in the future.

    Sure it might cost a win or two now but you will get better draft picks next year and the team will be the cream that rises to the top as the talent replaces incumbent starters over time.
     
  18. RubenDias

    RubenDias Well-Known Member

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    This is true , i believe the chargers built their roster very well with this mantra.
     
  19. Harpua

    Harpua Well-Known Member

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    The Steelers are actually quite adept at reloading certain positions a year out from when they know it will be an issue. Oline and Linebacker they always have a guy or two in the pipeline to step forward when one of their own is about to get that big FA contract. Its a big part of how they operate, why their draft board always seems weird to internet pundits, and a huge part of their success at managing the cap, staying sucessful on the field and gathering comp picks.

    Coaches need to win now. In the draft GMs need to look at what is best for both the present and the future.
     
  20. Bills Over Jets

    Bills Over Jets Well-Known Member

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    I've said this before on here, but a lot of teams follow a format of ranking players into rounds (1, 2, 3, 4, etc) and then within the round ranking them as top, middle, or end of the round guys. When teams say "you don't draft for need" what they mean is, if your pick is in the middle of round 2, you don't reach down into the players you've ranked as bottom 2nd or even top of the 3rd solely because they fit a need. You pick the players on your board that you've got rated as either top of 2nd that fell or middle 2nd where you are. However, if you have 5 guys rated as "middle 2nd rounders" that are left when you pick, of course you are picking the one that fills a need. A lot of times that's why you see teams trading up. If you're picking in the middle of the 2nd at say 18, and its currently at pick 9, and there's only 1 player left that you have ranked as a top of the second guy at a position of need, they'll trade up and get him.

    To say teams don't draft for need or that they only draft one BPA at a time is a bit mischaracterized and misunderstood.
     

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