Author Topic: "Best Player Available"  (Read 272 times)

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JoeP

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"Best Player Available"
« on: March 19, 2017, 10:25:28 AM »
Best Player Available

These three words get tossed around endlessly. What do they mean to you, exactly?

What factors do you use, or not use, to determine who you think is the BPA?


MightyGiants

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 10:36:25 AM »
NFL teams will create draft boards similar to this one



There will be variations to this including tiers and maybe indicators of injury or character issues

This board is created by the team's draft grading system.  It's usually some sort of numerical grade that is given to players and they are placed on the board based on the team's assigned grade


So the idea of the "best player" is the guys highest up on the board when it's your team's turn to draft.  As you can see by such a board there can be more than one player who could be considered "best" at any given point (which is often a point of confusion with many fans and sports writers).  As such a team often is able to mate value with need.   Sometimes though, a team will have one player that is clearly higher than all the rest.  That player may not be at a position of need and if the team grabs that guy (even though not needed) that is the epitome of a "drafting the best player available".
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 10:48:05 AM by MightyGiants »
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Bob In PA

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 10:42:24 AM »
Joe:  To work from Rich's excellent example, at the start of the draft, the five players across the top row are all the "best player available" so if you pick first, you pick one of those. 

Technically, even the players on the top row have been ranked, and they have a number to show it (3,2,6,1 and 5, respectively).

USING the chart is easy.  Ranking the players is hard.

LOL

jerseyguy

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 10:44:22 AM »
I have always felt that drafting BPA is a good rule for teams that are stacked with talent, but a hard rule to follow for teams with specific needs. Passing on a player who might be able to help your team at a position of need to take one who is rated higher at a position you already have a few good players might not be the way to go for a team like the Giants who have very specific needs...

MightyGiants

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 10:47:03 AM »
I will add that as a rule of thumb many GMs will stray from the BPA philosophy the deeper they get in the draft.  The idea is that the talent levels are less pronounced in the later rounds so need can play a bigger role.
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Vette

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 10:50:07 AM »
It's also how a team grades the player. If they don't fit the system, the grade for one team will be lower than a team the player does fit, like LB or DL. Also, a team picking in the low first round will pick a second round player if the grades are close.

By rounds 5-7 and sometimes 4-7, teams look at filling needs or backup or Special Teams. Especially in rounds 5-7. So, BPA does not apply. As I see Rich just mentioned.
"There is a greater purpose...that purpose is team. Winning, losing, playing hard, playing well, doing it for each other, winning the right way, winning the right way is a very important thing to me... Championships are won by teams who love one another, who respect one another, and play for and support one another."
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MP21WAYS2PAY

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 10:55:56 AM »
With JPP and OV locked up and getting alot of money, I seriously doubt the Giants are going to take a DE in round 1, though it is likely there may be some at the top of their board.  Same goes for WR. 

Jolly Blue Giant

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 11:08:24 AM »
Best Player Available

These three words get tossed around endlessly. What do they mean to you, exactly?

What factors do you use, or not use, to determine who you think is the BPA?

Excellent question because I'm sure it means different things to different people. For me, it's all about each team's private and highly secretive grading system. And the formula most definitely has a calculated "weight factor" for each position, the highest being a QB, the lowest a punter, long snapper, gunner, etc. That "weighting factor" is probably similar across the board for all teams, but each team weighs positions a little differently and their weighting factors vary from team to team.

The NFL (well, whoever runs NFL.com anyway) uses a precise grading system, but I believe without a positional weighting formula. Example, they grade out Myles Garrett as a 7.63 out of a perfect score of 8.0. I'm not sure any player has ever graded out as 8.0, but that's neither here nor there.  Their (NFL.com) grading system differs from individual teams' grading system so every team evaluates players differently using their own criteria and no one outside the trusted inside team knows what that is or how the formula works.

This is how the "weighting factor" works. Take a player like Malik Hooker, a safety that grades out as 6.7 (NFL.com rating) as compared to Mike Williams, a WR who grades out as 6.3. If a team has a weighting factor for each position such as Safety (.65) and WR (.79), the weighting factor will actually give Williams a higher grade than Hooker when the numbers are crunched.

No one knows what the weighting factor for each position is for individual teams. I suspect the Giants have a weighting factor for LB's just a bump ahead of a punter, but that's neither here nor there. I just don't think the Giants are as enamored with LBs as they are with defensive linemen (in particular: edge rushers, as well as corner backs, and wide receivers. My insight to this is based on previous drafts.

Now in some cases, the Giants will take a player that grades out slightly less than another player (even after the weighting factor is applied) if there is a specific hole in their team that desperately needs to be filled. But they won't take a TE with a grade of 5.85 over a DE with a grade of 6.1. However, they might take an OT with a grade of 5.93 over a safety with a 6.12 grade.

All this xxxx gets sorted out in the war room on draft day. Months of hard work by scouts and other personnel have carefully graded several hundred players that will be available in the draft and they have a number attached (and it probably isn't 1-8 like NFL.com, but we'll never know. I doubt there is much disagreement in the war room when a player clearly grades out higher than the next in line and I'm sure when the Giants saw Collins still on the board on day two a couple of years ago, they were looking at a safety with a grade in the mid-7s (assuming NFL.com's grading system) and the next player on their list was in the high-5's or low 6's and it was a no-brainer to trade up to get him, especially considering the Giants also were in desperate need of a safety.

Regardless - that is how I see it. The "BPA" the Giants pick might not be the actual BPA, but is the highest rated player on their particular board and even though they will say that "need" is not a factor, it is ALWAYS a factor and may even be a secondary weighting factor in their grading formula. "Need" might not be enough to persuade them to pull the trigger, but "need" will be in the discussion in the war room, you can guarantee that. We need a good OT this year, but if Myles Garrett is available (this is purely hypothetical and will never happen) and the Giants have to pick between him and Ramczyk, Garrett would end up wearing Blue and having a helmet with the letters "NY" on them.

joeyfootball

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 12:13:24 PM »
I maybe wrong, but the 1st 3 rounds get your key needs, after that go after the best guy on the board, like the giants drafted jessie armstead at the last 8th round of the draft.


COGiantFan

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 12:35:26 PM »
I have always felt that drafting BPA is a good rule for teams that are stacked with talent, but a hard rule to follow for teams with specific needs. Passing on a player who might be able to help your team at a position of need to take one who is rated higher at a position you already have a few good players might not be the way to go for a team like the Giants who have very specific needs...

The notion of BPA, though, is that it is the best thing for the team over time.  Teams that are constantly reaching to fill a need in the early rounds may think they are helping their team, but a) the team's needs can change very quickly, and b) the better players you passed up to fill that need will be the stars that you don't have.  And the next thing you know you are the Cleveland Browns.  There is also the fact that trying to fill a need with  a guy who has at least a 50% failure rate means you have a decent chance of not ending up with the best  player and STILL having that unmet need.
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bamagiantfan

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Re: "Best Player Available"
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 12:43:17 PM »
I maybe wrong, but the 1st 3 rounds get your key needs, after that go after the best guy on the board, like the giants drafted jessie armstead at the last 8th round of the draft.

Joey, I actually see it quite different.

In Round 1, needs are secondary, if considered at all. The player you draft will be signed to a 5-year deal which means he will still be under contract when the current contract for every other player on the roster has expired. So there is literally no position on the team that he cannot play in 5 years. That is when "Best Player Available" comes into play. It doesn't matter who you currently have signed, you take the best guy on the board in most cases who, with the talent available that early in the draft, could very well be an upgrade at all positions but a few.

Obviously some logic has to enter into the selection. Since the Giants just signed Olivier Vernon last year and JPP this year to long term deals, they probably don't want to spend a first round pick on a guy who will spend most of his time on the bench over the next 3 years. Conversely, if they think Eli has two good years left and the highest rated QB on their board sitting there when the Giants' selection comes up. They may decide he is the best player and can learn for two years and then start, with 3 years still left on his contract for the Giants to fully evaluate if he is "the guy" or not.

In Rounds 2 and 3, there are still starting quality players and the cost and contract durations are less. In my opinion, this is where teams start going for players who can contribute immediately in an area of need.  The Giants consistently draft players in Round 2 that they plan to use immediately and quite frankly have done poorly with the 3rd Round selections for many years.

Then comes the day 3 picks. Some of these players are still guys who can start or contribute immediately as specialists (K, P, FB, Gunner, Nickle CB), but there are also projects and players coming off injuries that can be had for a reasonable cost and could wind up contributing for a long time on Special Teams or as a backup, but obviously the hope is that the player develops into a starter. The Giants have had their share of hits and misses with guys like David  Tyree or Matt Dodge, respectively. The one certainty is that teams who make the playoffs find contributors here. When the Giants were going to the Superbowls 6-10 years ago they were finding the Bradshaws, Bosses and Andre Browns, and also the Blackburns and Butlers as undrafted free agents. That has slowed considerably lately, and the Giants have pretty much had a two round draft for the last 8 years.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2017, 01:01:36 PM by bamagiantfan »
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