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Thread: Drafting Strategy - Need vs Best Player Available

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  1. #1
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    Drafting Strategy - Need vs Best Player Available

    Every time anyone talks about a draft, the first thing they look at is team needs. And then build out the strategy from there. And it makes sense because you don't want a logjam of great players at a certain position. No sense in drafting Pouncey's replacement in the 1st round for example.

    But that kinda flies in the face of taking the Best Player Available.

    How should a team approach this? If the BPA doesn't intersect with a team need, what should they do? Take the next person they need? Take the BPA? Take the BPA and trade him? Trade out of the pick?

    It seems like a very complex decision. And I wonder how Colbert handles it. I think in general, we as fans get a little blinded by need. We want the best NT, ILB, FS, SS, WR, RB, OT, OG, TE we can find to replace whoever we don't particularly like. And maybe that's why we have better success in round 1 and less as the draft goes on. Because in rounds 2, 3, 4, etc we may shy away from a position we've already selected and the options dwindle and need becomes more significant as each round passes by.

    I'm not even sure Colbert weights BPA as much as the rounds pass. Each round, BPA loses some weight in the decision, and need becomes more prevalent. And a little desperation kicks in as our choices of need narrows.

    Would the Steelers be better served solving need through FA and purely getting the best players they can at any position in the draft. I think that's the goal, just not sure it works perfectly.

  2. #2
    The Steelers seem to rule out certain positions in round 1...normally, QB...

    Then, they seem to compile a draft board for round one with players they feel are "special"...how that is determined, I'm not sure...probably by looking at need and draft position...the Steelers won't draft a QB at #17...nor will they overdraft a player at a position of need...if there is no TE deemed worthy of a #17 pick available, they won't take one, despite Heath Miller's injury...

    Since the Steelers pick at 17 this upcoming draft, I would imagine that the "special" list would be composed of approximately a dozen players...if any of those players happen to fall to 17, they will pick that player...if multiple "special" players remain, they will select the one who plays the position of greatest need...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick View Post
    The Steelers seem to rule out certain positions in round 1...normally, QB...
    The Steelers can still rule out a QB this year, but there aren't many other positions where you can say that. They probably will rule out DE with Hood/Heyward both recent picks, but other than that and perhaps center, I'm not sure there is any other position they could rule out. Even if Lewis re-signs, you need at least three good corners and Ike isn't getting any younger. There really isn't any position where you could say the Steelers couldn't use an upgrade, either now or in the future.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq View Post
    The Steelers can still rule out a QB this year, but there aren't many other positions where you can say that. They probably will rule out DE with Hood/Heyward both recent picks, but other than that and perhaps center, I'm not sure there is any other position they could rule out. Even if Lewis re-signs, you need at least three good corners and Ike isn't getting any younger. There really isn't any position where you could say the Steelers couldn't use an upgrade, either now or in the future.
    That's the beauty of BPA. They can basically draft just about anybody first and it will ultimately help the team.

  5. #5
    It is a tough process and that is why they get paid the big bucks....and the good ones are in demand. I think the way Colbert does it is he evaluates the importance of each need and works from there. You also have immediate needs and future needs - based on your veterans who are still contributing but can't for much longer.

    The problem this year is that there are so many more question marks than I can remember for at least 20 or so years. You have so many aging starters who are both expensive and on the decline, many of whom are coming off injury. How high a priority do you put on OT, OLB, SS, CB, WR, FS, ILB, DE, NT, OG?

    Each of these positions has an aging starter who may or may not be ready to either retire or contribute another year. Some have unproven replacements in place, others have no satisfactory replacement in sight. On top of that, there are cap considerations. We should easily be able to work our way under the cap, but every time we restructure it just ties us to that player a little stronger and longer. You don't want to make a mistake like that with another Willie Colon.

    This will be a tough off season for the Steelers.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o. View Post
    It is a tough process and that is why they get paid the big bucks....and the good ones are in demand. I think the way Colbert does it is he evaluates the importance of each need and works from there. You also have immediate needs and future needs - based on your veterans who are still contributing but can't for much longer.

    The problem this year is that there are so many more question marks than I can remember for at least 20 or so years. You have so many aging starters who are both expensive and on the decline, many of whom are coming off injury. How high a priority do you put on OT, OLB, SS, CB, WR, FS, ILB, DE, NT, OG?

    Each of these positions has an aging starter who may or may not be ready to either retire or contribute another year. Some have unproven replacements in place, others have no satisfactory replacement in sight. On top of that, there are cap considerations. We should easily be able to work our way under the cap, but every time we restructure it just ties us to that player a little stronger and longer. You don't want to make a mistake like that with another Willie Colon.

    This will be a tough off season for the Steelers.
    Well said. The Steelers are at a crossroads. They are not in cap hell yet, but close. They need to spend their FA and RFA dollars very wisely while trimming several current roster players. Further, they need to be careful when choosing who they restructure (in order to break this cycle). Then, they will need to draft players and sign UDFAs to plug the many holes we have left. Without sound strategy, shrewd choices, and a little good fortune, this easily could be a team that misses the playoffs again next year or for the next few years.
    Last edited by steelblood; 01-08-2013 at 11:20 AM.
    1 Mike Evans WR Texas A&M
    2 Stephen Tuitt DE Notre Dame
    3c Keith McGill CB Utah
    4 Ross Cockrell CB Duke
    5 Jordan Zumwalt ILB UCLA
    5c Anton Exum S Va Tech
    6 Trey Millard FB/TE Oklahoma
    7 Cody Latimer WR Indiana
    7c DeAnthony Thomas RB Oregon

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by steelblood View Post
    Well said. The Steelers are at a crossroads. They are not in cap hell yet, but close. They need to spend their FA and RFA dollars very wisely while trimming several current roster players. Further, they need to be careful when choosing who they restructure (in order to break this cycle). Then, they will need to draft players and sign UDFAs to plug the many holes we have left. Without sound strategy, shrewd choices, and a little good fortune, this easily could be a team that misses the playoffs again next year or for the next few years.
    On the other hand, this is a team that went 8-8 while losing 5 games by 3 points or less...the team is not necessarily far from competing in the playoffs and can get back there with some minor adjustments...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slapstick View Post
    On the other hand, this is a team that went 8-8 while losing 5 games by 3 points or less...the team is not necessarily far from competing in the playoffs and can get back there with some minor adjustments...
    At the same time, half of our wins were by 4 points or less. We weren't too many more mistakes from being 4-12.

    I'm at a loss with this team. The defense is ranked #1 but has been horrible with take-aways and game-changing plays. The offense has potential super stars on it and was hindered by changing systems, terrible mental mistakes and another year of shuffling the line due to multiple injuries and Ben going down with injury.

    I don't know what to expect next year at all. Frustrating.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Eich View Post
    At the same time, half of our wins were by 4 points or less. We weren't too many more mistakes from being 4-12.
    While this is true, I have to assume that the Steelers will move forward with the idea of correcting those mistakes instead of making more of them next year...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eich View Post
    At the same time, half of our wins were by 4 points or less. We weren't too many more mistakes from being 4-12.

    I'm at a loss with this team. The defense is ranked #1 but has been horrible with take-aways and game-changing plays. The offense has potential super stars on it and was hindered by changing systems, terrible mental mistakes and another year of shuffling the line due to multiple injuries and Ben going down with injury.

    I don't know what to expect next year at all. Frustrating.
    I'm with you on that one. I would like to think that we are closer to the balanced team that we saw against Cinci (first game) then the following game against the Giants. That was when we were at our healthiest and our D started to hit its stride.

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