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Old 03-24-2010, 10:02 AM   #1
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Default Your opinion on reaching for need vs. taking the BPA

I was thinking about this last night after reading a post from Taco that he wants Xanders to take Iupati with the #11 pick. I'm a strong proponent of taking the best player available in the draft. I do however, see the logic in taking a player who might be able to fill an immediate need even if he's selected higher than his perceived value.

Looking at the Broncos, I believe their biggest weakness (by far) is the interior OL. It's my belief that an improved interior OL will maximize the value of our 2009 1st round RB and allow us to keep the defense off the field and improve the entire team. As of right now, our projected starting interior OL would be an unknown (Olsen), journeyman (Hochstein) and one solid starter (Kuper). So with that #11 pick, do the Broncos "reach" on Iupati, the draft's best guard, or Pouncey, the draft's best center? Most mock draft's have the two players going in the #15-#25 range, lower than the Broncos pick at #11.

Now I know everyone loves to suggest trading down, but in a deep draft that's easier said than done and for the sake of this discussion - I want to get your opinions on reaching for need vs. taking the best player available. Some teams have taken a guy before his perceived value and it's worked out (Donte Whitner to the Bills comes to my mind) but many times it hasnt and often times squads have been burned for reaching.

In the Broncos case, if they can't move down, they could select Iupati or Pouncey at #11 and help fill an immediate need at a very important position. However, it would be argued that McClain and D.Williams are more appropriate values at #11 and they could come in and compete for playing time and very important positions of value as well. It could also be argued that a sexy, skilled position pick like Bryant or Spiller could be more worthy of the money given to the #11 pick.

With that #11 does seem very high to take a C or G even though I think both could be great pros. For me personally, I value the OL so much that even if it wasn't an area of need, I'd like to take either guy. With that, Williams, McClain and Bryant seem to be more "appropriate" picks at #11 and I think any of the three guys could make a big impact. So what do you guys think? I don't think I'd be upset if the Broncos took any of the players (Iupati, Pouncey, McClain, Williams, Bryant or even Spiller) I mentioned at #11 but I'm curious as to your take.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:22 AM   #2
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I think you go with the BPA at a position of some need unless the straight-up BPA is rated significantly higher. For example, I would be cool with Spiller at #11 even though we have more pressing needs at OL if we have him rated significantly higher than Iupati or Pouncey. If they are rated close to equal, then I think you go OL. I also think you have to factor in the relative strength of positions in the draft. For example, some feel like J.D. Walton with a second or third is close in value to Pouncey in the first. Maybe then you can go with a player you have rated close to Pouncey at another position where there may not be as much depth. So, I guess I would say you take BPA as your starting point and then consider all the other factors to determine whether they justify picking another player. I would never reach for a player I did not have rated very closely to the BPA just to fill a position of need. Particularly early in the draft because of the long-term effects of missing with an early pick.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:29 AM   #3
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I'd take the best player available. If that means taking a top flight OT who can move inside to guard, then so be it. I would rather Trent Williams or Anthony Davis at #11 than Iupati or Pouncey. Personally, I think C.J. Spiller is the best player who will be available at our spot and would take him without hesitation.

The Broncos have a lot of holes on the team. I think we can upgrade at every position we have. Iupati or Pouncey at #11 would be catastrophic mistakes value wise in my opinion. Iupati is a mid-to-late first-round selection, and Pouncey barely registers as that.

There is no need to reach on players when there are more than likely better fits for our offense elsewhere in the draft, and if you want to get the most value out of your picks, you don't take a turd like Pouncey that high or Iupati.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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I wouldn't be upset if they draft any of the following:
Iupati
Dan Williams
Trent Williams
McClain


I think 11 for a C is wayyyy overpayment.
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Old 03-24-2010, 10:49 AM   #5
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I would be very upset. I do not think their value is close. our only real chance is to trade back with Pitts- so they can select haden...

But if we can not trade back then:

Graham
bryant
spiller
mclain
williams
haden
thomas


Would all be MUCH better selections. (in order for me)
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:15 AM   #6
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BPA is great in theory, but I just think it too often doesn't improve your team as much as it should and defining who the best player is is very difficult - Dez Bryant might very well be more talented than all but 3 or 4 players in this draft, but does that make him BPA in the top 10?

If you are a team like Dallas or Indy or New Orleans you can go BPA, they have so few dire needs that they just have to ensure that they stay on top and you do that by getting the best players you can. If you are a team like us, we have some very clear and pretty dire needs like interior OL, youth at DL, CB, to some extend WR and certainly ILB, you just don't have to luxury to get players for a position who won't improve your team early on.

Right now my short list for the 11 spot is:

Rolando Mcclain, to me he is good value and fits a need
Sergio Kindle, can play OLB or ILB and is moving up boards
Mike Iupati, to me this is only a slight reach and LG might be our number 1 need
Dan Williams, has been moving up boards, but may be a bit overhyped because of his position
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:34 AM   #7
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BPA at 11 imo is always the best way to go regardless of need. I agree even though I want to move down Montrose is right it might be hard with the quality of round 1 this year. I do think our best chance to move down is if Spiller and Dez are on the board. This is the first organized draft ( I hope) of this regime we'll see what they do this time.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:43 AM   #8
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Every former and current FO type I've heard with any real success has said you've got to take BPA. Picking a positional need/desire leads to over picking, which results in busts and underachievers. You take BPA as long as there is legitimate long term potential for the guy to contribute.

Positional needs serve as a good tie breaker, but ultimately you got to take the best talent. Iupati is very talented, just because OG is an under-drafted position doesn't mean he might not be the best football talent at #11.

Take guys you know are very talented and fit your system, they'll show you a lot of ways that you can have them contribute after the fact.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:50 PM   #9
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I'd take the best player available. If that means taking a top flight OT who can move inside to guard, then so be it. I would rather Trent Williams or Anthony Davis at #11 than Iupati or Pouncey. Personally, I think C.J. Spiller is the best player who will be available at our spot and would take him without hesitation.

The Broncos have a lot of holes on the team. I think we can upgrade at every position we have. Iupati or Pouncey at #11 would be catastrophic mistakes value wise in my opinion. Iupati is a mid-to-late first-round selection, and Pouncey barely registers as that.

There is no need to reach on players when there are more than likely better fits for our offense elsewhere in the draft, and if you want to get the most value out of your picks, you don't take a turd like Pouncey that high or Iupati.

Bingo and this is exactly what will happen. If Baluga, Okung, Davis, Williams, or any other OT that works his way into the "top flight" category is available at #11, that will be the pick. As for transitioning to OG from the OT position, I think Baluga and Williams are the perfect candidates. Shorter arms for Baluga and the fact that Trent Williams struggled with LT his Sr. year lead me to this conclusion.

The reason I keep going down this path is two fold. One, we need an upgrade at OG (obviously). Two, Ryan Harris is oft injured and our game went down hill in a hurry when he went out last year. I know that everyone thinks that the interior line was our biggest problem, but Hochstein did fine until about week 8 or 9... We were able to mask his weaknesses with solid play around him. But when Harris went down, it was too much to mask both Polumbus and Hochstein. Clady suffered as a result and Weigmann looked old and slow.

Finally, when you look at McD's comments regarding the draft and pointing out the depth at the tackle position (both offense and defense), I think you can expect to see a few draft picks at those positions. My belief now is that we will go with Williams (Dan or Trent ) with #11 and then OT or DT (Ducasse, Cody, Thomas, etc) with #45. In the 3rd we'll take the best remaining OC, most likely Tennant but hopeful for Walton.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:53 PM   #10
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If we're talking about the difference between the #11 and the #15, I don't see it as a reach. For my part, I don't believe that there is a player within this range that will impact our team this season more (at least in the short term, probably even the long) than Iupati would. Who are we going to take that is going to make a bigger impact on making the playoffs this season than Iupati would?

Of course, I'm a Vandal, and will admit that I'm seeing things through Silver and Gold lenses. The idea of Iupati and Clady next to eachother - hailing from schools that hate eachother - thrills me. I can see these guys anchoring our line for the next 10 years. The thought sends me to the moon.

But trying to keep my feet on the ground, I just don't see it as too much of a reach given our tremendous weakness there. We need to fill that spot, and what better way to do that than to take the guy we need at #11.
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:56 PM   #11
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Bingo and this is exactly what will happen. If Baluga, Okung, Davis, Williams, or any other OT that works his way into the "top flight" category is available at #11, that will be the pick.

And as proof that I'm not being a complete homer about this, I very much like this idea too. Filling this gap is crucial for us, because without a solid answer here, we're going to have a difficult time evaluating the rest of our skill positions. I'm a big believer that it all starts up front. Talent at the skill position will buy you a lot of things, but offensive linemen buy you time.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:11 PM   #12
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I don't believe players have a certain pick grade. Spiller had a first round grade on him. There are lots of reason's why he has a first round grade I just don't think he should grade out as high as everyone here is claiming. Mike Iupati also has a first round grade. Most people see him as a late first rounder but a first round grade either way. I don't think draft Iupati would be a HUGE reach because of the fact that he grades out as a first rounder. Now if you are ignoring obviously better players to draft a player that doesn't even grade out for that round you are drafting him then it's a huge reach.

Someone already pointed out the cost of having both Spiller and Moreno. Huge amounts of money tied up in one position. Not only that the shortest lasting position where players are regarded as dime a dozen.

Spiller would be a role player in our system. A return man and a change of pace back. He isn't regarded as a very good blocker so third downs would be out of the question for him. To me that wouldn't be a very good use of a first round pick. At least Iupati would be on the field for all four downs. Also if he is as good as they claim at run blocking we should open up large running lanes for Moreno which will help the running game.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:33 PM   #13
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The thing about BPA is that there are tiers in every draft and even with in rounds. The difference between the 1st overall BPA and the 4th in this draft is HUGE! Then you go to the next tier that goes from 4-9. Then 9-16, and 16-27 or so on my board. All the players in those ranges are too narrow to differentiate on positional talent alone.

What teams look for within those ranges are some mixture of players that fit their scheme, prototype, have growth potential, and are solid character guys. Those help differentiate the talent grades for individual teams when their pick comes. And every pick changes the entire landscape of the board and therefore affects the type of player available to the next tier.

It is also why a guy a with top 5 talent grade drops to another team that has a higher value placed on him in the teens or even 20's some years. The player does not fit the next teams criteria as BPA as each selection is made. Certain Positions also get overall draft premiums put on them like OT and QB. The opposite also holds true. Certain positions like OC, OG, S are disregarded becasue they are much easier to obtain in later rounds.

I think the reaches come when you get players like Tyson Jackson and Darius Heyward-Bey that jump whole tiers like last year. The teams selecting after those reaches benefit immensely from the overselection. The Broncos 11th pick should find an outstanding level player still on the board, but I do not have any Interior OL graded in the tier. In fact, I do not have one until the late first 27-45 tier. That means taking anyone that high from another tier just helps other teams have another shot a better player than you just picked.

However, my board has zero impact on the other 32 teams boards That is just how my overall rankings look at this point.
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #14
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Hey Med, you ducker! You didn't tell us whether you would be ok with taking Iupati at #11!

Choose your words carefully! My ban finger is feeling heavy today!
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:03 PM   #15
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Hey Med, you ducker! You didn't tell us whether you would be ok with taking Iupati at #11!

Choose your words carefully! My ban finger is feeling heavy today!
Hotrod would have already ban his ass. Suck when you are not as manly as our Internet Redneck.
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:38 PM   #16
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I want the line help more than anyone, but i still wouldn't complain about Spiller at #11. There is just too much recent evidence that a guy like Spiller can help an offense turn the corner.

The Titans were **** with just LenDale White. Adding Chris Johnson looked like a luxury, but he even helped Vince Young win some games (and Vince isn't really very good...). The Panthers had it going for a while with the same situation, and even the Vikings benefitted last year from a "luxury" skill player pick.

I want the line first (Offense or Defense), but I wouldn't have a problem at all with Spiller. Just no more midget corners and i'm ok...
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Old 03-24-2010, 02:59 PM   #17
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The thing about BPA is that there are tiers in every draft and even with in rounds. The difference between the 1st overall BPA and the 4th in this draft is HUGE! Then you go to the next tier that goes from 4-9. Then 9-16, and 16-27 or so on my board. All the players in those ranges are too narrow to differentiate on positional talent alone.

What teams look for within those ranges are some mixture of players that fit their scheme, prototype, have growth potential, and are solid character guys. Those help differentiate the talent grades for individual teams when their pick comes. And every pick changes the entire landscape of the board and therefore affects the type of player available to the next tier.

It is also why a guy a with top 5 talent grade drops to another team that has a higher value placed on him in the teens or even 20's some years. The player does not fit the next teams criteria as BPA as each selection is made. Certain Positions also get overall draft premiums put on them like OT and QB. The opposite also holds true. Certain positions like OC, OG, S are disregarded becasue they are much easier to obtain in later rounds.

I think the reaches come when you get players like Tyson Jackson and Darius Heyward-Bey that jump whole tiers like last year. The teams selecting after those reaches benefit immensely from the overselection. The Broncos 11th pick should find an outstanding level player still on the board, but I do not have any Interior OL graded in the tier. In fact, I do not have one until the late first 27-45 tier. That means taking anyone that high from another tier just helps other teams have another shot a better player than you just picked.

However, my board has zero impact on the other 32 teams boards That is just how my overall rankings look at this point.
Wait, so you don't have guys like Okung, Baluga, Davis, Williams, or Iupati rated higher than 27-45 Where is that BS Flag Smiley?
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Old 03-24-2010, 03:39 PM   #18
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Man its a tough call, I don't envy the front office at all. Even if something crazy happens like Eric Berry falls to 11 because no one wants to take a safety that high. He would clearly be the BPA, but our safeties are among the strongest units we have. I'd still want us to take him, even if McClain and Williams are there. But just sticking to your premise, (Williams, McClain, Spiller, Bryant, Pouncey, Iupati) I think Pouncey fills the biggest need but I'd want the team to take the top player on their draft board. For a first round pick, especially an 11, you might as well get the most talented guy. Then in the following rounds when less money is on the line you can focus more on need. But that first rounder can set you back if they aren't a hit. Reaching for need is a more likely bust than taking the best player
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:43 PM   #19
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Outstanding thread w/great contributions by all involved- reminds me of the 'Mane 3 years ago.....

I think the bottom line is that there is traditionally a "slider" that may be top 5 worthy that will be there at 11- will probably be an OT when looking at the depth of this draft...
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Old 03-24-2010, 09:41 PM   #20
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Wait, so you don't have guys like Okung, Baluga, Davis, Williams, or Iupati rated higher than 27-45 Where is that BS Flag Smiley?
He said interior OL.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:49 PM   #21
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There's a very important distinction to be made here.

The best teams in the league select on BPA (Indy, Pitt, NE, Philly, etc) but they do this BECAUSE they can. Solid teams with solid depth can afford to select BPA. Inversely, horrid teams with glaring holes everywhere, can ALSO afford to draft BPA.

The 2010 Denver Broncos can not. We have some positions nailed down tightly. We have others that are solid and have promising youth behind them. We have others that are questionable. And we have others that are downright bad that need to be addressed immediately and couldn't be in FA so that falls squarely on the draft process or it IS a FO failure.
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Old 03-25-2010, 12:54 AM   #22
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1st and 2nd rounds -- fill your most glaring needs. If the best player(s) available on the board don't match your needs, trade down if possible to a more favorable position. Denver is currently in this situation, with their only glaring need at the guard and center positions. We'd be better off dropping down 5-10 spots, picking up an extra 2 or 3, then taking Iupati or Pouncey at #20 or so.

3rd round onwards -- always, always, ALWAYS take BPA. Do this for several years, and you'll have a very deep roster. Teams (like the Shanahan-led Broncos) can get themselves into trouble by wasting their mid-round picks year after year on reaches for positions of need.
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Old 03-25-2010, 03:25 AM   #23
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The thing about BPA is that there are tiers in every draft and even with in rounds. The difference between the 1st overall BPA and the 4th in this draft is HUGE! Then you go to the next tier that goes from 4-9. Then 9-16, and 16-27 or so on my board. All the players in those ranges are too narrow to differentiate on positional talent alone.

What teams look for within those ranges are some mixture of players that fit their scheme, prototype, have growth potential, and are solid character guys. Those help differentiate the talent grades for individual teams when their pick comes. And every pick changes the entire landscape of the board and therefore affects the type of player available to the next tier.

It is also why a guy a with top 5 talent grade drops to another team that has a higher value placed on him in the teens or even 20's some years. The player does not fit the next teams criteria as BPA as each selection is made. Certain Positions also get overall draft premiums put on them like OT and QB. The opposite also holds true. Certain positions like OC, OG, S are disregarded becasue they are much easier to obtain in later rounds.

I think the reaches come when you get players like Tyson Jackson and Darius Heyward-Bey that jump whole tiers like last year. The teams selecting after those reaches benefit immensely from the overselection. The Broncos 11th pick should find an outstanding level player still on the board, but I do not have any Interior OL graded in the tier. In fact, I do not have one until the late first 27-45 tier. That means taking anyone that high from another tier just helps other teams have another shot a better player than you just picked.

However, my board has zero impact on the other 32 teams boards That is just how my overall rankings look at this point.

I agree with this. Good post. Before the draft, maybe we can post opposing boards and see how they compare. I'm mostly set up through the 5th Round area now, I'm not sure how deep you run yours. I'm sure other draftniks would love to offer theirs too. It would probably make a very interesting thread and would give us some good debate if we did it a week or two before the draft.
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:38 AM   #24
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He said interior OL.
Whoa... thanks Req, I could have sworn I read OT in there. Very good point and with that notion, I would agree. Pouncey and Iupati may be a little higher, but not much.

Now, what about moving one of those big massive tackles with short arms, inside?
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Old 03-25-2010, 05:52 AM   #25
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There's a very important distinction to be made here.

The best teams in the league select on BPA (Indy, Pitt, NE, Philly, etc) but they do this BECAUSE they can. Solid teams with solid depth can afford to select BPA. Inversely, horrid teams with glaring holes everywhere, can ALSO afford to draft BPA.

The 2010 Denver Broncos can not. We have some positions nailed down tightly. We have others that are solid and have promising youth behind them. We have others that are questionable. And we have others that are downright bad that need to be addressed immediately and couldn't be in FA so that falls squarely on the draft process or it IS a FO failure.
I agree with this. That is why a team like the Vikings can select players like Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. They certainly find roles for them, and they have had a lot of success taking BPA regardless of risk.

Which brings me to my question regarding BPA AND Risk. Seems like every year there are guys that fall b/c of risk. This year you are hearing names like Sam Bradford (Injury), Dez Bryant (Character) and Trent Williams (Work Ethic). Last year the player that immediately comes to mind is Percy Harvin (Character). In past years you had guys like Adrian Peterson (Injury) as well as Ryan Clady (competition). There are also plenty of guys that have busted or turned out to not do too well, mainly b/c of the risks originally identified by scouts. Brandon Marshall comes to mind.

So, how do you weigh in those risks when they are in fact the BPA? For example, if Dez Bryant filled an immediate need and was the BPA, what do you have to do or have as a franchise to take on that risk?
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