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Question about BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE

We subscribe to the BPA draft method.

To me, that means pretending you don't have a team and you are starting from scratch. You take the best player. The best play-maker. The guy that can impact a team the most. Like Scot said, "You can never have enough good football players on your team. If you take the best player, you’re not living in year one, it’s living in the future as well. He’ll help you in year one, but he’ll also help you year two and on."


However, maybe i'm misunderstanding it and have misunderstood it for years. Does BPA mean Best Player Available for your specific team? For instance, if your team has a young ProBowl QB and you have the first pick, and the consensus #1 player is a QB, what do you do? Do you say no our team doesn't need a QB, so he wouldn't be the BPA?


If it's the latter BPA, isn't that just PON (Player of Need)?

Am i making myself clear? Im just trying to figure it out cuz this Maiocco comment made me think twice.



Question: I understand that we need to improve our O line, but it seems to me quite possible that the best players on the board at 13 and 17 might not be offensive linemen. Are you saying we should reach rather than stick to BPOB theory?

My response: I'm saying Charles Brown should be among the players on the 49ers' list of top, say, 15 players in this draft. --Matt M.
Obviously if you have a pro bowl QB you're not going to draft a QB with the #1 overral because it doesn't help you at all.

I think you have to look at your depth. I can guarantee we won't be drafting a TE because we're good there.

There are other positions that could use improvement. We're not stacked at corner, and some argue that we're good for this season. But you have to wonder if Clements is even going to be here next year and whether someone like Haden or Wilson would be an improvement over Brown.
People are too binary in their thinking about BPA. Some like to preach BPA because it sounds pure. But it's a matter of degree.

Teams are always thinking about their other players at a given position before they make a draft choice. To do otherwise would be ridiculous.
Think back to the glory years: we had Joe Montana, but Walsh was still looking for a quality quarterback. It didn't work out too badly.

Look at the Eagles. When they drafted Kolb, every one said "why?" But today that player gives them flexibility!

If you aren't willing to put your money where your mouth is and actually draft the best player, no one will believe you'll actually pick the player you don't "need" when you try to trade the pick!
Ya im still not gettin the answer im lookin for
  • ImaMod
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Originally posted by SWAGG-ER:
Ya im still not gettin the answer im lookin for

When we picked Crabtree last year we picked the BPA
If we were to pick a PON (player of need) then we would have picked either Orakpo or Michael Oher.
If I had my choice I would pick Suh #1 for the Niners. I think he would be an improvement over Sop. However, he is not worth the price to trade up to get him. So he is the best player for the Niners but is too expensive to get.

So that brings us to the next level. In our pick zone we will have a variety of BPA. If Haden/D. Williams/T. Williams/Spiller/Graham/Tate/McClain/Kindle/Thomas. Now the Niners have to evaluate and grade out the various players to see who fits their bill.

A key issue is how would we grade them out if we had all of the Niners information on them. That would include injury history, attitude, work history, criminal history, desire to play football, ability to process data, etc. Based on that information we could grade them out and see who would even be on our list. Then if that person was available we would have to then decide whether someone else wanted to trade for them and could we get a replacement or if we should take them because that player is the last and the best at that position.

Knowing that all picks are potential busts makes it more interesting. Talent wise they are all good, but then come all of the variables, that make any first round pick a 50/50 proposition.

So with eliminating those positions where we know that we are not going to pick BPA - no QBs, no TEs, and not likely that a WR will be BPA for us then we are left open to pick in the general ball park of our need pool which is quite large for this draft. We need CB, SS, OT, OG, OC, RB, PR/KR, OLB, ILB, WR. So that leaves a pretty wide door for BPA/Need
Simply put, in reality what you're aiming to do is more than solely looking at the best available player. You do that FIRST, but it doesn't end there. Next, you take need into consideration, and then try to make the best decision in regards to the overall "utility" (or good) that your selection will bring to the team.

It's really, in part, forecasting.

Fans often get stuck in the "now" -- But the FO's responsibility is also to consider future success. When you're successful, you do all you can to maintain and continue that.
Ok pretty much,

Are the 49ers compiling a list of the BEST PLAYERS AVAILABLE for the NFL, OR for the SF 49ers organization. Because if it's the latter, that changes things don't you think?

That in turn would move players like Charles Brown ahead of say a Brandon Graham or a Joe Haden. Both Graham and Haden are better players now, and presumably in the future, but because Brown is better for our organization we'd have him rated higher?

If that's true than Scots statement about BPA is gibberish.

Also do you choose the 4th best OT over the #1 cb? Over the #2 pass rusher? Over the higher number at a respective position?

I wish MM and MB would just straight ask these to the 49ers F.O.
  • DVDA
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Best player available doesn't list players 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on. Teams will give a player a grade, and multiple players can have that same grade. For example, Ndamukong Suh and Russell Okung could have the same grade on the 49ers draft board. If they were both available when the 49ers pick came up, the draft room would discuss whether they wanted Okung, who could solidify the line for the next ten years, or Suh, who was a man amongst boys in college. Everyone would give their input but the decision is in the hands of Trent Baalke this year.

Positions like safety, guard, center, tight end, and middle linebacker are often downgraded because those positions are often seen as having less of an impact on a game and being easier to fill. There are cases where a team thinks a player will be a perennial all-pro like Patrick Willis or Eric Berry where they will be selected high, but most of the time they wait until the middle of the first to select a player at those positions. Positions like left tackle, quarterback, cornerback, defensive end/outside linebacker(passrushers) can get higher grades because they have a bigger impact on a game.

To what you were saying about selecting the #4 offensive tackle vs. the #1 cornerback, it doesn't matter what they are ranked at their position, it only matters what their overall rank is. The #10 offensive tackle may have a higher grade than the #1 cornerback if it is a strong class for tackles and a weak class for cornerbacks.

Does that help at all?
Originally posted by fandemonium:
People are too binary in their thinking about BPA. Some like to preach BPA because it sounds pure. But it's a matter of degree.

Teams are always thinking about their other players at a given position before they make a draft choice. To do otherwise would be ridiculous.

Exactly.

Each team makes their draft board based on the talent level and position of need.

I highly doubt that the Colts have Sam Bradford in their top 5.

You have to take into consideration your team's strengths and needs when creating your board or you could wind up with 6 tight ends when the draft is done.

Fact is when a team's pick rolls around they look at their board. If they see a guy sitting there at a position they're strong in and below him is a guy at a position they're weak in and there is let's say .8 rating points that separate them...they'll obviously take the guy who is a little worse but helps them more.

It also changes by round. Like I said teams with top QBs won't be drafting one that early unless that top QB is old as hell.

BPA is a very loose term.
Let's take the example of Suh. I've heard over and over that's he the highest-graded player. BUT, he's a 4-3 tackle. If he were to fall to 13, would we HAVE TO pick him based on the fact that he grades out so much higher than anyone else on the board even though he doesn't fit our scheme?

If he grades A LOT higher than anyone else on your board, I think you have to take him to try to trade the pick, but in fact there are usually several players with almost exactly the same grade available at just about any pick. And that's why it's easy for teams to say "we take the best player available". Because if there are 5 players available with the same grade, one is almost surely at a position of need, or at least at a position where an upgrade might help.

The Niners management has been very circumspect about this. But if I were running the draft, I would have a "league grade" and a "team grade". The league grade would estimate the value of every player regardless of our interest and how they fit with our team. (It would also analyze how they potentially fit on other teams and what their needs are.) Without such an evaluation, we wouldn't have any idea of how likely it was that players we are interested in might last.

People go on and on about DeSean Jackson. But he fell to around pick 50. A that point Andy Reid decided that he had become a value pick. A few picks earlier, the Niner's hadn't made that decision yet, despite the fact that this was a position of need.

I also remember a few years ago when Shawntae Spenser was taken in the 2nd round: there was an outcry that the Niners reached. But look at it in retrospect: 1) Spenser has turned out to be a pretty good player, and 2) Pittsburgh later admitted they were poised to grab Spenser a couple of picks latter. So knowing how the league valued Spenser was a key to getting him.


But the team grade would be a more specific grade of the players on your draft board. There has to come a position in the draft that ANY player becomes a good value: if Sam Bradford fell to the third round, wouldn't we fools not to invest a pick? (Of course, that's not going to happen); but Tarell Brown supposedly had a second-round grade talent-wise, but had off field issues. At a certain point the talent grade became a bigger factor than the off field mark-down.
  • fryet
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BPA normally does not apply to QB if you already have one. Outside of that it normally does. BPA, however, does rank players based on how they would fit in your team. As a result, a 4-3 DE would not be rated as highly if you play a 3-4. Instead, you would be rating them on how well they could be a 3-4 DE. As was also mentioned, if you have 2 players ranked the same, then even with the BPA philosophy, you will choose the player that fills the greater than need.

Personally, I think this is the year that the 49ers need to not use the BPA philosophy. They need to get a RT, even if it is a reach.
Originally posted by SWAGG-ER:
Ok pretty much,

Are the 49ers compiling a list of the BEST PLAYERS AVAILABLE for the NFL, OR for the SF 49ers organization. Because if it's the latter, that changes things don't you think?

That in turn would move players like Charles Brown ahead of say a Brandon Graham or a Joe Haden. Both Graham and Haden are better players now, and presumably in the future, but because Brown is better for our organization we'd have him rated higher?

If that's true than Scots statement about BPA is gibberish.

Also do you choose the 4th best OT over the #1 cb? Over the #2 pass rusher? Over the higher number at a respective position?

I wish MM and MB would just straight ask these to the 49ers F.O.

BPA for NFL

Each kid will get a number rating ex...

Suh 98
McCoy 97
Bradford 96
Berry 96

As the kids get drafted they are "erased from the list". When its our turn to draft we would look at whose available and out of those guys which would fit with us better.

As far as who is taken before who position wise....depends on their grade. Reaching for a 86 OT (for argument sake we will say 86 is the 4th best OT) while a 93 CB is on the board is by definition reaching for a position when better value is available.

For real world examples, here is Scout's Inc current ratings.
(Keep in mind that everybody grades different so a player that's rated at 90 for them could be 80 for us)

Player Pos. School Grade
1. Gerald McCoy* DT Oklahoma 98
2. Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska 97
3. Eric Berry* S Tennessee 97
4. Jason Pierre-Paul DE South Florida 97
5. Anthony Davis* OT Rutgers 97
6. Joe Haden* CB Florida 96
7. Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State 96
8. Derrick Morgan* DE Georgia Tech 96
9. Sam Bradford* QB Oklahoma 95
10. Dez Bryant* WR Oklahoma State 95
11. C.J. Spiller RB Clemson 95
12. Bryan Bulaga* OT Iowa 95
13. Rolando McClain* ILB Alabama 95
14. Mike Iupati G Idaho 94
15. Earl Thomas* S Texas 94
16. Trent Williams OT Oklahoma 94
17. Brian Price* DT UCLA 94
18. Brandon Graham OLB Michigan 94
19. Carlos Dunlap* DE Florida 94
20. Dan Williams DT Tennessee 93
21. Sergio Kindle OLB Texas 93
22. Kyle Wilson CB Boise State 93
23. Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma 93
24. Everson Griffen* DE USC 92
25. Taylor Mays S USC 92
26. Maurkice Pouncey* C Florida 92
27. Arrelious Benn WR Illinois 92
28. Jared Odrick DT Penn State 91
29. Kareem Jackson* CB Alabama 91
30. Bruce Campbell* OT Maryland 91
31. Devin McCourty CB Rutgers 90
32. Ryan Mathews* RB Fresno State 90
BPA means the best player available regardless of team need or if the player already has the position. For instance when we had Montana and the BPA was a QB we would pick the BPA the other QB....however, a lot of teams do not go by this strategy, especially if the BPA is a position they already have secured by a great or great players.

A modification of this is if the team passes on the BPA because they already have a great player on the team and selects the next best available player or the next BPA according to a position of need.

This year, Spiller may be the BPA but we may pass on him because of Gore/Coffee and instead take the best OT available....although he is not the BPA he is the BPA at our position of need.

Crabtree was the BPA last year and we were lucky because if we had good wr's or at least 1 pro bowler we may not of chosen him. This year i hope we take spiller and take the best OT available at 17.
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