I want to start a discussion of need vs. Best Player Available (BPA). Reading the comments for the past few weeks, I have seen much confusion regarding the two ideas. There are definite "needs" on this team, but we all know when it comes to the draft, Reese usually will take the player that is "best available". Looking at the past 3 drafts, the first round picks have been Nicks, JPP, and Prince. One could make the argument that Nicks fit both the need category and best player available. JPP and Prince are the two best examples of BPA, as we already had some good depth at the positions they play, but JR will not turn down talent. As was shown with Prince, once you pick a player with the mindset of BPA, he can quickly turn into a need. This was demonstrated when we had a rash of injuries to our CBs. The drafting of JPP had a lot of us scratching our head at the time, because here is an athletically gifted, but raw prospect, at a crowded position. As we have come to see, JR was brilliant in picking the BPA.
Now comes the idea of BPA. In the first round, I am expecting to see some shifting going on, as teams trade up and down (Side note, we have the #32 pick, which means we are awesome! And I will take the 32 pick any time!). There is almost no chance JR trades up, as that does not seem to be his style, plus I expect some decent talent to fall to the Giants at 32. Taking into account what I mention above regarding need, some would say, "Well, we need to take a O-lineman or TE, even a LB since ours were picked low or UDFA". I made mention of a few players in a comment yesterday of who could potentially fall to us: Cordy Glenn-OT/OG Georgia, Zach Brown OLB-UNC, Reiff OT-Iowa, Whitney Merculis DE-Illinois, Alfonso Dennard CB, Nebraska. These are players I have ranked higher than pick 32, but GMs from other teams may value other guys more as they may draft based on "need". (I have tried to link Ed's draft profiles on these guys here, but am not computer savvy enough to make it work). A lot of the mock drafts have us taking Coby Fleener, TE-Stanford; Doug Martin, RB-Boise St; Kelechie Osemele, OG-Iowa St; Mike Adams, OT-Ohio St. (again, Ed has done draft previews on them for more information). These players being mocked to us are all talented and as you can see they all are falling into writers' idea of "need". I would not argue if we chose some of these players, because I have them rated right around pick 32. But, I want to talk about the guys, who could fall and thus would be BPA. If, for example, any of these guys mocked to us are available, and say a dude like Zach Brown OLB-UNC falls to us, I do not believe JR will draft the TE Fleener or O-Line Adams and Osemele over Brown. Even though I identified TE and O-line as our two biggest needs in the off-season, Brown will get drafted because he is a sick athlete, both on the field and in the combine, and will automatically upgrade our LB corps. I can see how Brown may be a bad example because he is a LB and most feel that is a position of need. So, I will give another example, one that I am bias to. Say Alfonso Dennard, CB-Nebraska falls to the 32nd pick, I think he would get chosen before a lot of the other players. Why? Because he is Prince 2.0. They have similar skill sets, although Prince is probably the better athlete, and as we all know our CBs got decimated last year. This pick would give the Giants an insane CB group, which is not the worst idea with a pass happy league. I will point out that some draft boards do not have Mark Barron, S-Alabama rated that highly, but I think the dude will be a really good SS. Again, if he is there at 32, he might be BPA. Again, S is not really a need, but he would automatically upgrade the talent at the position, pushing Rolle and KP to play at their best. A great example of BPA.
My disclaimer is that my opinion of these players varies greatly from others. Fleener did not full participate at the combine and the TE class is weak so he might just be the proverbial tallest short person in this case, Osemele might be had later, Adams is over-rated. Martin would be good, but I am always weary of RB in the first round.
Yes, the 2012 NY Giants have needs, even though it is viewed as a nasty word around BBV. But, it is the context in which it is used that makes it dirty. One can talk about what the Giants need in personnel to be better, but when it comes to the draft, JR will most likely take the BPA, especially with the first round pick. That way, you upgrade the position.
The best is when need and BPA meet and something really cool happens, i.e. Nicks. The dude was awesome throughout the past few years and I know we all thank him immensely for his amazing performance in the post-season. This year, I am hoping need and BPA in the first round of the draft, as I really like Cordy Glenn, OG/OT-Georgia. I HIGHLY doubt he will fall to the Giants at 32, but I am hoping he will. It would be the falling of Prince and the need+BPA marriage we got in Nicks.