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Best Player Available Vs. Best Player Available For Us

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NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Kentucky vs Penn State Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With the draft on the horizon, some old battles start to be fought within many draft fans. Do we go BPA (Best Player Available) or do we go with need. I think it is time we do away with both and make a unified front that includes both and much more. When I think of BPA right now, I think, “who is the best, most NFL ready player available?” Right this minute, I would say the BPA is Quinnen Williams. But does that make him the BPAFU(Best Player Available For Us)? I don’t believe it does. The other factors that should be figured into the equation are...

  1. Ceilings
  2. Middle Ground
  3. Need
  4. Miscellaneous Risk

When the Jets go on the clock, I am fully expecting the choices in front of to be Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen. For the sake of simplicity, I will use them as comparisons and leave out Bosa. Now let’s say we live in a vacuum and weren’t factoring the above 4 elements. We would be choosing the player that is BPA. At this point in their development, Q is a fair amount ahead of Josh Allen. Allen does a lot very well, but could still stand to develop his game. This is most evident in his pass rushing and run defense. He is a terror when he attacks the outside using his length, burst and suppleness. What he lacks is consistency with inside counters and speed to power progressions. Q on the other hand is pretty flawless. BPA goes to Williams

The next factorial to dive into the formula is ceiling. Both players have elite traits, and elite ceilings. I don’t like using player comparisons for determining ceilings, and instead will just use predictive stats based on top tier players in the league. If Q hits his ceiling, I can see his AVG production looking something like

If Allen hits his ceiling, I can see his AVG production looking something like

This kind of production would be more than welcome on this team. If I were to look at each stat line without a name or position, I would have a hard time picking a favorite. Since I can’t, I won’t. I will call this one a draw.

Again, the chances of a player hitting their ceilings aren’t very good. Even though Q is more polished and more likely to hit his ceiling, there is still a greater chance that he doesn’t. Where we should be placing our bets is on the next tier down. This is where we should see some separation between the two groups. As far as production goes the top tier interior guys can put up just as much if not more than the edge group. The problem interior guys have is that the top tier is pretty small, and the drop-off is drastic. The edge group has few elites and then gradually descends to the 2nd tier. In 2018, only 11 IDL players had more than 50 pressures. The edge group more than doubled that with 27. Only 6 IDL guys had 10 or more sacks. The Edge group had 21. For the positions they play, if they both do fall into the next tier, Allen is more likely to be productive than Q. A top 15 IDL is more likely to be a 45 pressure, 6 sack guy where a top 15 edge is more likely to be a 60 pressure, 11 sack guy. I am giving the middle ground to Allen.

Next up is need. I don’t like using the draft to fill immediate needs. It stinks of poor free agent management and desperation. The ideal way to attack need is to find immediate starters in free agency and then draft the BPAFU to be depth or eventually take over for the interim starters. At this point right now. We have .5 starting edge guys on the team. That is pretty sad. There is still time to change that, but time and options are running out. Going into the draft, we could be in the unfortunate position of looking for a starter at edge. We have 3 starting quality players along the interior, including 2 top 20 pass rushers. If Macc and the gang don’t plan on bringing Leo back next year, then the long-term need goes up for Q. I am not going to pretend to know their intentions for Leo though, so I won’t try. When it comes to need, Allen gets the nod.

Neither player has any known off the field issues to worry about. The only minor thing that can be thrown into the miscellaneous risk category is that Q only has 1 year of production. It’s not a huge concern to me, but in comparison, Allen has that prototypical production curve that you like to see. Was he just a 1 year wonder, probably not, but still something to consider. With Allen, there is the fact that he still has some development to be catch up to where Williams is, polish wise. More to work on means more risk in them him not developing the skills needed to reach the higher tier. Neither bothers me so much that I would give the edge to either. I will call this a draw as well.

We can’t just look who is the best player right now to determine who our best option is. We have to factor in ceiling, middle ground, need and other risks when sifting out the BPAFU. If Bosa is gone, the choice is between Allen and Williams, I am going to go with Allen.