BPA, BVA, and Tiers of Talent in the Draft

NelsonsLongCatch

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This article is so true. The idea of best player available gets taken a little too directly by people (especially on this forum). A team doesn't rate players 1 through 500 on a giant list. Player A might grade out as 89.21 and Player B might grade out as 89.13. Does that extra .07 rating make Player A "better". Is a fraction of a percent or even one whole percent difference even measurable? I would say that no talent evaluator is good enough to distinguish between fractions of a percent.

People forget that players are ranked in tiers. A GM, such as TT, will trade back six spots if there are eight players with a similar grade still on the board. The reason TT drafted Aaron Rodger is because he was such an extraordinarly value. This is also why common sense should used when arguing "I'd be alright if the Packers draft a quarterback in the first round". No QB on the board will hold enough value to justify the pick.
 

SpartaChris

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This is also why common sense should used when arguing "I'd be alright if the Packers draft a quarterback in the first round". No QB on the board will hold enough value to justify the pick.

Unless we see a repeat of 2005 and someone like RGIII or Andrew Luck slide.

All in all I agree with the drafting philosophy, though I'll admit the idea of putting players in tiers hadn't occurred to me. It makes sense though, to lump the players into tiers rather than flat out grades. I also agree it's great you don't just draft a player based strictly on need. Go for value. The rest will, more or less, take care of itself.
 

Bagadeez04

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Very good thread here...and I agree 100%. The way TT drafts takes BPA more into account than most other GM's for sure...but it's not the only variable that he factors in (need, character being a couple others).

On a side note, I saw a mock from Fox or something that had the Packers taking Weeden...good example of taking BPA way too literally.
 

fettpett

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He doesn't always stick to that...just remember Justin Harrell....just thinking we could have had 2 picks in 2008 and gotten both Mendenhall and Nelson
 

AmishMafia

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I don't like the article. I think the basic premise is flawed.

The author is making the assumption that the players are identified not in tiers as suggested by the title, but in a list from 1 to whatever.

The fact is, once you get past the top ten, the next best player is starting to get murky. When you get to 50, there is little difference between the next few picks. Therefore, if you are picking at 50, you can select between 5 or 6 players, and at that point, why not select one in a deficient area.

Trading down has everything to do with BPA and not evidence against it. If you are at 50 and there are 10 players ranked the same, why not trade back and pick up some more draft picks and still get the same value player?
 

realcaliforniacheese

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Targeting and BPA are not mutually exclusive. Trading up and down the draft to find the player the fits both the best player on the board and area of need is BAP. If you can pick up picks and still get the player your are targeting all the better. Value is the key, the player has to match the pick he is being selected at, Ted is a master of the draft.
 

gbpowner

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Of course, it would be daft to think that TT operates on a strictly BPA philosophy. This is not fantasy fb and I'm quite certain that Ted and his staff don't eat nachos and drink beer after activating the auto-draft button on their draft board on draft day!

Need (Raji vs Crabtree), BPA (Rodgers--but we have a QB?) and BVA (Jordy--how many receivers do we need?) all factor into choices made. The draft is not an exact science using one or all 3 (and possibly more) of these philosophies to obtain any one player. Occasionally nothing works because otherwise how do you explain Justin Harrell?? :laugh: Sometimes it is just plain stupid luck whether a player works out or not!
 

realcaliforniacheese

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Of course, it would be daft to think that TT operates on a strictly BPA philosophy. This is not fantasy fb and I'm quite certain that Ted and his staff don't eat nachos and drink beer after activating the auto-draft button on their draft board on draft day!

Need (Raji vs Crabtree), BPA (Rodgers--but we have a QB?) and BVA (Jordy--how many receivers do we need?) all factor into choices made. The draft is not an exact science using one or all 3 (and possibly more) of these philosophies to obtain any one player. Occasionally nothing works because otherwise how do you explain Justin Harrell?? :laugh: Sometimes it is just plain stupid luck whether a player works out or not!
MM and TT eating Nacho's and Drinking beer in the war room, gettin a beer buzz and pickin players. Now there's an image. "Hey Mikey, wadda ya think about that longhair Matthews?" "Well he kinda looks like Thor" "Yeah, we could really screw with the Vikings with a guy like that", "You gonna move up and take him" "Hell yes, screw those Viqueens", "Cool".
 

AmishMafia

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Things get murky after 10 for the teams that are constantly at the bottom of the ocean.
Please now. Lets be rational.

How do you judge a very good OG and a very good CB? How do you truly measure these two against each other? Is the CB faster? Hopefully, but that isn't as important for a guard. Who has the better power? Not important for a CB. What about the OG having more experience, however he is injury prone? Who has more 'heart' and how exactly short of a CAT scan, do you figure out?

The comment in the article that "that does not mean they plan to take a player with a rating 0.002 higher" is ridiculous and suggests to me that the author has little idea into rating football players. He not only believes you rank players 1 to 300 and thats your board, he also believes that it is a very precise science. One where you can accurately rate a player in the most minute of detail. Does he think there is a formula you input all the measurables then add in all the stats to generate his 'score'?

As Jack pointed out, none of us has seen the Packers draft board so it will always be speculative if this player or that was BPA or not. Was Raji rated higher than Crabtree? I believe he was.


 

SEWICHEESE

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Excellent topic, article and comments to all.

I would think in picking a player BVA would have something to do with how difficult it is to find a good player at a particular position. Such as, its regarded to be harder to find good players at DT, QB, LT and CB and easier to find good players at RB, WR, ILB, K,P. This is because "GOD" makes fewer of the former and more of the later so we value the former more, thereby choosing them over the later. This is probably why TT went with Raji over Crabtree, because unless Crabtree is gonna be the next J.Rice, Raji is the rarer, more valuable asset.

How does this BVA apply to Rd 1 selection of Sherrod last year? The B. McGinn's of the world had it coming down(more or less) btwn Derrick Sherrod and Brooks Reed being the pick, both were available, both were at positions of need and both positions are about equally difficult to fill(maybe LT is a bit harder to fill though). Any thoughts?
 

13 Times Champs

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Please now. Lets be rational.

How do you judge a very good OG and a very good CB? How do you truly measure these two against each other? Is the CB faster? Hopefully, but that isn't as important for a guard. Who has the better power? Not important for a CB. What about the OG having more experience, however he is injury prone? Who has more 'heart' and how exactly short of a CAT scan, do you figure out?

The comment in the article that "that does not mean they plan to take a player with a rating 0.002 higher" is ridiculous and suggests to me that the author has little idea into rating football players. He not only believes you rank players 1 to 300 and thats your board, he also believes that it is a very precise science. One where you can accurately rate a player in the most minute of detail. Does he think there is a formula you input all the measurables then add in all the stats to generate his 'score'?

As Jack pointed out, none of us has seen the Packers draft board so it will always be speculative if this player or that was BPA or not. Was Raji rated higher than Crabtree? I believe he was.
you say irrational, I say anecdote. Thompson has proven there are players available after the first ten and has built a team on that basis. No need to go into the # of players he has picked after ten. Teams that have no drafting ability get lost after the list of top picks everyone can follow expires. What is insidious and lacking basis is making a statement that things get murky after ten.

btw, you argued a point in your post that I didn't address. My name isn't Jack.;)
 

AmishMafia

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You post as if you believe Thompson is a pure BPA drafter and of course you're entitled to that opinion. I've presented evidence to the contrary, for example how Thompson conducted the 2007 draft. I have yet to see you refute that, or any other substantive point I made in either post.

(Just so you know, I didn't write the words in quotes - I put them in italics for clarity - that I attribute to McGinn and Dougherty but I wrote the rest of this post.)
Yes, I was confused as to what you wrote. We have agreed closely on nearly every thread I can recall and I enjoy reading your posts and thoughts. You're one of the posters in a long thread I head to first, if all I have time for is one post. I hope I didn't insult you.

Not sure I understand the example of the 2007 draft. If we knew what the draft board was exactly, I could tell you. I was always a Justin Harrell fan and thought it was a steal at the time. I think if he didn't get injured in school he was a top ten pick. The fact that he is the only player in TEN after Reggie to wear #92 says something.

As far as providing evidence from McGinn, not sure he is a fan of Thompson and his impartiality leads me to not really trust him much.

btw, you argued a point in your post that I didn't address. My name isn't Jack.;)
I'm not surprised - see above, I'm confused.
 

El Guapo

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Over the past 30 years, the Packers have had better success drafting in the second half of the first round than the top tier if you consider that line to be the 17th pick.

Top Tier Busts:
#2 Mandarich 1989
#4 Brent Fullwood 1987
#5 Terrell Buckley 1992
#6 Rich Campbell 1981
#10 Jamal Reynolds 2001
#12 Alphonso Carreker 1984
#14 Mossy Cade 1986
#16 Justin Harrell 2007

Lower Tier Busts:
#19 Darrell Thompson 1990
#19 Vinnie Clark 1991
#25 Antoine Edwards 1999
#25 Ahmad Carroll 2004
#27 John Michels 1996

They had nine players pan out in the top tier and twelve in the lower tier of the first round (leaving Derek Sharrod out since it's too soon to assess). So we've got 9 of 17 in the top tier and 12 of 17 in the lower tier since 1980. Coincidentally or not, the average draft position for the Packers since 1980 is the 17th pick (17.3 to be exact).

More geeky stat data based on my analysis:
83% Ted Thomson's 1st Round Success Rate (2005-current)
67% Mike Sherman's 1st Round Success Rate (2002-2004)
64% Ron Wolf's 1st Round Success Rate (1992-2001)
43% Pre-Ron Wolf combined (Starr/Gregg/Braatz) 1st Round Success Rate (1980-1991)
 
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TJV

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AmishMafia,
 
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Croak

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Interesting article, but my question is; was the draft staffer who claimed on the official Packers site that they live and die by the best available player rule lying through his teeth? Maybe he was. Maybe he was trying to mislead other teams.

There is an answer to the question regarding why would a team ever draft up or down. The article raises a false dichotomy. It's either best skilled or not. What it doesn't take into account is best available player includes non-skills related criteria. When the Green Bay staff look at a player, they want to determine if he can be a good player "in Green Bay". Some guys just won't fit in to the small town Wisconsin arena as well as they would fit in to New York City. The staff consider a number of intangible variables that would make a player for another team a poor choice as best available player at Green Bay. They want guys who can buy into MM, TT, and Murph's philosophies regarding how an organization should be run.

Remember, some coaches threaten their players by telling them they are going to trade them to the "tundra".

It looks like the very fortunate thing about this draft is that TT will probably be able to choose best available player and need at the same time. It is projected that d-lineman are going to be the best available players near the bottom of the first round of this years draft and into the second and third rounds.
 

AmishMafia

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Impartial was a typo - I meant he was biased.

I think our differing view is symantically based. I don't see trading down within a tier as not being BPA.

I don't see trading down within or out of a tier as violating BPA. BPA only means when u draft u take a guy from the highest tier available. Every player has a talent level and a success likelihood factor. There will be players with talent greater than first rounders who will be drafted in the 7th. They will be bypassed due to concerns of injury, head cases, drugs, etc. Each of those players has a chance to be an impact player. Gauging that likelihood is a difficult task. That's why guys like shields go undrafted who only played cb for a year,, yet he had great talent. So trading back can be a gamble. Drafting one guy with an 75%,chance to realize his talent is not worth 3 chances at 3 guys with a 45% chance of being just as good.
 
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TJV

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Croak

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Croak,

The criteria you are talking about is taken into account before the players are ranked on the Packers' draft board. My contention is that after their board is determined, after the players are listed in order according to a grade, the Packers (like every other team in the league) don't blindly pick the player who appears on the top of their board. BTW, some players who are drafted don't appear on the Packers board because they've been disqualified, either for reasons you mention or for injuries or off-field conduct like failing drug tests, being bad teammates, or being un-coachable.

Here's how I define best player available: Selecting the player a team determines is the best player regardless of the position he plays. That is inconsistent with selecting for need. IMO that is inconsistent with trading down for a pick 10 or more picks after the traded pick because by doing so a team is not likely to be able to select the player at the top of their draft board at the time the pick is traded.

I don't think Thompson's comment, “(Need) is always going to be a factor, it’s not that it doesn’t factor in…” can be reconciled with a GM who strictly abiding by BPA. But more important than what is said, either by the GM or a staffer, is what is done. And as I've outlined above, I believe there is ample evidence Thompson's MO in the draft is much better referred to as best value available, which is not always selecting the player with the highest grade, such bypassing Crabtree in the '09 draft.

I understand your view. It may just be the case. I can see passing on Crabtree, though. He wasn't a "character" type proposition. In fact his holdout, proved those who didn't pick him to be justified in the short term.
 

El Guapo

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El Guapo, good post. BTW, how are you defining "success" in your "geeky stat data"?
That's a subjective point, but generally it's someone that turned into a productive starter in the league. It also disregards draft position or salary because at the end of the day, every team spends $*** each draft year so the real measurement is how many productive players you got out of that draft. You can always argue specific merits based draft position and salary to judge a player, but to judge a GM it's about how many productive players he put on the roster.
 

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