At what point for you does BPA turn into need based drafting?

So everyone says the Lions are still in the BPA approach for drafting, and that even though you might be strong in an area doesn’t mean you back away from drafting the best player on your board if he’s at that position.

I personally really agree with this like of thinking. As I’ve said, you don’t not take Jordan Davis because you have Levi Onwuzurike.

But when does that become the point that you don’t draft a guy because of his position.

I got this idea from the Tyler Lindenbaum thread. We clearly don’t have any room for him, but I think he could be one of the best players from this draft.

Just curious.

I don’t think you ever truly go need based drafting. You might bump a guy ahead if you have two rated the same and one is a position of need.

Also have to consider contract status of the position group and how they feel the future is. Wasn’t that one of the issues with Donald in the draft and the Lions? Suh and Fairley here already. But if they really were honest, Suh was telegraphing he was leaving. So they could have used him, just not that next season? Memory getting blurry from back then.


I think you have to evaluate what you have on your current roster. As was said previously, unless the value was just waaaay to good to pas up (like 20+ ranking difference), there are certain positions you won’t consider based of your roster.

For example, based off our current roster, even if Evan Neal was the best player in the draft we will not take him because we have Decker and Penei. Only way Linderbaum is an option is if he is available in the 1st and 2nd and the grade we have him is just so much higher then everyone else, and that rarely happens early in a draft.

Recent example is CeeDee Lamb. Cowboys even said after they took him that they weren’t looking for a WR, but the value was just too good. He was likely their #1 rated WR and a top 8 overall player for them so they couldn’t pass him up.

If you have Mahomes, you don’t take a QB in the 1st regardless of value.

You have a pool of positions you deem a “need” based on where you are at in the draft. You may have a “need” at TE, but that position may only come into play after a certain round because the need is for better depth. If you need depth on the interior of your O-Line, you don’t spend high resources. You use mid to late round picks as these guys are liekly back-ups and the contract of a player taken in that area reflects a backups contract.

100%. Even if you are deep at a position, you need to look at the players ages, and contract length. Maybe you have a stud playing WR, but he is 33, you are more likely to look at WR as a need then if the guy was 26.

That is why I don’t think we go CB. Amani has the most experience with three seasons. We have 5 young guys who have shown promise. Adding another just means that you will not be able to keep at least 3 of these guys even if they pan out because you won’t have the cap resources.

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We have so many holes to fill that the first 3 rounds the question is likely to be, assuming we go DE in the first, of the next picks which safety, wr, or lb do we like best? On their top 100 board, how falls where? Not much reaching to fill a need.

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Your trying to start a argument with this post.
You should always take BPA to fill a need .
You said this So everyone says the Lions are still in the BPA approach for drafting that’s not true how do you know this?

If there is a outstanding player an it improves your team more than filling a need with a hope he works out pick then you would take the lets say stud. In most drafts players are equal or close enough after say rd one to pick an fill needs unless one you grade really high slips.

I have not seen a post not to take Davis because of Levi.

I think that position is set NT an if they were to draft a big man I hope its Walker who really would play same position as Levi.
Travon Walker is a DE /DT he can move along the DL

He would be the DLman i Take before Davis

So not everyone agrees with you IMO you don’t speak FOR REST BOARD everyone has opinions

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Absolutely not. I really have no idea how me asking a genuine question is being interpreted as flame baiting by you. Again.

I mean I would assume so since we are still so early in this rebuild. Even Holmes will tell you that we’re now in the player acquisition phase and that we have to add talent to this roster any way possible.

It’s an example I have used multiple times when watching Levi be bad or watching Davis be good. Nobody has specifically said that we should avoid Jordan Davis because we have Levi. I don’t know why you’re assuming I’m trying to argue with people when I use examples or ask questions.

I wouldn’t assume that my opinion would be the same as the hundreds of people on this board nor do I intend to formulate my opinions to be that. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion which they have every right to post here. Why you are somehow incapable of reading me say I understand that multiple times is fascinating, because I have clearly described my opinion on this before.

It’s in “fit”, to use Mayhew’s term. It’s how we ended up with Ebron at 8. You’ve become need-based when you’ve allowed the “fit” to be a bigger part of your grade than athletic and performance measurements.

Need-based is prioritizing fit and hole-filling over the rest of the evaluation.

Once you start picking in the 20’s, you could group a VERY large number of prospects into a single group. Once you’re there, you have to consider the positional value and rarity of the prospect. (How hard is it to find a player of ~this~ type or of ~this~ caliber.

If you’ve cleared the talent hurdle and then the scarcity hurdle and the fit in your system, THEN you should look at your current roster and whether that player is here or not. If you begin your criteria with whether the player is here or not already, you’ve become need-based and will eventually fail your franchise.


Not sure if I am 100% following this, but to me you are saying if one guy is in a higher “group”, then he has to be the pick regardless of the rosters current standing? I just can’t agree with that. Roster evaluations has to always be in that coversation to start.

You don’t take a center in the 1st when a center is the best player on your roster and in his mid twenties. Same when you have two very good tackles under 30 under contract for multiple seasons. Or when you have an all pro QB in his 20’s (use Chiefs for example).

There are always exceptions to rules.

No. That’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking is there ever a point for you that if you have a guy rated in a higher group, you’ll pass on that guy for a position fit in a lower group.

This is organizationally. Like the Chiefs may do this even though they actually don’t.

But do we have to be the Chiefs? Better? Worse?

That’s what I’m asking.

That response was in reference to LineBusy

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Oh my bad

To make sure I’m tracking right.
Lions second first round pick the following scenario unfolds:

WR’s Loudon and Burk are available, the 4th or 5th best wr in the draft IMO.
The best OT is still sitting there who is rated a top ten draft pick overall.

Is it wrong to take one of the WR over the OT?

In this case I go WR.

That is where it gets difficult. If you have a guy ranked as a top 10 player and you are sitting at pick 28 (rough guess on Rams pick), that is tough to pass up. There is a pretty sizable talent gap between those rankings, espeically in the 1st round.

I would dangle the player as trade bait first. In the event that doesn’t work I would probably go with the tackle. You then find a way to get him on the field as much as possible (swing OT, jumbo sets, top backup at either guard spots). Then you evaluate if he is good enough to move on from Decker after that players rookie year and then you turn Decker into picks and salary cap relief.

Very rarely do players drop that far unless there is a major character or injury concern. Even when that video of Tunsil was released right before the draft he only dropped to 13.

In this instance Evan Neal would have to be that player.

As others have said, it’s not really that cut and dry. But in general, seems like it’s never a good idea to draft for need unless you really are targeting a specific player or handful of players, and are willing to move up and down the draft board to get them. That said, i’m not sure that approach is any more likely to get you a player worth the pick any more than just taking the best guy on the board when your turn comes up. Not to mention, if you are giving up additional draft capital to go get a guy, the value you lose is even greater if he doesn’t work out.

The ideal situation is to be a perennially good team and draft the best players on your board wherever they show up, knowing that you will always have awesome players coming up at every position group on your team. But in my lifetime I’ve only really seen a couple teams able to consistently do that. (Patriots and sometimes Steelers, though the Steelers have also been one of the only teams to repeatedly succeed at moving up to grab guys they like at positions they are looking to fill.)

Long sidebar. In any case: it will be a couple years before the Lions should be doing anything other than just taking the top talent on the board in every round. They probably shouldn’t take an OT in the first or second round this year. Beyond that, everything else should be wide-open.


If the best OT in the draft, or top 10 anyway, is still there you don’t take the OT or the WR, you answer the phone because it will be ringing off the wall.


It’s pretty easy to do fairly pure BPA at both ends of the spectrum - when you really suck and need talent everywhere, and when you’re really good and just trying to re-stock.

The middle is the uncanny valley. I can see where it’s tempting when you feel like you’re a position group or two away from making real noise to go hard after that in the draft and do some unnecessary reaching.

If we’re sitting at 1b and my choice is between Andrew Booth or Jahan Dotson (both of whom regularly fall there), I’m taking Booth 10 times out of 10, needs be damned. I’d take Sauce Gardner too but I think he’s played himself into too high a pick. That’s the sort of decision I’m talking about.

If it was Trent McDuffie vs. Treylon Burks, I’d take Burks 10 times out of 10 needs be damned. That’s based on my grades of the players so far.

The decision is always need vs BPA, but to me the severity of the need won’t make me take a player at that position over a better player at another, even if the latter is a lesser position of need. That’s why I’m 100% fine going CB.

I’d love to get a great young center/guard in this draft. Vaitai is old and expensive. Can’t have enough oline depth

Think the scenario there is a lot different then the one with the OL. If you draft Lindenbaum to play center, he is behind a pro bowl Ragnow who is also young and his backup is actually decent. If you are drafting him to replace Vatai, okay…but they want to keep vatai for at least next year…so you are drafting a guard HIGH in the draft to sit on the bench for a year.

Levi is not special at this point…but it is telling that the team figured this would be a learning year for him…so I get Davis is big and strong…guess it depends on where he is drafted…what his true value is…top 10 seems really rich for him.

Otherwise…feel like you are always drafting BPA until you are maybe you are like one player away and you make an exception for that one player if the talent is really off the charts and its a position that really moves the needle…like when the falcons made the move for Julio because they felt he was that kind of player. I wouldn’t suggest trading picks and being reckless like they were…that hurt them for a few years…but that’s my thoughts on it.