Bruce Arians: If you draft for need, you get fired

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Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians says his team will take the best player on the board, and won’t focus on improving any particular decision.

Arians said he doesn’t believe in drafting for need, saying he’d rather strengthen an already strong position than reach for a player just because of the position he plays.

You can’t draft for need,” Arians said, via the Tampa Bay Times. “If you draft for need, you get fired. You take the best player. If you got two players, now you’ve got three of them. Just take the best player available. Now if you’ve got four players right there together and one of them is a need? That’s a home run.’’

A lot of mock drafts are penciling in LSU linebacker Devin White to the Bucs with the fifth overall pick, but if he’s the Bucs’ guy, it’s because they think he’s the best player on the board at the time, not because they need a linebacker.

53 responses to “Bruce Arians: If you draft for need, you get fired

  1. Belichick’s long stated this but not for fear of firing: The best players always cost more – now, you can always trade to fill a hole but Draft is a chance to pick those best guys for free.

  2. Tater is correct. Arians retired when he could no longer hold off the rebuild and only unretired when he had the opportunity to coach a team with a chance at the playoffs.

    Also, drafting BPA is bull. You don’t see teams carrying 2 or 3 1st round QBs, 2 1st round WRs, 2 1st round RBs, etc.

    Need, talent, depth at a position, and depth at the position in the draft factors into BPA. That’s why the Jets want to trade down. They have their franchise QB and want to trade their spot to someone who needs one. The BPA on that team’s draft board.

  3. He’s not wrong.
    Owners want splashy names in the draft.
    More money for them.

  4. I agree…I kept ignoring need and drafted WRs instead!!!
    – Matt Millen

    I agree…We ignore need and keep drafting D-Linemen and Safeties!!!
    – NY Jets

  5. Like a previous poster, I happen to think Arians is right as well. Taking the best player even if stacked, gives you flexibility and more important – capital. Take him in the draft and there is always the opportunity to trade another of those great players for 2 or more players that can upgrade your positions of need. Makes total sense to me.

  6. I’ve always been fuzzy on the whole “best player available” thing. Yes, it makes sense if your team is devoid of talent. But if your wife sends you to the grocery store to buy eggs, bread, and milk – and you come home with a snowblower because it was a “steal,” then sometimes things don’t work out too well.

    I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s a healthy balance between BPA and need. Granted, if a generational talent falls into my lap, I’m probably pulling the trigger regardless.

  7. BAP vs need? Yawn.

    Let’s get the draft over with so we can move to the next major segment of the NFL year- players not attending mandatory OTA’s and claiming to be disrespected.

  8. He’s right of course. Just look at the bad teams and how they reach for a player that they feel they don’t have on their roster. Players who aren’t good aren’t going to be just because you say hey, we need you. You get as many good players as you can out of the draft, period. QB would rarely fall into that can’t miss camp, so that’s a moot point. Any other position on the field besides specialists, which you wouldn’t be drafting high, you can accommodate for two good players at the position with scheming.

  9. The biggest impact you can make on your team is closing the biggest gap you have at any position/aspect of your team, whether it be D or O.

    If you have a player that’s an 8 filling a spot and you draft BPA at that same position, the impact will be far less than if you have a 3 at another spot and draft a comparable albeit perhaps close to “next BPA” at that position, the impact for your team should be much greater! If not, perhaps time to look in the mirror.

    It’s all about utility although few people in the biz seem to realize that.

  10. eh, its not a bad statement, but a bad statement by an average coach. Ozzie Newsome stated the very thing during Cleveland 95 on NFL network. WE PICKED THE BEST PLAYER ON THE BOARD (Ogden over Lawrence phillips). My patriots have done that for years. Daniel graham in 2002, Watson in 2004. Why 2 tight ends in 3 years? best player ON THE BOARD at the time.

  11. Colts took Quinton Nelson with their first pick last year. Was he the best pick when taken? That’s debatable because he’s a lineman – BUT – He was 1st team All Pro his rookie season and the Colts have NEEDED O-line help (for like 2 decades)

  12. eagleswin says:
    April 25, 2019 at 6:45 am
    Tater is correct. Arians retired when he could no longer hold off the rebuild and only unretired when he had the opportunity to coach a team with a chance at the playoffs.

    Also, drafting BPA is bull. You don’t see teams carrying 2 or 3 1st round QBs, 2 1st round WRs, 2 1st round RBs, etc.

    Need, talent, depth at a position, and depth at the position in the draft factors into BPA. That’s why the Jets want to trade down. They have their franchise QB and want to trade their spot to someone who needs one. The BPA on that team’s draft board.
    _________________________________________________________________________

    No correlation between drafting best player available and having multiple players of the same position in the same round on a team. The teams and not the media are the ones who decide who the best player available is. In other words If the Bucs are on the clock and their GM has on their board that a Linebacker is the best player available and Mel Kiper has a QB as the best available the Bucs are picking the Linebacker even if they already have good talent at that position and Mel Kiper overvalued that QB since it’s his job to predict what the teams are thinking.

    If they come up in a later round and the best player is another linebacker, they’re still picking that linebacker even though they already picked one. If the best player is a QB they’re picking that QB. This is why you have training camp competitions for positions because a team might have multiple players at one position that are capable of starting because they do the very thing you said teams don’t do.

    His point is if your biggest need is kicker you’re not using your first round pick on a kicker because that doesn’t better your team even if it fills a need.

  13. …”won’t focus on improving any particular decision”… I’ve tried often to improve my decisions, but after the fact, it doesn’t work. I’d focus on improving a particular position, myself, but I guess that doesn’t work either.

  14. He is right and wrong at the same time. I get the whole best player available idea but sometimes you have such a glaring need at a position you have to pick for need.

  15. The Self Proclaimed Maven of Football has to be a reporters dream. I mean seriously, this guy is just a plain buffoon. The more he opens his mouth the more fans realize the bar is set so lo for his success. How could any franchise hire him? At this stage in his life he is a complete joke as a football coach.

  16. BPA can be a no-brainer–provided there’s a guy who you have head and shoulders above anybody else available. But how often does that really happen? Most of the time you’re probably looking at guys who might be scored 81 and 82 and that exact scoring isn’t even consensus in your own draft room. You’re really going to go with the 82 who plays a position you’re deep at when the 81 guy is a position you need help at? Absolutely nobody would blindly take the “BPA” in that example and you know that case must come up often.

  17. eagleswin says:
    April 25, 2019 at 6:45 am

    Also, drafting BPA is bull. You don’t see teams carrying 2 or 3 1st round QBs, 2 1st round WRs, 2 1st round RBs, etc.

    Need, talent, depth at a position, and depth at the position in the draft factors into BPA.

    ********************************************************************************

    Can’t tell if you get what drafting BPA as a philosophy means or not. At first, you act like it’s literally taking whoever the best player on the board is (which no one does). You then acknowledge that there are limits that factor into it and that it’s not just rack-and-stack and go with whoever’s at the top.

  18. so I get not reaching on someone that does not grade out to the round your picking, but if you have two guys both first round grades, one a WR while your receiver core looking good that may be slightly higher on your board vs. any position you have a whole in and your not going to consider need? I call BS

  19. “Hes wrong. Look at how team drafts match needs more than 80% of the time”

    Yeah, and 80% of the league is also not a consistent Super Bowl contender. Or do you think the Patriots were in desperate need of a RB when they took Sony Michel last season?

  20. Houston sorely needed a quarterback a few years back. The meltdown at the QB position gade their team the worst record in the league. They ignored their need, and drafted the best athlete available, Jadaveon Clowney, a defensive end, with the first pick overall. Since then they had to scramble for a starting quarterback. The quarterback they drafted in the third round, Tom Savage, did not work out. The free agent they signed to megabucks, Brock Osweiller, did not work out either. Finally they figured they need to draft one for their need, and they traded up to get DeShaun Watson. It shows that sometimes the best way to fill a need is to draft one.

  21. I agree with him to an extent. You take the best player available, but how do you exactly determine who is the better player? The majority of these teams place grade values on players, and then have individual scores for how much they personally value a player. But then what do you do if you have players with similiar rankings at different positions when you are up to draft? You take for the position of need. I think it’s important to ensure that you are getting maximum value out of your draft slot, and if you are really unhappy with the players available at your spot you look to move down. But in the end, you need to make sure you are filling the holes in your roster. If you have a Pro Bowl middle linebacker, then you don’t draft another middle linebacker.

  22. This is just way too simplistic. Draft scores can vary a lot even among scouts with the same team. There’s always debate and disagreement. Virtually any pick will be “best player available” for somebody in the draft room. Unless you’re in the very top few picks of Round 1 it’s all about breaking ties and deciding whose opinion you trust the most, along with factoring in your needs.

  23. omeimontis ,

    Yeah, drafting Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel with that pick would have gotten them on the right track, lol. Oh wait.

    The people who are saying two players within a few grade points of each other with one being a need not understanding that the one at the need position would then be taken are idiots. He’s saying you don’t reach for someone clearly inferior at a position of need just because that’s what you need. For instance, when there are no first round quality offensive line prospects in a draft but then you take one just because the ones you already have aren’t very good. That’s a recipe to stay bad by compounding an existing problem. Just ask the Giants with that Eric Flowers pick.

  24. if you fill needs through FA you loose comp picks. Then you don’t have the option of drafting a player – BPA or otherwise.

  25. You can have the best philosophy in the world, but the ones who can evaluate talent the best are going to draft the best. Just draft the best player on the board, but make sure your sequence list is correct. That’s the hard part. It’s like telling a baseball player to just swing hard every time and good things will happen. That works if you’re Ted Williams or George Brett. Evaluating players is like playing baseball. Nobody bats 1.000, but there are good hitters and bad hitters. I’m not sure Ted Williams works for the Bucs.

  26. They ignored their need, and drafted the best athlete available, Jadaveon Clowney, a defensive end, with the first pick overall. Since then they had to scramble for a starting quarterback.
    _______________________

    This actually worked out for the Texans in the long run. They obviously didn’t feel a QB was available worth drafting with the #1 pick. They were right. That draft featured Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr. Would you prefer any of those guys over Watson?

  27. That some Bruce Arian bull! Sounds real nice but bull! Every best available player and team need almost always seem to be pretty damn close The reality is who is the best available that most closely meets one of our needs.

  28. I don’t know much, but I believe the stress of the NFL and coaching did Arians in the last time. Now he’s older and the stress of the Tampa bay bucs and Winston will be his undoing.

  29. Robert Chandler says:
    April 25, 2019 at 6:35 am
    OVERRATED coach. I was never impressed, and he is even worse as a TV commentator. Unlistenable.
    —–
    Was he worse than Witten and Booger?

  30. It seems that the Giants may have to reach for a quarterback on this draft when it was best to choose a quarterback on last year draft when there were some very good prospects. Not saying Barkley isn’t good, but the obvious choice was Darnold or Mayfield

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