Best Player Available started because I wanted a simple way to differentiate between NFL draft prospects.
I love the game and I was constantly going on other sites trying to get as much info on prospects as I could. Unfortunately I do not have access to game tape to watch each prospect. What I did have access to was combine results and game stats.
With the combine results, I wanted a singular number that I could use to determine a given players athletic ability. I wanted a singular number to determine college productivity. To me, athletic ability shows a players potential. The college productivity determines the level of player at this given moment. Once you marry the two stats you have the “Best player available”.
I always feel that every team should pick the best player available regardless of position. I understand that is not always the case as teams have needs that need to be filled. But there must be a balance. You must always choose quality over quantity. One of my favorite quotes is from Bob Knight while he was coach of the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team. Michael Jordan was on that team and Coach Knight fell in love with his dedication and resolve. Coach Knight saw an all time great athlete with an all time great grit. Coach Knight felt he was the greatest basketball player that he had ever coached. Coach Knight called a friend of his who was an executive of the Portland Trail Blazers at the time. Portland had the second pick in the draft that year. Coach Knight spoke to his friend from the Trail Blazers and said to him “You’re luckier than anybody could be in basketball, you have a chance to get Jordan,'” Knight said. His friend replied “Yeah, Bob, he’s great, but we need a center”. Coach Knight replied “’Play Jordan at center then”. Famously Portland did not heed Coach Knight’s advice. They took Sam Bowie over Jordan because they had a need at center. Portland did have Clyde Drexler who played the same position as Jordan. I feel those two great players would have found a way to make it work. If they couldn’t play together then you could have traded Drexler for the help they would need on the front court. Portland was stuck in thinking about need over picking the best player available.
Doesn’t matter what the sport is.
Do not draft for need.