I know, I know, it took me a while to get to this post. Suck it up, folks. In this installment (love saying this), I'll cover the next two Draft Strategies that I laid out in Part 1. In the first post, I covered the BPA (best player available) strategy, and the Position Value strategy, so click the link and check it out if you haven't seen it.
The next 2 draft philosophies I'm going to delve into are Need-Based Drafting and Stockpiling. In a nut-shell, Need-Based Drafting is EXACTLY what it sounds like, drafting based on your team's needs. But it's not what some of you may think. Stockpiling is a "quantity over quality" philosophy that values multiple middle round picks over singular high-round choices. If this interests you at all, make the jump. :-)
Back in 2005, we were going into the season with Sammy Morris as our starting RB, following the retirement of Ricky Williams. RB was deemed our biggest need, and we took the top-rated RB, Ronnie Brown, with the 2nd pick of the draft. This is a pretty good example of drafting based solely on need, although he was also a very highly-rated player in his own right. When you use this strategy, as I believe Miami did back in '05, you are addressing what you consider your most important need with the first pick, and moving down the list from there.
The difference between using this strategy exclusively, and mixing it into a few others, is that using the Need-Based philosophy almost completely disregards the talent level/depth of a position in a draft, and focuses solely on filling the team's most glaring needs. If a GM determines that his biggest need is an OLB, he's going to take the best OLB available with his first pick, regardless of where that player ranks on a big board or who else is available. It's not a very effective strategy unless it's combined with BPA, because you end up reaching for a player just because he fills that need position. But most teams adhere to this philosophy somewhat, since most teams go into the draft needing starters somewhere on the field.
~IF MIAMI USES THIS STRATEGY~
We can argue all day about what our most glaring need is, and we pretty much have been here for the past couple months. There are those that feel a #1 WR trumps all, while others champion the huge (literally) hole at the NT position. OLB is another position considered to be our biggest need, and I tend to agree with that sentiment because, seeing as how JT is still unsigned, we would have two players with no starting experience and question marks surrounding their ability to play every down starting at the two OLB positions. So, taking that train of thought and running with it, our pick would be Derrick Morgan or Jason Pierre-Paul if either is available, or Jerry Hughes/Brandon Graham if the first two are taken.
This is the strategy that favors quantity (more players) over quality (better players), and is favored by teams like New England that have success in the middle rounds and feel that they can build around their core as opposed to trying to find core players. Stockpiling is basically using trades to add multiple 2nd and 3rd round picks in exchange for 1st rounders, high 2nd rounders, or older players. This philosophy usually results in the team picking 6+ players in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, increasing their odds of finding starting-caliber players for small contracts. The drawback of this strategy is that you rarely (if ever) find an elite player, because you constantly trade back from spots that you could find the real difference makers.
The Patriots are the Kings of Stockpiling, and you have to go no further than 2009 to see evidence of this. They traded Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel to pick up another 2nd rounder, then traded back twice in the first round to end up with a total of 8 2nd and 3rd round picks. There is no better example of a team stockpiling picks and getting multiple players than this, and it's proven to be a fairly successful strategy for the Patriots over the years.
~IF MIAMI USES THIS STRATEGY~
We obviously wouldn't make a selection at 12, but I don't think we would look to get out of the first round completely. Trading back with the Giants at 15 (so they could get McClain), and then again with San Diego at 28 (who could be targeting Spiller as a replacement for LT) could net us 2 more 2nd rounders and possibly an extra 3rd. Trading players like Smiley, Thigpen, and Brown would also bring more middle round picks to the party. Then, picking at 28, we could target an OLB like Graham or Hughes, a WR like Damian Williams or Brandon LaFell, or the big guy, NT Terrence Cody.