Everyone understands the concept of BAP. The goal in the draft is to take the most talented player remaining, regardless of what position he plays and how well off the team is at that position. Still, as Alfie (appropriately) commented yesterday, the BAP plan "assumes that all positions are created equal." They are not. As the NFL is designed now, there are premium positions that can change the game entirely in one fell swoop. If a team has a stud pass-rusher, an offense can't get into it's rhythm and will struggle to score points. If a team has a shutdown corner a la Champ Bailey or Darelle Revis a defense can affect the other team's passing game, and most importantly, if an offense has a spectacular quarterback, that can cover a lot of holes on a team.
Think about it: both super bowl teams had problems this year. The Steelers' offensive line was 32nd in the league. They had the least talent up front, but Big Ben's strength and poise helped them make it to the super bowl. The Packers lost four of their best skill players early in the season and struggled to have any kind of running game all season. Still, Aaron Rodgers led them to a super bowl.So how important is it to have a great QB? Is it important enough to overpower the BAP philosophy? How much do you weight the quarterback position in terms of draft location? These are the questions the Jaguars and Gene Smith will have to consider over the next two months. Christian Ponder showed that his arm is healthy by throwing well at the Combine. Ryan Mallett and Jake Locker both impressed with their mechanics and arm strength. The QB crop is moving up draft boards all around the league. We could have as many as 6 QB's (Cam Newton, Blaine Gabbert, Mallet, Locker, Ponder, Colin Kaepernick(?) ) deemed worthy of a first round pick in this upcoming draft. At least four more players are assumed to be worth mid-round picks, including Andy Dalton, who started a buzz around the site as early as January.
Probably when the Jaguars pick in the draft, a QB will not technically be the BAP at #16, or likely at number #49. Will the Jaguars ignore the potential of the QB's in this draft or will they value the quarterback enough to bump some young QB up their board to be taken early in the draft? That's the type of question we as fans will be asking ourselves for the next two months.