Why do BAP followers look down on needs drafting? Why do needs drafters complain about BAP drafters? And why, oh why, can't somebody appreciate both styles. How about free agency? Do BAP guys have something against it? It's impossible to be right 100% of the time when talking about the NFL. In the spirit of understanding, let's take a look at some thoughts and misconceptions about off-season strategies employed by various teams.A) You can't build a team with big free agency signings. - Really? I think this is blown out of proportion. Is there anyone around that doesn't see value in occasionally signing a big name free agent? You have to be careful with his one. Signing big name guys that fail to produce is a quick track to a rebuilding period, but sometimes signing one of these guys has little risk and a lot of reward. Eric Weddle would be a relatively big name for the Jaguars to sign, and if he flopped, the Jaguars would be out of some money and back to where we are right now anyways. My point here is that free agency needs to be used carefully, but it can result in huge dividends.
B) BAP is THE way to build a team. - Wrong. BAP is A way to build a team. The Falcons are classic needs drafters, and they've done alright. The Jaguars were needs drafting throughout the Coughlin era. I think a hybrid could also work. A team needs an identity on the field as well as on draft day, and the Jaguars' identity is BAP. You have to have a goal as a team, and that's the important thing. Whether you're a needs drafter, BAP, or somewhere in between, you have to know what you're about.
C) Trading up in the draft is inherently bad. - This is another issue similar to big name free agents. You have to be careful trading up to get a player because you usually lose more picks than you end up with. Derrick Harvey is a great example of what happens if you miss when you trade up, but on the other hand, Derek Cox has turned out to be a great pick. Currently, Cox is the Jaguars' best DB (albeit that's not really saying a lot). The big point here is that when you trade up, you've got to hit on the guys you do pick.
I'm sure I've missed a couple stigmas that many writers and analysts seem to have about the off-season in the NFL, but I've got all summer to cover the rest of them.