Every day I view this site and see the various discussions in regards to draft strategy and it makes me wonder, what's the best way to build the franchise through the draft and how do you go about doing it?
Does you draft process only worry about this year and next, or are you concerned about the long term ramifications of the pick? I for one, believe building through the draft is a long term process and therefore deserves a long term approach. When drafting, you choose best player available (BPA) and eventually fill up the roster with BPA's after several years.
Others on here advocate for drafting for the immediate future and would prefer to draft someone to fill a need. This tends to be a short term approach to building a roster. Obviously this continues the BPA vs need discussion as both involve short term vs long term ramifications.
The short term building of the roster provides immediate success, but takes on the risk of not lasting long term because the quality of the players drafted aren't necessarily as great as the BPA's. The BPA's might not provide the same immediate impact that a team prefers, but long term the success of the players drafted could be much higher.
Last year's draft saw two players taken in the first two rounds that fit the BPA vs immediate needs concern very well when they chose an unhealthy player in DJ Hayden and a very green RT out of Florida State who in his first year of ever playing BCS football and only 2nd year ever was Honorable Mention Right Tackle in the ACC ahead of Morgan Moses who is a possible 1st round selection in this year's draft (both were right tackles in 2012). Two players who didn't provide the immediate need that fans expected, but both players played well enough at times (looked bad at times too) to say there's a lot of talent in both players and long term they could be very successful.
This year's draft provides another opportunity for BPA vs need. If Khalil Mack, Sammy Watkins, and Jadaveon Clowney are off of the board, the Raiders will have a choice between one of the QB's, one of the left tackles, or trading down. What do the Raiders do then? Do they worry about their immediate future and take a QB hoping he will be better than the two Matts', Schaub & McGloin? Do they draft the best left tackle, despite having Donald Penn on the roster if they cannot trade down?
My hope is they go left tackle. Last year the team drafted Sio Moore despite signing Kevin Burnett to a free agent contract. Donald Penn is signed to a reasonable contract and if the team drafts a future elite left tackle like Jake Matthews or Taylor Lewan, that spot will be fortified for the next 10 years.
When Reggie drafts someone, I want him to be thinking about what that player will be doing 2-3 years from now instead of choosing immediate need. Obviously the Raiders need a QB, LG, DT, WR, better blocking TE, and plenty of depth and the team could potentially upgrade at least 4 of these positions in this draft.
So the question becomes, would you rather see the team upgrade the QB, LG, DT, WR, and TE positions via need, or hope some of them are filled via BPA?
My choice would be BPA, even if all 4 players end up upgrading positions that were upgraded in free agency and thus don't fill a specific need the team may need to improve in 2014. Choosing a left tackle, a running back, a free safety, and a OLB could all be BPA's and not provide the immediate impact people prefer, but in two years Reggie could have upgraded all 4 slots and not force Reggie to upgrade these positions via need in a couple of years.
Obviously that hurts the performance of this year's team and after losing for so long the fans want to see immediate success and improvement. If upgrading 4 positions that were upgraded or resigned in free agency happens, obviously the immediate success for the whole team will be compromised. Is compromising the present for the future the right way to go?
What's your choice? Do you want immediate need or are you thinking long-term.
Please remember, no view on here is wrong. But let's assume we can't trade down because that becomes a whole different discussion. In this scenario the Raiders have the 5th overall pick and Clowney, Mack, and Watkins are off the board and they cannot trade down. What do they do?