Draft the best player available. In NFL draft discussions it's a very common philosophy. In fact, it's so common everyone agrees with it. Who doesn't want the best player available? So if it's universally believed and everyone professes its truth how do we explain how the names Janoris Jenkins, Dre Kirkpatrick, Courtney Upshaw, David DeCastro, and Peter Konz keep getting mentioned in Dallas Cowboys draft circles and mock drafts? That's an amazing coincidence that the best possible player available in every single draft scenario is always a player at a Cowboys position of need! What a fantastic coincidence. The Japanese have words for these situations because they are very common in society. The words are honne and the tatemae. Honne means the honest truth. The honne is often hidden due to the rules of society. Tatemae means the surface of things or a facade. It is the behaviors required by society.
Luke Kuechly is a fantastic player. The FBS college record for solo tackles in a season is 193 set in a 14-game season. Luke Kuechly made 191 tackles in 2011 in only 12 games. He broke the ACC record for career tackles while notcing 12 tackles for loss in 2012. He was awarded the Dick Butkis award for best linebacker in the country, last year's winner was Von Miller.
NFL Network's respected draft analyst Mike Mayock calls Kuechly the best inside linebacker in the draft and describes him as "Think about Sean Lee. That is the best comparison." Wes Bunting rates him as the 7th best player in the draft.
There's just one thing though, his combine measurables were a bit odd. You see, Kuechly's combine measurables weren't much like the powerful tank Sean Lee to whom he's compared.
40-yard Dash - 4.71
Bench Press - 24 reps
Vertical Jump - 37"
Short Shuttle - N/A
40-yard Dash - 4.58
Bench Press - 27 reps
Vertical Jump - 38"
Short Shuttle - 4.12
Luke Kuechly's measurables blew Sean Lee's away. His 40-yard dash was more like another linebacker, the "speedy" likebacker Bruce Carter who posted a 4.57. Kuechly's vertical Jump and short shuttle were off the charts for an inside linebacker. There is only one player on the Cowboys roster that can compare to those measurables
40 Yard Dash - 4.56
Bench Press - 27 reps
Vertical Jump - 38.5"
Short Shuttle - 4.07
That, my friends, is Luke Kuechly. An inside linebacker with record-shattering college production, Sean Lee level instincts, and athletic freakishness only exceeded by DeMarcus Ware.
More good news my friends, as Tom Ryle wrote about this morning in a combination of 20 high-quality mock drafts, Kuechly's average draft position is #16 which means there's a high likelihood he will be available when the Cowboys come on the clock at #14 overall.
But, wait, that's strange, is it not? There's an inside linebacker of such extreme quality that he can only be described as a hyper-athletic Sean Lee and I am the one introducing you to him? There are dozens of Cowboys writers and NFL draft followers who would all tell you to draft the best player available. With the notable exception of Chia Crack, Mr. Kuechly has been absent from everyone's front pages.
So I submit to you this question. Do you really believe in drafting the best player available? The Cowboys have a pro-bowl inside linebacker in Sean Lee and just spent a premium high-2nd-round selection on another inside linebacker just last year. But there is little doubt that Luke Kuechly will be an amazing ILB in the NFL and could even overshadow Sean Lee's breathtaking skills.
Do you draft Luke Kuechly when Dallas comes on the clock?
When you say teams should draft the best player available is it your honne, your honest truth, or is BPA merely a tatemae, the facade of things?