Here we go again with the "best player available" argument. JJT goes with it in the lead-in to his latest Q&A session.
OK, I'm asking you guys a serious question, do you believe that teams operate under the best player available theory? My contention is they do not, although they may do something that is close. I think it's more likely that players with similar grades are grouped together so that when a team's pick comes up, they can choose from a small group of players. For instance, take this situation: Suppose Dallas has center Ryan Kalil from USC rated high on their draft board in terms of pure football ability. When their turn at #22 comes up and Kalil is the highest rated player still left on their board, do you really believe they are going to use that pick on Kalil even though they just signed Andre Gurode to an expensive long-term deal? Would you take Kalil over say a Robert Meachum or an Aaron Ross, if they were rated a little lower on your draft board than Kalil? I don't buy that the Cowboys would then pick the "best player available" but would select the guy with a little lower grade, but who is a bigger need. (BTW, these are just examples to illustrate a point, not where I think those players are actually ranked.)
Maybe it's just nit-picking on my part, but I don't think the "best player available" is a true theory for NFL teams. I think it's more likely the "best players available" and they go with the one that fits a perceived need. The exception, of course, is if a player has somehow slipped down the board on draft day whose grade is so high for the position of the pick that the team just can't pass them up.
Norv Turner's adherence to the 4-3 likely cost him the Cowboys' job.
"I had thoughts and things. I still have ideas what's best for that personnel group," Turner said. "That becomes a matter of opinion."