Best player available. We’ve all heard that phrased when discussing the draft process in the NFL. The idea is that you don’t worry about what position the prospect plays matching the needs you have on your team, you just take the best player available on your draft board when your time comes up. This is especially true with your first-round pick when supposed blue-chip players tend to fall every year.
A perfect example of this thinking was last year when CeeDee Lamb fell to the Cowboys. Dallas already had Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, so the need at wide receiver wasn’t exactly a priority. But the talent of Lamb absolutely made him the best player available and the Cowboys took him. Lamb went on to have a very successful rookie season, but overall, the Cowboys were a worse team.
That brings us to this year. The Cowboys have the 10th overall pick and most have determined that defense is the biggest need for the Cowboys. We haven’t gone through free agency yet so we don’t know what exactly the Cowboys’ specific needs will be, and all of this will be overshadowed if they don’t get a deal done with Dak Prescott.
But assuming things tend to go to plan, and Prescott makes the need at quarterback irrelevant by signing, should the Cowboys make this is a defensive draft? Should they stick with best player available, or should the say best player available... on defense?
When you have a unit that allowed a franchise-record 473 points against and was 31st in run defense, you have to do anything and everything to get better. While adding new coordinator Dan Quinn was the first step, the Cowboys have to help most levels of their defense: defensive tackle, linebacker, cornerback and safety. Last year, they drafted the best player available when they selected wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round at No. 17 overall. This year, they have to take the best defensive player available at No. 10 overall and maybe follow that rule for their entire draft class. [emphasis added]
That is a solid question.
So we put it to you BTB. You are now the Cowboys GM for the 2021 draft. Would you take the best player available at pick #10, or would you make it the BPA on defense only? How far down the draft process would you continue the defensive theme if you are inclined to go that way? Hit the poll, then let us know your thoughts in the comments.
As Cowboys GM, I would take:
This poll is closed
the best player available at pick #10.
the best player available on defense only at pick #10.