I see a lot of issues with OBD's build through the draft philosophy. I do agree that in normal situations, that is by far the preferred approach. But I will tell you why that won't work for us.
First, every single team 'builds thru the draft'. There isn't a team out there that doesn't use the draft to help build their team. So, unless OBD is significantly better at the draft than other teams are, that will not catch us up in talent to other organizations.
Second, building through the draft is a fine philosophy for teams that already have a lot of talent. Teams like the Pats, Steelers, etc. already have a lot of talent and are using the draft to supplement their roster and fill certain holes. Building through the draft is not a great way to catch up if you have an overall lack of talent on your roster already.
Third, building through the draft takes a LOT of time. Teams are lucky to get one immediate impact player in a draft. Typically it takes 2-3 years to start getting real production out of your draft picks. So by the time a draft class starts to produce, you find yourself with other holes on the team that need to be filled.
I am not saying a team should go out and be the Redskins or Raiders. Trading away your draft picks or buying a bunch of free agents is not a way to build your team for the long run. But, the good teams make trades and add free agents that will make immediate impacts on their team. and that is especially important for teams that are already behind in overall talent.
OBD needs to aggressively use free agency (especially with our cap figure being so low) and trades to supplement our build through the draft mentality. At least until we catch up in talent. Then you can go back to your conservative approach. We should actually be overpaying (if we need to) to acquire impact players to speed up our rebuilding project. Guys that can come in an make an immediate impact at need positions. Not over the hill guys, but guys in their 20's that are proven but still have some upside.
If we keep adding role players like Brad Smith, Andre Davis, etc., we'll forever be playing catchup while hoping that our draftees turn into impact players. And even if they do turn into stars, can we even be aggressive enough to keep them.
I am tired of playing catchup. It is a neverending process. The Jets and Patriots certainly aren't conservative. They've built through the draft but have supplemented their rosters with savvy free agent signings and good trades.