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Bills Mathia: The BPFU Draft Philosophy

BPA advocates beware, I’m coming for you

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NFL free agency is winding down (comparatively speaking) and most of that particular dust is starting to settle, even for the Buffalo Bills. That means fans and analysts are starting to turn their attention to the 2023 NFL Draft. So I should too, and luckily mathematics has just the thing to cover my personal draft philosophy: BPFU.

That stands for “Best Player For Us” and is a deliberate contrast to the commonly cited idea of “BPA.” Feel free to get angry and come at me in the comments (but watch the video first). BPA is mostly a myth and an illogical way to look at the draft approach teams actually use. In other words, the “FU” in “BPFU” is directed at the BPA model.

If you like or hate BPFU, sound off in the comments as this roughly eight-minute video is really just the tip of the iceberg.

As always, I’d prefer you watch the video but if you can’t be bothered to give me the attention I crave, reading this recap is an okay consolation prize for my ego. Despite a decent length of discussion on the topic, most of the video is focused on the reality that a pure BPA approach quickly falls apart for a couple reasons.

The major thesis is that “best” requires an understanding of what player will bring the most impact to a specific team. And that requires an evaluation on what the team needs, scheme, and even locker room culture.

From measurements, combine performances, game film, interviews, and more, NFL teams show each and every year that their goal is to find not just the best player. The holy grail of the NFL draft is to find The Best Player For Us.