You see how that's a conflation of two separate issues? (With a sprinkling of a third issue, tbh.)
1) Team A picking at #15 might have a problem with Hockenson, maybe their evaluation of his talent or character or whatever. Maybe they have a second round grade on him. Team B picking at #26 might have Hockenson as a top ten player on their board. And maybe a handful of other teams between those two have higher grades on different players that align with their needs, or maybe they aren't disciplined in their approach or have different draft philosophies. Maybe some of those teams don't see positional value in TEs, so they pass on Hockenson, leaving him available at #26. Again, the point is that not every team has the same board, and there are many reasons why that might be the case.
2) You're adding in the quality of the evaluation. Team B might think more highly of the player than anyone else, and maybe they're right and he turns out to be a stud. Maybe they're wrong, and he's a dud. But that's a question of player evaluation, not draft strategy.
3) Gronk was a second rounder himself. And he's turning out to be one of the best TEs in NFL history. Anyone saying 'Hockenson is the next Gronk' isn't being an honest evaluator, and I don't want my GM drafting players because he's convinced they'll be the next HOF player at any position. The odds stacked heavily against that. (I said the same last year to everyone claiming Barkley was a guaranteed HOFer who would singlehandedly elevate any offense to the top of the league.) That's a way to rationalize drafting a player you're in love with. It's not a disciplined draft strategy.
Agreed. My over arching point to BPA vs needs discussion is that the terms themselves can have different meanings, so the various good points made can get lost in the wash.
But I do think the preponderance of thinking lists BPA agnostic of attributes for a given scheme, which is how the national websites tend to do it. So when GMs pick the 45th ranked player with pick 33, many criticize the pick as "reaching" for a need because they they don't stop to think that 5 or 6 players ranked in between weren't even considered a good fit for the team to begin with.
You're putting your own "spin" on this. It has everything to do with what Ballard chose to do.
Ballard could have prevented his players from hitting free agency at all by overpaying them in the first place.
He doesn't want to overpay, so he "allows" them to hit free agency, find out that no team will overpay, then "brings" them back at their true value.
Yes I know, I wasn't going to list all possibilities. I just listed one possibility to illustrate there is more to it than one person "letting" him test the market then "bringing" him back.
My point was about the tone of the comment coupled with the lack of substance supporting the tone of the comment.
But I see throughout the thread that typical sensitivities about broader things have surfaced so y'all carry on.