Everybody seems to have an opinion about how his or her favorite team should build through free agency and the draft—opinions almost as myriad as the ways in which teams (successfully and unsuccessfully) try to actually accomplish the task.
This much is true: Free agency isn't a long-term plan for success. The draft is geared toward providing teams with young and cheap talent without having to bid for it as teams must do with big-name free agents.
Therefore, it makes sense that (with few exceptions) the players added in free agency aren't long-term solutions for their new teams. Even if the free agent is young enough to play five or more years in his new home, financial reasons can shorten that time immensely.
The best way to attack free agency is to sign enough free agents to leave the team free to draft the best available player that it can use. That doesn't mean that a team will completely eschew a position in the draft because it signed a free agent. It's about options rather than being backed into a corner.
Now that the first wave of free agency is winding down, here are my predictions on the first two rounds of the draft.