Monday, March 19, 2012

Are They Nuts? NFL Teams Flip Out for Rookie QB's.

Since when do NFL teams become playoff contenders by overpaying for rookie quarterbacks?  This question could be put to the Indianapolis Colts, who will draft Andrew Luck, and the Washington Redskins, who traded three first round draft picks and a number two in order to draft Robert Griffin III.  

 Is Andrew Luck so good that he is worth Peyton Manning and four top draft picks?

    The Colts are particularly interesting because they could have kept Peyton Manning and traded their draft pick for  the equivalent of four number one draft picks (at least two and maybe three of which would be this year) because Luck is significantly better than RG3.  So, in effect, the Colts gave up Peyton Manning plus four number ones in order to draft an unproven but unquestionably talented rookie. 
    It says here that that was dumb.  With the equivalent of four number one draft picks (two or three of which might be this year), the Colts could have built around Manning and would be Super Bowl contenders.  Also, with Manning there is a automatic attraction for free agents to come to Indianapolis.  As it is, the Colts have basically had a fire sale, getting rid of players such as Joseph Addai and Dallas Clark.  Good luck to Andrew Luck.
    Peyton Manning, on the other hand, is reportedly planning to sign with the Denver Broncos, making them the automatic favorite to win their division.  It’s very hard to imagine how Andrew Luck could be so good that it made sense to jettison Manning, not to mention the four draft picks that they could have had in exchange for the number one overall pick.  

Peyton Manning--not good enough to play for Indianapolis, with Andrew Leaf---I mean Luck---available.   Digitally altered photo by:

    The case of Robert Griffin III is equally if not even more odd.  Although none of the scouting reports can find much to not like about Luck, RG3 is not as bulletproof.  Although he has an elephant gun arm and great speed, he played in the spread offense in college rather than a pro style.  Quarterbacks who excel in the spread are not always successful in the pro offense.   In addition RG3  has below average size.  He might have been considered big in 1980, but in 2012 when quarterbacks are 6’7” and 240 like Cam Newton or Ben Roethlisberger, RG3 is definitely small for a first round pick.   I’m not saying he can’t play, but I am questioning why he is automatically so much better than any other player (except Luck) and worth all of those draft picks to get. 

RG3:   Will college stats and a fast 40 yard dash time translate to  Superstardom with the Washington Redskins?

    Cam Newton was great in his first year with Carolina, but that did not transform the franchise into a playoff team.  By the same token, the Rams had numerous injuries and other problems last year, and thus having Sam Bradford was not a guaranteed ticket to the Superbowl. 
    My team, the Browns, has been blasted for not outbidding the Redskins for RG3.  But consider what the Browns would have been had they given up all those draft picks.   After free agency, the Browns lost running back Peyton Hillis, former Pro Bowler Eric Steinbach at guard, Tony Pashos at right tackle, and meantime butterfingered Mohammed Massaquoi is a starting wide receiver.  Ben Watson is a good tight end, but after three concussions last year it’s not clear whether he can still play.  No, the Browns need a running back, a wide receiver, right tackle, left guard, right guard, and tight end.   I don’t see how getting a speedy quarterback fixes those problems.  Mind, the Browns didn't resist the temptation to fall all over themselves for RG3, they were simply outbid.  My guess is that the big winners through this process will be first and foremost the St. Louis Rams, who are going to have extra draft picks for the next three years.  Then comes the Broncos, who get a veteran qb, one of the greatest ever.  The Browns will win by default, and will be able to at least some of their MANY needs in the draft.  The big losers will be Washington, who gave up their present and future for an talented but unproven quarterback, as well as the Indianapolis Colts, who had been given two gifts from heaven, and couldn't figure out how to use them.    


No comments:

Post a Comment