2012 NFL Draft: Why Washington Redskins Will Come to Regret Trade for No. 2 Pick

Last night, the Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams agreed to terms for a deal for the Redskins to acquire the No. 2 pick in April’s NFL draft. The pick will almost certainly be Heisman Trophy-winning Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. 

The price for RGIII was first-round picks in the 2012 (sixth overall), 2013 and 2014 drafts, along with this year’s second-round selection.

Washington was supposedly in a war with the Cleveland Browns over the pick, but clearly Mike Holmgren thought his team had more pressing needs and wanted to retain both of his first-round picks this year.

His counterparts in DC, General Manager Bruce Allen and Head Coach Mike Shanahan, clearly wanted to make a move now.

But let’s be real; the Redskins gave up way too much.

Obviously, Griffin was an outstanding player at the college level, but as we all know, success in the NCAA doesn’t always transform to NFL greatness.

It is highly unlikely that the Baylor product is as good as last year’s top pick, Cam Newton, given that the ‘Skins don’t have playmakers like Steve Smith or DeAngelo Williams to surround him, or simply that Newton is a better playmaker.

Even if that somehow happens, Washington may be giving up too much. The deal was expected to follow the framework for the trade that brought eventual two-time Super Bowl winner Eli Manning to the New York Giants eight years ago, when Ernie Accorsi gave up two first-round picks, a third-rounder and a pick in the fifth round for the rights to draft Manning.

That trade made perfect sense. This one simply does not.

A rookie QB, especially one with a mediocre at best supporting cast, won’t win right away. So most likely, Washington is giving up a No. 6 and No. 39 choice this season, a pick anywhere from 10-20 next season and a pick from 10-25 the season after that.

All that for one No. 2 pick.

St. Louis must be thrilled, as they can add much-needed help at wide receiver, on the offensive line and in the secondary over the next three drafts and lose something that they don’t truly need: a QB for the future.

I can completely understand Allen and Shanahan’s point of view: ‘Skins fans are growing tired of the atmosphere of losing that has spread throughout the city and need to make a splash.

These two men came in with a out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new mindset, so pursuing Peyton Manning wouldn’t be very helpful.

So they settled on Griffin.

It’s still a possibility that he flops completely, and then Washington would have to wait until 2016 to draft another potential game-changer. Now that would really sicken fans.

Shanahan’s approach of steady drafting and rebuilding did not go completely out the window like it would have had Manning arrived, but this can no longer be a long-term project. They have to start winning now.

This move seemed to be a brash, rushed decision that could, if it backfires, cost the coach his job.

I’m not saying that there is no way it pays off, but Griffin is by no means a guarantee, and given what Washington gave up, the player they get should be one.


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