Thoughts on trading up for Griffin

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
6:15
PM ET
Adam Schefter reports that "multiple teams have already had preliminary discussions with St. Louis" about trading up to get the No. 2 pick in the draft. I put the chances that the Washington Redskins are one of those teams at 100 percent, give or take zero percent.

[+] EnlargeRobert Griffin III
Sarah Glenn/Getty ImagesNo doubt, having Robert Griffin III was a boon for Baylor's recruiting efforts.
See, the Colts are taking Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick, and the Rams took a quarterback with the No. 1 pick two years ago so they don't need to use this year's No. 2 on Robert Griffin III. Other teams, though, really do need a quarterback and would love to pick second in the draft so they could get Griffin. These teams include the Redskins, Browns, Dolphins and maybe a surprise entry such as the Seahawks or Cardinals.

It is not surprising to learn that these discussions have already taken place. Before deciding how to proceed on a free-agent quarterback market that's likely to include Peyton Manning, it behooves quarterback-needy teams to have some sense of what the cost would be to move up to that No. 2 slot. If you're the Redskins, who have multiple needs all over the roster, and you're going to have to give up two first-round picks and more to move up, then maybe you decide the best bet is to stay put at No. 6 in the draft, let someone else grab Griffin and fill your quarterback need via free agency. If you find the cost is more reasonable than you expected, maybe you proceed with some degree of confidence that you can get Griffin.

Total confidence is unattainable, however, since the Rams (a) could stay put and draft franchise left tackle Matt Kalil or wide receiver Justin Blackmon at No. 2 and (b) almost certainly will want to wait as long as possible to make the deal in order to maximize value. The best the Redskins and other interested teams can hope for right now is to get some sense of what the cost will be to move up to No. 2 and then proceed with their free-agency plans thus edified.

These discussions could go right up to 7:30 pm on the night of April 26, which is about when the Rams are scheduled to pick. Given that they could select a useful impact player for themselves at No. 2, they have no incentive to make a deal as long as they have multiple desperate suitors on the line. If they don't get fair value for the pick, they could just make a pick and leave it to the Vikings, picking third, to strike a deal with Washington or Miami or Cleveland or whomever. And that'd be interesting, because the Vikings really want to trade their pick but can't because the Rams are picking ahead of them. Imagine if you traded for the No. 3 pick in March thinking it was going to be Griffin and then some other team swooped in and traded for the No. 2 the night before the draft.

No, this is likely to take a while to sort itself out. The Redskins and the other interested teams can only do as much research as possible to prepare themselves to make a deal when and if one presents itself. And they're going to take a look very seriously at their Plans B. Because only one team's going to get Griffin.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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