Saturday, March 10, 2012
Rams can thank Griffin for inflating price
By Mike Sando
The Washington Redskins and St. Louis Rams cannot be sure what they'll get from the picks they agreed to exchange Friday night.
It's safe to say the Redskins' ability to position themselves for a potential franchise quarterback drove up the price St. Louis commanded for the second overall choice.
The first chart shows what Oakland paid when moving up from 10th to second in the 1997 draft for defensive tackle Darrell Russell.
The Raiders paid far less than the Redskins gave up for the second pick in the draft this year, a pick Washington is expected to use for Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. In 1997, Oakland acquired the second and 166th picks from New Orleans for the 10th, 39th and 107th picks, plus receiver Daryl Hobbs, who had six career touchdown receptions and would play only 14 additional games during his career.
Also in 1997, the Rams acquired the No. 1 overall choice from the New York Jets for the sixth, 67th, 102nd and 207th picks. That is far less than the Redskins paid for the second pick this year, but there was no quarterback atop the 1997 draft. The Rams took left tackle Orlando Pace that year.
The second chart shows what the Redskins will pay for the second pick this year. For trading purposes, a first-round pick next year equates roughly to a second-rounder this year. It's not like the Rams acquired three 2012 first-rounders.
Still, Washington becomes the first team since at least 1980 to give up three first-round picks while moving into the top five picks in a draft, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But as the football adage goes, virtually no price is too high for a franchise quarterback. The Rams think they have one already in Sam Bradford. That was a primary reason they were willing to deal the second pick this year.
Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. sees this as a win-win trade for Washington and St. Louis. He sees Cleveland as a big loser for failing to land the second pick despite having at its disposal selections more valuable than the ones Washington traded, starting with the fourth overall pick. Griffin seemed to fit the Mike Shanahan offensive profile better than the Mike Holmgren/Pat Shurmur profile, however. That made the Redskins a more likely trading partner, I thought.