Trading Up Is Not The Solution. Here's why.

I know, I know. This again. I am sure many people are tired of talking about this. And yet, reading through the most recent fanposts, it seems that we are not. First I must say that the title of this post is a bit weak for the content of this post. This post is not just about trading up. It is about many things, including trading back, the QB situation, the effect of a QB on a team, what makes a winning team, and so forth.

I am writing this post for 3 reasons:

First, because I think it's a good idea to lay out my full position on this subject in one place. I am leaving on Monday for Coast Guard Basic Training, and therefore will not be around to reply to new posts for at least the next 2 months.

Second, there have been an overwhelming number of fanposts in recent months either directly or indirectly in favor of trading up. This is but one fanpost, but it is my attempt to try and balance the scales a little bit.

Third, this post serves as a belated response to this post by mmford10, which basically sums up the reasons for which most commenters here think we should trade up. It is for this reason that I will also follow a similar format to mmford10's post, as it is essentially the antithesis of said post.

Topic One: Trading Up for RG3

Because it is mentioned in the title, it is only fitting that I first explain why I am against trading up. First, were going to have to accept that Andrew Luck is out of the question. The Colts are taking him at #1.

I think it's best to start with the most controversial topic in this subject, because it attacks the very essence of the argument for trading up.

Myth: Robert Griffin III is a lock to be a top QB in the NFL.

I know that this opinion is not a popular one. Let me first ask you to do one thing: Forget for a moment what the scouts say. They have been wrong time and time and time again. The scouts once proclaimed Ryan Leaf to be a sure lock for top 10 status in the NFL. They said the same thing about Jamarcus Russel and Heath Shuler. The list goes on. This is an old, tired argument, and I'm sure many will be quick to tell me there are some differences between these prospects. Before any of you do so, I want you to realize something: THAT IS NOT THE POINT.

The point is that the scouts are quite frequently wrong. They, like everyone else, often get taken in by the hype surrounding a player, and in turn generate even more hype over a prospect. They are not immune to opinion, nor are they immune to peer pressure. So before you go off on me about how RG3 is one of the highest rated prospects in years, I am going to ask you to throw scouts' opinion on the matter out the window for just a moment.

The next point I will make is that I am not saying that RG3 is going to be a bust. I am just saying he may be somewhat overrated as a prospect. I am not so foolish as to declare RG3 a bust before he ever takes an NFL snap.

However, consider:

1. RG3 is 6'2 220 pounds and is a running QB. Consider that this is almost exactly the same size as Michael Vick - the same Michael Vick who has played a 16 game season exactly ONE time in his entire career. The injury risk for RG3 is very real, and very similar to Vick's. He is able to get away with it in college because quit simply, college is different. The hits aren't as hard, the game isn't as fast, the players aren't as big. If RG3 is not likely to finish 16 games in most seasons, do you still want to trade up for him?

2. RG3 does not exactly have strong competition. The defenses that he played against this season, with the exception of Texas, are not very good.

Here are the rankings for the Defenses he played this season:

TCU: 32
Stephen F Austin – Unranked
Rice – 111
Kansas St. – 74
Iowa st – 99
Texas A&M – 66
Oklahoma State – 107
Missouri – 61
Kansas – 120
Oklahoma – 62
Texas Tech – 115
Texas – 14
Washington – 94

He played only 2 teams in the top 50 in defense. He played 7 teams that were ranked 90th or worse. This is not exactly an apt environment to test a QB's ability. Yes, he had big numbers against them. So did everyone else. I am not arguing that RG3 isn't talented. He very much is. The problem is that he may be given more credit than he is due.

These two points in mind, it is my very firm opinion that trading up for Robert Griffin will be a mistake. Yes, it can almost be said without a doubt he will be at least a decent player in the NFL. However, I find it hard to believe he will live up to either the hype that currently surrounds him or the #2 pick. I hope that now you understand why.

Myth: Trading up will only cost 2 or 3 picks.

It seems to be another popular opinion that trading up will be relatively "cheap". It won't. Put simply, there is precedent all over the place.

In 1998 the Chargers gave up their 1st, 2nd, 1999 1st, and a 3 time pro bowler to move up ONE spot for Ryan Leaf.

In 1999 we have the infamous Ricky Williams trade.

In 2001, the Falcons gave up their 1st (#5 overall), 2nd,and 3rd round picks, as well, as a 4th round Wide Receiver to trade up 4 spots for Michael Vick.

in 2003, The Jets traded 2 first round picks (in that same year - one was from Washington) and a 4th to move up to the 4th pick to get Dewayne Robertson.

in 2004, the Chargers traded the #1 overall pick for the #4 and the Giant's 3rd, 2005 1st, and 2005 5th.

In 2011, the Browns traded the 6th pick for Atlanta's 1st (27th overall), 2nd, 4th, 2012 1st, and 4th.

For the record, every trade last year was for quite a bit more than the draft chart's suggested value.

Expect that trend to continue. Should the Redskins try to trade up, it will cost no less than 4 high round picks.

Anyways, on to the next topic

Topic 2: The Quarterback vs. The Team

I understand that through reading this segment several people will be saying to themselves "but a good QB makes the whole team better!" To this I say "well, duh". My argument is that while this is true, it is not true to the extent that some make it out to be. This segment will attempt to explain why I believe this to be so. To do this I must dismantle the arguments based around winning teams with top QBs.

Myth: Several teams that went to the playoffs this year had QBs who carried bad Defenses.

Total Yardage Allowed is a stat that simply doesn't make sense as a gauge of Defensive strength. Many people say that the Patriots and the Packers had "historically bad" defenses. Well, no, they didn't. Here's why.

I only put stock in 2 defensive statistics: Points Allowed, and Turnovers forced. Here are the regular season stats for each team in the playoffs:

Team – Points Allowed Ranking – Total Turnovers Forced
Steelers – 1 – 15
49ers – 2 – 38
Ravens – 3 – 26
Texans – 4 – 27
Bengals – 9 – 22
Saints – 13 – 16
Patriots – 15 – 34
Falcons – 18 – 29
Packers – 19 – 38

Lions – 23 – 34
Broncos – 24 – 18
Giants – 25 – 31

4 of the teams happen to be right at the top. another is ranked in the top 10. As you can see, the Patriots and Packers were far from "historically bad".

The final 3 can be explained fairly easily. The Giants and the Broncos were in very weak divisions this season. The did not need strong Defensive play to squeak into the playoffs as they did. The Lions played some of the most explosive offenses in football - and their Defensive ranking was a little better before that week 17 debacle.

Myth: A good Offensive Line is not required if you have a good QB

I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it is to hear this. here are the Offensive Line stats for each playoff team.

Team – Pass Protection ranking – Run Blocking ranking.
Saints – 3 – 1
Bengals – 4 – 20
Giants – 6 – 28
Falcons – 7 – 27
Patriots – 8 – 2
Lions – 10 – 31
Ravens – 12 – 6
Steelers – 20 – 3
Texans – 22 – 4
Packers – 23 – 16
49ers – 25 – 21
Broncos – 29 – 11

As you can see, 9 of the teams that went to the playoffs were i the top 10 in at least one OL category. The Patriots and Saints were top 10 in both. The 49ers were primarily a Defensive team, while the Packers seem to have great talent at literally every single position except on their Offensive Line. The Broncos were, again, in a weak division.

These previous 2 points lead me directly into the next topic.

Topic 3: How the Redskins match up.

The moment of truth. After showing you how each playoff team relied on much more than their QB, it's time to see how the Redskins did by comparison.

Myth: The Redskins Offensive Line was coming together at the end of the season.

Looking up the stats for the Offensive Line, the Redskins offensive line actually did improve, at least in terms of ranking, as the season neared its close. I know a bunch of you are about to jump on me for calling this a myth and then saying it's a truth, but the simple fact is, it's a myth. Before you go berserk on me I'd like to point out why.

Rex Grossman actually saved a ton of sacks.

Yeah. I just blew your mind. But it's the truth. Rex found himself throwing the ball away a lot this season. People got on John Beck's back for not just throwing the ball away when under pressure in his 3 starts. The thing is, the OL while playing with John Beck at the helm is the more accurate depiction of our OL talent. I know this sounds confusing for a lot of you, because I know you really like piling a lot of crap on our QBs. But the point is, the Redskins allowed the 3rd MOST QB hits. That is one statistic not included in Football Outsider's pass blocking statistics. Rex and Beck took a combined 108 hits this season after getting rid of the ball. Since Beck tended to take the sack more often than not, it's pretty obvious Rex was actually saving sacks by throwing the ball away. frequently.

No playoff team allowed as many QB hits as the Redskins. In fact, the only playoff team among the worst 10 in QB hits allowed were the 49ers, and to put this in perspective, the 49ers still allowed 26 fewer QB hits and only 3 more sacks. The Offensive Line is atrocious.

Myth: The Redskins Defense is a good defense.

The Redskins Defense was 21st in the league in points allowed. That is worse than 9 of the teams that went to the playoffs, including the Patriots, Packers, and Saints, those teams that are widely considered bad. I don't think I have to say much more on this subject since it's pretty concrete. But the defense leads me to my next point, and it's one that annoys me quite a bit.

Myth: DeAngelo Hall is a good Cornerback, or even a serviceable one.

Many here on Hogs Haven have suggested that the Defense is adequate for winning games. If only we had a better offense!

I'm sad to sad that this isn't quite true. Our secondary is in desperate need of help. Some people will scoff at me for saying we MUST replace DeAngelo Hall in order to have a solid defense. We also need at least one new Safety, but I am not going to focus on that right now. Right now we'll take a look at our most desperate need on Defense.

DeAngelo Hall is easily the biggest hole on defense. As is described in this article, he is routinely among the worst Cornerbacks in the league. He is consistently in the bottom 10.

Anyways, it's getting late writing this so I will stop here. I hope some of you understand what I'm trying to get across.

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