Jason La Canfora has this uplifting contrast between us and the Baltimore Ravens.
It's like they know they're doing it the right way, they don't have to try to sell you a bunch of crap about their process, and there is a quiet confidence to what they do. They don't have to try to covince you that they do it right, because the numbers speak for themselves.
That means they are drafting so well that they can afford to let some draft picks leave as free agents, because they essentially replace them cheaply with the extra comp picks they get. I beleive the Redskins, in that same span since 1999, have received 5 compensatory picks.
Our free agency acumen is enough to prompt Mr. Burnsian shivers. The Redskins have had fewer draft picks since 2000 then anyone else in the league, leaving us with gigantic holes throughout the team, particularly on defense. Not so much for starters, where we'd be fine if everyone was healthy. But given the drastic decline in our defense from 9th to 31st, this Redskins fan couldn't help but notice we have a huge depth problem.
Not to mention that our free agency dependency forces us to pickup players for inflated FA prices when we should be hording cheap draft picks and developing them. We have an All Star Coaching Staff -- so let them coach up some young talent!
As a matter of fact, we've done pretty well in the draft when we do choose to participate. Anthony Montgomery was a seventh round pick and is a contributing backup DT. Kedric Golston earned a starting spot from the sixth round. I feel that Jason Campbell has a ways to go, but he looks every bit as good/better than many 1st round QBs. Chris Cooley? 3rd round pick. Sean Taylor (despite some moments this year) has been awesome. Carlos Rogers had a sophomore slump but was probably asked to do too much. Manuel White Jr. and Nehemiah Broughton are both still on the roster from 2005 (though the former is on IR) as is Jim Molinaro from 2004.
The point is, we do a pretty damn good job of evaluating talented draft picks, even in the later rounds. Why, knowing that, we trade them away is absolutely beyond me.
Let me emphatically repeat: Trade down in 2007.