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Rick Snider says Calvin Johnson

Friend of Big Blue View (and thus tangential amigo of Hogs Haven) and Examiner contributor Rick Snider says it's Time for Skins to go all in (with a hat tip to The Bog). What does that mean?

Snyder wants George Tech receiver Calvin Johnson. This Snider wants Johnson. Check you calendar for the coming apocalypse that must be just four days away...
Rick's position is that Calvin Johnson = the man and that we should "Go for it" and acquire him. Granting,
The Redskins need a defensive lineman badly, but there's no one truly meriting the sixth choice. Washington could trade down to midround for a defensive tackle plus a second or third choice -- which isn't a bad idea given its many needs -- or make a bold trade up for Johnson.
I would agree with the "need a defensive lineman" up until he modifies that with "badly" -- I'd have simply added "or else" and then maybe "impending doom" or perhaps thrown my fists into the air and screamed, "Tears! This will all end in bloody tears!" You get the picture.

But why does Snider think we can ignore the Defensive Line in lieu of Johnson?

Go for it -- throw in next year's first-rounder to make the deal. Add cornerback Shawn Springs if needed. Maybe it's too much, but this team needs an instant playmaker or else coach Joe Gibbs may retire again. When that happens, this organization rebuilds anyway so 2007 is really a last stand. Why not get a great receiver and become the Air Coryell Chargers II for 35-30 victories.
I disagree with the draft strategy that views keeping its Coach as the final end, even one as great as Coach Gibbs. If we have to ignore Defensive needs simply to coerce the venerable Joe Gibbs to stick around, then his heart isn't really in it anyways.

What's not being said is that this team already has an "instant playmaker"... or three, in Santana Moss, Clinton Portis, and Chris Cooley. It also has a Running Back placeholder in Ladell Betts and two very serviceable #2 and #3 receivers in Randle-El and Lloyd respectively. And our offensive line is none too shabby, either. All of which is to say that the Redskins happen to be a decent offense that is married to a recently pathetic defense, and why fix what ain't broke? More importantly, can we even compete with other suitors for the #2 pick (presuming that Russell goes to Oakland)?

Popular talk has Oakland taking LSU quarterback JaMarcus Russell with the first pick. No. 2 Detroit wants Clemson defensive end Gaines Adams, but the Lions know they can get him with either Tampa Bay's (fifth) or Washington's picks. Given Tampa Bay and Detroit are in the same division, the Lions would rather send Johnson to Washington.
Rick, a very good sports writer and keen Redskins mind, is forgiven for mistakenly placing the NFC South's Tampa Bay Bucs in the same division with the NFC North's Detroit Lions because his point probably carries regardless. The Bucs simply have more picks and are closer to #2. I don't think the Lions are any more or less inclined to trade with Tampa or Washington as teams (they play both of us next year, anyways), so it defaults to whichever franchise offers the best value. While the Redskins certainly have a historic willingness to spend a lot, they are a bit shy in actual draft picks this year to make such a deal work. Tampa Bay is in a much better position to move up.

Rick closes up the piece returning to the Joe Gibbs continuity argument:

Snyder has rarely missed getting his desired player. Throw in the last chips of this franchise for Johnson. Otherwise, Gibbs may be gone and the fans with him.
Again, in my opinion, doing what makes the fans happy is secondary to winning (which makes the fans happy anyways). Doing what keeps Joe Gibbs around is secondary to winning (which probably increases the likelihood of Joe Gibbs staying). I could not possibly vote for Calvin Johnson as I think it addresses a non-existant "need" and prevents us from immediately fixing the Defensive Line, which was old last year. Consider these D-Line sack totals for the past three years (while our defense has similarly declined steadily):

2004 - 20 sacks
2005 - 16 sacks
2006 - 13 sacks

Fueled mostly by the declining play of Cornelius Griffin and Phillip Daniels, both north of 30. The replacement of Renaldo Wynn with Andre Carter acted as a mitigating factor, so view 2006's 13 sacks as the croaked canary informing of immediate impending doom if drastic action isn't taken posthaste. Hoping that Griffin and Daniels suddenly find the Fountain of Youth in 2007 is criminally naive, as we cannot afford to sack the opposing quarterback any less. Prediction: If the Redskins have 13 or fewer D-Line sacks in 2007, we will lose 10 games at a minimum, with or without Calvin Johnson.

And thus Rick Snider (who I have enormous respect for) and I simply split ways as regards the Redskins '07 draft strategy. While I would love to have Coach Gibbs on this team come 2008, I doubt having another "impact playmaker" is going to be much consolation having just lost double digit games for the third time in four years.