I found the chart printed below on OverTheCap as part of a long article on draft strategies. This was in the section that said there is a correlation between having more draft picks and winning more games.
Look at the ‘fine print’ at the bottom of the chart:
- The top ten teams had a winning percentage of .534.
- The middle twelve had a winning percentage of .487.
- The bottom ten had a winning percentage of .474.
- Top half = .520
- Bottom half = .470
While there are a few specific teams that break the pattern, the correlation is pretty strong. The two teams with the best winning percentage (Patriots and Packers) both averaged over 8.5 picks per year, and they were the only teams to average that number of picks, and the only teams to have a win percentage above .640.
Ten teams averaged under 7.5 picks per season, and only two of those teams (Colts & Giants) had winning records during this time frame.
Why is this important to Redskin fans?
Let’s look at the Redskin draft picks over the past few seasons:
- 2011 - 12 picks
- 2012 - 9 picks
- 2013 - 7 picks
- 2014 - 8 picks
- 2015 - 10 picks
- 2016 - 7 picks
- 2017 - 10 picks
- 2018 - 8 picks
- 2019 - (projected) 11 picks [7 Redskin picks + 4 compensatory picks]
Let’s look at a few averages that can be calculated for the Redskins franchise:
2011-2019 (9 years) 82 picks = 9.11 picks per year
2011-2018 (8 years) 71 picks = 8.875 picks per year
2015-2018 (4 years) 35 picks = 8.75 picks per year
2016-2018 (3 years) 25 picks = 8.33 picks per year
2016-2019 (4 years) 36 picks = 9.0 picks per year
You can see that a variety of calculations from three to nine years all show an encouraging trend when it comes to the Redskins collecting picks. When you consider the number of very high draft picks (three 1st rounders & a 2nd rounder) used to acquire Robert Griffin, you realize how much stronger the team could have been if that trade had never happened. I think that it puts the current situation into context — the 2018 Redskins are a team on the brink of success; they are a team that is just about to finally recover from the deleterious effects of that trade, which was consummated 6 seasons back.
The good news is that the front office seems to have had an epiphany following that 2012 trade with the Rams.
- From 2001 to 2010, the Redskins made 7 or more selections in only two out of ten years.
- In the eight seasons from 2011 to 2018 (and likely 2019 as well, for 9 seasons) the lowest number of picks the ‘Skins have made is 7 (in ‘14 and ‘16), and they’ve had ten or more picks three times, in ‘11, ‘15, ‘17 (and probably ‘19 as well).
In fact, since the completion of the RG3 trade, the Redskins have focused on collecting picks by trading down on draft day, by trading players for picks (Su’a Cravens, Derek Carrier), and this season, by managing free agency as a tool for collecting compensatory picks in the 2019 draft.
Sure, the team traded away a 3rd round 2018 draft pick to the Chiefs along with Kendall Fuller, but they did that to acquire a starting quarterback, and — aside from the 49ers trade for Jimmy Garropollo — it allowed the ‘Skins to be the first out of the blocks and get their first choice of signal caller on a relatively affordable veteran player APY of $22.2m per season through 2022. One pick traded away in that circumstance doesn’t negate the huge strides the Redskin front office has made in becoming a net collector of draft picks — especially since 2014, when the final installment on the RG3 trade was paid.
Team building that takes place primarily through the draft takes time and patience. The failure to launch in the RG3 deal has meant that Redskin fans have had to be more patient than should have been necessary, but now, as that fiasco fades into history and the Redskin front office puts a team together based on having eight or nine shots in the draft every year, 2018 & 2019 look to be the ‘payoff’ for the team, the franchise, and the fans, as Washington hits the critical mass in terms of 1st & 2nd round picks on the roster, giving them both front-line talent and positional depth.
If the organization continues its commitment to this style of team building, then based on what the chart above tells us, the Redskins are more likely than not to move into the top third of the league when it comes to consistent winning.
It looks like the Redskins will have 11 draft picks in 2019 once the compensatory picks are assigned. Should the front office use some of the available 2019 draft capital to trade up for a player or two tonight (the 2nd & 3rd rounds of the 2018 draft?)
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