- I hope you guys are off to a great start to your week. I am getting pumped thanks to the news that live sports from the majors (baseball and football specifically) could very well be on the way. It will be weird to see empty stands...for most football fanbases. As we stated on last week’s show, not providing a landing spot for thousands of Eagles fans in week one would be a nice treat for me. Then when the Skins go on their epic end-of-season playoff-qualifying run, where they have to win five of the last six games to possibly win the NFC East, we can have FedEx to ourselves. Otherwise, as always, I wish you and yours health and happiness. Let’s get started with something I received about five days ago to my inbox.
- When I got the email, I was immediately hooked. It came from the SB Nation brass and was short and sweet. It simply asked if there was interest in doing re-drafts from previous years. As many of you already know, “redraft fantasy” is the most searched topic on PornHub in Redskins Nation. Whether I said it out loud, or just thought it, my immediate response was, “Count us in!” Of course, we would start with 2017—three years is the NFL Draft’s version of social distancing. (From that distance, you can safely interact with and properly grade a front office’s effort, without fear of contagion.) The exercise, however, was immediately expanded to include other years and that is where I hope you will all help me in the comments section below and on tomorrow’s show (more on that as we go here). While many fanbases relish the critiquing of past drafts, Redskins fans live in the make-believe realm of “what could have been.”
- In what felt like a much simpler time, second-guessing Vinny Cerrato was the preface to a world without sports. We already had the source material: his time as the general manager of the Washington Redskins. Had the global shutdown happened then, we would have had at least a solid two months of healthy (pun intended) banter about how to fix the Cerrato Era. Unfortunately for me (us), the Vinny redrafts will have to wait. But we are going to get there!!
- I can’t talk redraft without addressing the mountain of empty Bud Light cans on the ground. The Scot “McLovin” McCloughan drafts came with controversy. I get it. I was and still remain a McLovin guy, because I liked what he seemed to prioritize when he looked at players. That said, his drafts were not—by any stretch of the word—perfect. While today’s Sixpack is not about dissecting every player he took, I am willing to be open to civil discourse about how we could have done better during the McLovin Era. Emphasis on civil...please. It also bears mentioning that redrafts aren’t just about second-guessing a general manager that you find mind-numbingly unfit for the job. Remember, every team around you gets to redraft also, so the entire shape of the draft changes.
- There are few general managers that can escape a redraft unscathed. I would argue that there simply must be a tolerance level for a bad pick mixed into a bunch of good picks. The opposite is what must be avoided. Another easy rule: get the first rounders right. Second and third rounders need to be contributors (at worst), but if you mess up a first rounder, your team is set back considerably. Let’s flush out some additional ground rules below, and can we be creative? If a player manages to avoid incarceration...for example...for no particular reason at all. Now, I find it hard to pin things like that on a general manager...all the time. And if a general manager shouldn't be blamed for every personal shortcoming of a player, then maybe he shouldn't be credited for every time a player figured out how to balance fame and fortune with a successful playing career. (This will be more important when we try and not give Bruce Allen a ton of credit for some of his picks that actually look good in hindsight.) Alright...without further delay, let’s relive the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft (we will be doing more rounds from this draft and posted on the SB Nation NFL page).
- In 2017, the Cleveland Browns had...wait for it...three first round draft picks (shocker). Don’t they always? Part of me wishes that Vinny Cerrato was their GM just to see them pick three wide receivers in the first round. Instead of Myles Garrett, Jabrill Peppers and David Njoku, the Browns drafted Patrick Mahomes and Chris Godwin (no trade went down that moved Houston up for Deshaun Watson, who went second overall to San Francisco). The Bears taking George Kittle at third overall instead of the move for Mitchell Trubisky seemed like a real outside-the-box pick, until you look at what Kittle has done in the league out of the gate. I would have taken Christian McCaffrey there in a redraft, but he stayed on the board for one more pick and went to Jacksonville. The next seven picks got me a little excited as Myles Garrett, Jamal Adams (went to the Jets in the first draft and the redraft), Tre’Davious White, Marshon Lattimore, Ryan Ramczyk, TJ Watt and Marlon Humphrey all got taken. Now, it should be noted that I wasn’t entering this particular redraft looking to one-up Jonathan Allen. I love Jonathan Allen, but if Alvin Kamara was going to fall in my lap...or Chris Godwin...or Kenny Golladay...how could I pass those players up? Well, I watched as Godwin, Kamara, Golladay, and even JuJu Smith-Schuster went in four of the next five picks. (The Eagles took the safety Eddie Jackson in there.) The Redskins were now on the clock, and any offensive stud I would have taken was off the board. I saw Aaron Jones sitting there, but I found myself in a very familiar spot. The stud defensive lineman from Alabama had once again FALLEN TO THE REDSKINS. I wrote out the name of a player whom I have LOVED watching play for my team since that day and raced to the podium. Instead of trying my hardest to prove some kind of anti-Bruce Allen point, I did the smart thing and took a hard-working, physical leader that sixteen teams passed on...again. (Cue the Doogie Howser closing scene music so I can write about what I learned in a barely-clever way.) Leave it to Bruce Allen’s reality to completely ruin my fantasy. Either way...Jonathan Allen is one badass Redskin and I’m glad he’s part of the burgundy and gold in real life AND make-believe! Can you guys suggest some drafts in the Dan Snyder era for us to have maybe...just a bit more fun with?