Trading Down?

Mel Kiper mentioned today on ESPN’s draft special that the Atlanta Falcons might be very interested in trading up to the Redskins pick at 21 to pick QB Joe Flacco from Delaware.  The Falcons have 2 picks in the second and third rounds this year and if they feel they need to move that far up to get Flacco, they certainly could do it.

Moving down seems an excellent choice for the Redskins if they can do it.  If they can get a similar deal to what the Cowboys got last year, the 3rd pick in the 2nd round this year and a 1st rounder next year, we set ourselves up for some long terms success.  That Falcons 1st round pick is likely to be a top 10 pick and next year is likely to be the year when we really need to address some holes due to aging players.  It will be easier to identify who those players need to be. 

Even if we can’t get the 1st rounder and instead we settle for say both 2nd rounders or say a 2nd and a 3rd, that’s good stuff for moving down 12 spots in the draft.  Not only does it save us much needed cap room, but there are guys who fall there that are likely just as good.

With essentially the entire team that made the playoffs back from last year, this year’s draft is about depth.  By accumulating picks for this year and next, we can establish the foundation of this team for the next 4 or 5 years.  Stepping back in the draft for more picks allows us to up the chance that we get serious starters out of the later rounds and doesn’t hurt us at all in terms of the current starters.  We’re in a great position and if we do this draft right, we’ll be able to look back at it as the time when the Skins turned the corner from sporadic performer to perennial contender.

I’m in Vegas the next couple of days, but I leave you in the hands of the excellent Guy Damrosch who will plum the depths of the news wire to have anything interesting to say before the draft overwhelms us all.


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Tags: NFL Draft Rumors Redskins Trading Down

  • Redskins Guy

    I don’t care how you paint the salary cap, trading a 1st round pick for a 2nd and a 3rd is not a win.  I wouldn’t mind if we got a 2nd round and a 1st round next year though. That makes sense. But let’s not give our pick away for nothing.  

  • dwagner

    Well, statistically, about 50% of first round picks are starting for the team three years after being picked. Roughly 40% of 2nd and 3rd rounders end up starting. (As a parenthetical, it was true a few years ago, but I haven’t seen the numbers lately, that more 3rd rounders end up making it than 2nd rounders).  I don’t have a statistics degree, but I’m pretty sure two shots at 40% is better than one at 50%.  While the going rate is probably more like both 2nds, the truth is that a 2nd and 3rd are more valuable than a first.


  • Redskins Guy

    If the only thing you’re interested is seeing him start for your team in three years.  Personally, I’d like them to be more than just starters. I’d like to have a better chance at getting someone special.  You’re also ignoring current market value.  Even if statistics say it’s a good move, I’d argue that we could and should get more for our 1st rounder than just a 2nd and a 3rd.  Perceived value is nearly as important as actual value.

  • dwagner

    Ahh…but here is the thing.  There really isn’t any extra guarantee of drafting a star in the first round.  One only has to look at the difference in draft positions of Heath Shuler and Tom Brady to know the truth–it is a total crap shoot.  So my feeling is that the more times you roll the dice the better.

    And remember the thing about these starter percentages.  There is almost no first rounder who doesn’t eventually get at least a try out as a starter.  There is too much money at stake not to try.  2nd and 3rd rounders don’t get that special treatment.  In other words, those stats have an inherant bias in them that when you correct for, it shows how little the first round matters. 

    I don’t have to remind you that Bobby Bethard moved down in the draft as often as he could and it made us better.  Bethard was often accused of not getting "market value" for those trades, but if you trust your scouting and your coaching, you get way more bang for your buck.  Did all of Bethard’s picks work out?  Nope.  Not even close.  But more of them worked out than most teams partially because we had so many tries to get it right.

    The final judgment as to whether to trade or not to trade has to do with who is left at 21.  Personally, I think the current draft buzz shows that the guys we’re sure about will be gone.  I’d much rather trade down and get "less then market value" than take a guy who we don’t particularly like just because it is the first round.  That’s how you end up with busts.

    That’s the trend you see we bucked with Bethard’s picks.  When we selected in the first round we picked Monk or Green.  But when we traded out of the first round we were able to get more picks some of which turned into guys like Mark Rypien (one of two first rounders in a year we traded out of the first round) or Raleigh McKenzie (one of two 11 rounders when we traded out of the first round).

    Admittedly, you can’t do it forever.  The Redskins went seven straight years without making a first round pick, and near the end of that run we stopped being able to find the late round gems.  This, plus the salary cap, are the two reasons the 90′s were less than stellar.  But selected moments of trading out of the first round will save money, increase the chances of succesful drafts, and rarely hurt your ability to find a Pro Bowler.


  • FalconsFreak

    Falcons have THREE 2nd round picks, not two