Kiper likes our draft, but gives us a C because we didn’t pick a QB. Fan forums are buzzing because Shanny passed on Gabbert, Dalton, Copernicus (close enough? No? Go write your own blog), heck, even Tyrod Taylor. “We need a franchise QB!” is the rallying cry of the disenfranchised and disappointed.
Probably true. Looking at the twelve playoff teams from last year (NYJ, IND, KC, BAL, NE, PITT, GB, PHI, NO, SEA, ATL, CHI), while there are some questionable franchise QBs (Flacco, Vick, Cutler and Cassel), only Seattle has a definitive lack of a franchise QB. Sure seems that in order to win in the NFL, you need a franchise QB.
So why did the Redskins not draft our next franchise QB? We had opportunities to get one of the top rated QBs on the board (Gabbert), or one of the definite second-tier-but-still-pretty-good-upside guys. So what’s up, Mike?
I suspect the draft did not follow the path Shanahan anticipated. No one saw Locker going 8, and no one saw Ponder going 12. Four QBs off the board by pick 12? So Shanny could have taken Gabbert at 10 instead of taking the trade, but why do that unless you are positive Gabbert is your guy? Shanahan clearly did not feel that way, and was not willing to spend a top ten pick on someone he was not in love with. Then Dalton and Cappucian (leave me alone) were gone early in the second. So Shanahan wasn’t in love with Mallett in the second and did not take him. Good for him for not reaching.
Couple of things to keep in mind. First, next year’s QB class, by some accounts, will be better than this year’s. Why not be patient? Six QBs were taken in the first or second round this year, which means there will be six fewer teams looking for QBs next year (injuries or flukiness aside). When you add those six teams to the existing franchise QB teams, there will be a lot less competition for more good QBs than were available this year. That bodes well for us.
Second, has everyone repressed the fact that we were second to last in the NFL in defense last year? If you have repressed it, please tell me how you did it. I’ve been trying, but keep remembering. Getting some new, hungry, young blood in the front 7 is a great idea. They will push the vets, and hopefully begin to erase some of the stench that remains from Fat Al’s failures. Changing the locker room culture is critical after that kind of malaise, and the guys Shanahan picked will go a long way in that direction.
A better locker room will help the franchise QB we pick next year immeasurably.