Well, that’s the question as I see it. Beat the Eagles, drop a place or two down the draft board, and lose any chance of picking RG3 in April’s draft. Lose to the birds and we could go as high as fourth and have a stronger chance of trading up or picking him at #4. Of course we could lose and still not get him, and this is assuming he enters the draft in 2012.
When Matt Barkley elected to stay in school for his final year, our prospects of taking a top quality QB with our #1 pick took a beating. That is if you don’t classify Landry Jones and Ryan Tannehill as top quality.
Personally, I think we have to do (almost) whatever it takes to get RG3, assuming Luck is not an option. We have to upgrade the QB position and there are not many free agent options out there that would do that. The key to this year’s draft in terms of who we target and how we go about getting him, depends on the Cleveland Browns. It appears that the Browns will still pick higher than the Redskins if both teams finish 5-11 but the Browns host the Steelers so unless they catch the Steelers resting their starters or playing to avoid injuries, then it is a moot point.
Griffin certainly looks to be the pick we want. Of all the mock drafts I looked at, the only one to have us passing on him was Phinsider, a Dolphins fan site, that had him dropping to #8 (Skins at #7), and picked by, guess who, yes, the Dolphins! All other mocks had us taking him, as long as he was still there, but the team to consistently take him before us was the Browns, suggesting we should trade up to ensure we get him rather than take a chance that he will still be there. This would mean trading up almost certainly to #4 which is probably a price worth paying.
If we fail to land Griffin, what are the alternatives? Trade down and pick up Landry Jones or Ryan Tannehill presumably. Or go with Grossman again in 2012 and look to the 2013 draft for our QB of the future. Of course if we are picking high again to land our dream QB, it will mean that we have again reached double figures in the “L” column, and Mike Shanahan will no longer be head coach.
I’m not as down on Rex as a lot of people. I think he was harshly treated with losing his starting job after a bad couple of quarters against the Eagles. Shanahan was right to pull him on the day and give John Beck a shot in relief of Rex, but surely just for that game. Shanahan Sr. had been looking for an excuse to dump Grossman and promote Beck since the preseason and that game was it. However, the truth about Beck, that everyone suspected except our head coach, came true, and after a couple of picks against the Bills, in probably the most embarrassingly poor performance for years, he lost his confidence in throwing downfield, setting the scene for Roy Helu’s record setting performance the following week.
We had been 3-1 and looking in reasonable shape offensively. Injuries to our starting running back, offensive line, wide receiver and tight end affected production as it would with any other team with those losses. Sure he has thrown his fair share of picks but not all were his fault. Now I’m not saying that we should stay with Rex and trust him to become an elite QB next year but I think we should re-sign him to hold the fort until our rookie QB is ready, whether that is the first game of 2012 or the last.
Grossman is 5-7 as a starter, not great obviously, but how close were the 2011 Redskins from being a playoff team under Rex? A blocked field goal here and a spooned up interception there and that could be 7-5 or even better. Our losses under Rex were to the Cowboys twice, by two and three points (arguably should/could have beaten them both times), Eagles by 7 (okay, we were not really even that close in that one), Dolphins by 11 (a costly pick as we were looking to take the lead in the fourth quarter), Jets by 15 (Jets 21 fourth quarter points after leading 16-13 with five minutes remaining), Patriots by seven (driving for tying TD before Moss spoons a pass into the arms of Jerod Mayo inside the final 30 seconds), and Vikings by seven (Banks end around TD called back and next play Grossman fires a bad pick, Vikings drive for a TD).
Good teams find ways to win these close games and the Redskins are not there yet. If RG3 can make the difference then surely it is worth the cost to bring playoff football back to DC.