The Washington Redskins are all locked and loaded and ready to pull the trigger on Robert Griffin III after acquiring the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming 2012 National Football League draft and executing a power trade with the St. Louis Rams just a few weeks ago. Washington nearly went bankrupt in the deal, sending away two future first-round picks and this year’s second rounder as well. If Washington selects Griffin, as expected, the Baylor signal caller will mark the first top prospect Washington has had at quarterback since the club drafted Heath Shuler with the No. 3 selection in the 1994 draft. But did the move to acquire the second overall pick set the Redskins up for the future or simply just set them up for failure? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate the issue.
Green: The compensation was too much, I think we all can agree on that, but from where the franchise sits now, it was a move they had to make. Washington’s never been one of those elite drafting teams so I can somewhat rationalize them dishing away two future first-round picks. The Redskins have been a dominant team on the free agent market in previous seasons so I expect them to fill whatever voids they’ll surely encounter over the next several seasons through free agency. They needed a quarterback and haven’t had a legitimate prospect behind center in quite some time. Kudos to them for making the move to get their guy.
Riley: Securing their future to select Griffin was a great idea but for the amount of holes that this team has virtually everywhere besides running back, you can’t mortgage your future like that. Washington has several talent gaps running through their offensive line, secondary and linebacking corps. The jury is still out on their latest wide receiver additions (Pierre Garcon, Joshua Morgan) so I won’t necessarily exclude that position from the problem area. The club has been horrible at acquiring talent through the draft but that was before general manager Bruce Allen took over the reigns. I loved their draft last year and I will be anxious to see what Allen can do over the next few seasons to build this roster up.
Green: If Washington had continued at their snail’s pace then Allen might not have been around to have even seen the fruits of his labor. This is a quarterback-driven league. Yes, you need receivers and linemen and linebackers and blah blah but you also need a leader and a face for your franchise. The Redskins may still be left with a lot of holes to fill after this draft is over but you can already count one major position that’s been taken care of.
Riley: Show me a great quarterback in the NFL and I’ll show you a set of talented receivers, runners and blockers. It just goes hand in hand. And why are we so certain on Griffin III when he’s really only had one standout season of college football? I’m behind Griffin and rooting for him but if he flops after the team has pretty much cancelled themselves out of the next two drafts, the fallout in Washington will be unforeseen.
Green: There’s a lot to like about Griffin including his leadership, mobility, arm strength and sub-4.4 speed. This kid will have every resource needed to make him a success story in the District. The amount of patchwork needed to revamp this roster is a lot but when you virtually have a star in the making, the ride will be a lot more enjoyable despite the bumps along the way. The move was a major risk but if all goes as planned, it’ll be a major reward for a team that sorely needed it.