Written by Michael Matherne…
The Washington Redskins gave up an unprecedented amount of draft capital to grab Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III. At the time, most national pundits were on board with the move and many Seahawks fans looked on longingly as the Redskins secured their “franchise QB”. Who could blame them? The quarterback position is the most important in any major american sport. RGIII has a unique blend of athletic ability, deadly accuracy, and even media appeal.
After four consecutive seasons of sub-par QB play, many Seahawks fans and media were critical of Pete Carroll and John Schneider’s unwillingness to give up the proverbial “farm” as Washington just had. 193 days, one controversial quarterback competition and five thrilling victories later, it’s time to re-evaluate the ‘Hawks biggest off-season decision in recent memory.
When you look at the draft capital spent to acquire each player the comparison between Griffin and Wilson is pretty astounding. Using the standard draft pick valuation chart (loosely used in draft pick trades) we can assign a very inexact numerical value to each draft pick and get a basic idea of what each team gave up for their new passer.
The Redskins packaged three first round picks as well as a second rounder to move into position for RGIII. If we use the reverse order of ESPN’s week nine power rankings we can take an educated guess that Washingtons 2013 pick will end up as approximately the 14th overall choice.
Let’s say they improve enough in 2014 to clinch a wildcard and even win a playoff game, putting their 2014 pick at around #25 or #26 overall. That is a pretty generous assumption and if we operate under this projection you get the following draft value numbers:
6th overall pick in the 2012 draft – 1600 chart value
39th overall pick in the 2012 draft – 510 chart value
14th overall pick in the 2013 draft – 1100 chart value
26th overall pick in the 2014 draft – 700 chart value
Total – 3910 chart value
Here is what it cost the Seahawks to put Russell Wilson under center in Seattle:
75th overall pick in 2012 draft – 215 chart value
Some simple arithmetic reveals that the Washington Redskins coughed up roughly 18 times more to get Griffin than the Seattle Seahawks did to get Wilson.
3910/215 = 18.19
Was it worth it? Through nine weeks the two signal callers have put up the following lines:
Griffin – 65.6 CMP% 8 TD’s 3 INT’s for a 93.9 QB rating
Wilson – 62.0 CMP% 13 TD’s 8 INT’s for a 87.2 QB rating
Throw in RGIII’s 476 rushing yards and 6 additional TD’s (along with one concussion) and you can make a decent argument that Griffin has been more valuable so far than Wilson, but has he been 18 times more valuable? I hardly think so. In fact I think RGIII vs. RW is a lot like a house in San Francisco versus an identical house in Bozeman, Montana. That’s right Bozeites, I think living in Montana is the real world equivalent of being a 5-11 quarterback. I would begrudgingly apologize, but I’m not totally convinced you guys have the internet yet, so you will likely never read this anyway.
Getting back on track, the more important question is how will they perform over the course of their careers? Would anyone in their right mind bet that Griffin wins 18x more playoff games than Wilson, or for that matter 18x the number of Super Bowls? A quick peek at the law of diminishing returns makes you think twice before taking that wager up with your bar buddies.
Ultimately nine games do not define a quarterback’s career and history has shown that both players could end up being superstars or busts. But after those nine game it could be argued that the Seahawks got far better “value” in selecting Russell Wilson than the Redskins did by picking Robert Griffin III.