The Washington Redskins have won the Robert Griffin III sweepstakes, striking a deal with St. Louis for the #2 overall pick. The trade can’t be ratified until the new league year starts next Tuesday, but it appears RGIII will be playing in the NFC East. The price? Potentially as much as three first round picks, including Washington’s #6 overall pick this year. A heavy price, and people now see why Seattle never had any realistic chance of moving up for the Baylor quarterback.
Cleveland essentially rejected the chance to draft Robert Griffin III, because they always had the upper hand in trade talks. Not only do they pick before Washington this year, but their bounty of two first rounders in this year’s draft was always the joker in the pack. Time will tell if that was a wise move or not, but the thought of turning to Matt Flynn instead of RGIII is cringe-worthy for the fans in Cleveland. That’s a franchise that has needed a superstar for a long time now. While Griffin III was no guarantee, he would’ve provided a spark for a city still reeling from Lebron James’ departure.
So what direction do the Browns go in the draft? There are three obvious candidates at #4 now – Justin Blackmon, Morris Claiborne and Trent Richardson. It’s worth noting that Pat Shurmur was at the Oklahoma State pro-day yesterday. Could Cleveland target both Blackmon and Brandon Weeden? It’s a possibility, although it’s unclear what round the Browns would target Weeden. Richardson is good enough to go #4 overall but his off-season has been stalled after minor knee surgery and let’s not forget – even Adrian Peterson didn’t go that early.
St. Louis will now pick 6th overall. They could find themselves in a situation where Blackmon is taken 4th overall and Claiborne 5th overall by Tampa Bay. What then? Do they take Trent Richardson? Do they draft a defensive tackle such as Dontari Poe or Michael Brockers? Could they realistically move down the board again, accumulating further picks? Although the Rams came away with a treasure chest in this trade with Washington, you have to believe they would’ve preferred the #4 pick in a big way.
And what about Ryan Tannehill? In recent weeks he’s become the popular choice to go #6 overall to Washington. Personally, I wouldn’t draft him in round one. The idea of having him go so early was purely down to Mike Shanahan and the way he grades quarterbacks. Now what? He’s unlikely to be drafted by Cleveland at #4, but could he reunite with Mike Sherman in Miami should the Dolphins miss out on Peyton Manning? And if Miami doesn’t draft Tannehill, what then?
Does this trade impact the Seahawks? A lot of people will start to project the Texas A&M quarterback to Seattle – a scenario that would be stunning in my eyes. The Seahawks focus remains pass rush and that will likely remain that case right up until April 26th. Manning’s eventual destination will impact a lot, because if he joins Miami or Kansas City – they’d be more likely to go offensive line with their first pick to protect that investment. If Manning moves to Denver, then the Dolphins could go Tannehill. Either way – it’s another team out of the running for Upshaw, Coples or Ingram. It could also increase the chances of Trent Richardson being a nice wild-card option for Seattle.
Possible top-12 picks post trade
#1 IND – Andrew Luck
#2 WAS – Robert Griffin III
#3 MIN – Matt Kalil
#4 CLE – Justin Blackmon
#5 TB – Morris Claiborne
#6 STL – Dontari Poe
#7 JAC – Melvin Ingram
#8 MIA – Ryan Tannehill
#9 CAR – Michael Brockers
#10 BUF – Quinton Coples
#11 KC – Trent Richardson
#12 SEA – Courtney Upshaw