Wednesday, January 25, 2012

After firing Flip, Wiz still need massive organizational overhaul

The Wizards dismissed head coach Flip Saunders yesterday, making him the first person to lose his job after the team's dreadful 2-15 start to the season. Randy Wittman takes over, which is not an upgrade. Wittman is no coaching medicine man -- far from it. Fans won't be happy with him if he continuously plays Rashard Lewis and Andray Blatche 35 minutes a night and keeps Chris Singleton, Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely, and Shelvin Mack tethered to the bench. Hopefully Blatche and Lewis see reduced minutes, but that won't happen. Look how many games it took for Mack to receive backup point guard minutes. Regardless, there's not much of a chance that Wittman sticks around after the season.

I don't think there's a single person out there who thinks this whole mess is simply Saunders's fault. He's certainly no one's top choice to lead a bunch of young players and is much better coaching a veteran-laden team, but he still deserves some blame. Everyone involved with this debacle does. The Wizards are a team without a direction. They're rudderless. Under general manager Ernie Grunfeld, things could not get much worse than they are now.

The Wizards have lost three times to the aging, 7-9 Celtics, with the most recent loss against Boston coming when the Celtics were without Rajon Rondo for the entire game and Ray Allen (left with an ankle injury) in the second half. Within the last month, the Wizards have lost to the T'Wolves by 21, scored just 64 points and lost by 14 against a Bulls team playing without Derrick Rose, dropped a game by four to a Nuggets team playing without Nene Hilario, and have been dismantled three times by the Sixers by a combined 64 points.

Have you looked at the Wizards roster lately? The Wizards have one really good player: John Wall. His current game is not without flaws, but this post is not about picking apart Wall's game. He has things he needs to work on, no doubt; but if Wall played on a different team and was surrounded by more talent, not only would his numbers be much better, but that team would have several more wins. If Wall were even just playing with mediocre players who worked hard, this team would probably be better. Instead, there's a lot of average-to-good players who think they're better than they are, and that unselfish play has been one of the most disappointing and hard-to-watch characteristics of this team.

The next best player on the roster is probably JaVale McGee. Then there's some combination of Blatche, Nick Young, Jordan Crawford, Lewis, Singleton, and Booker. Mack and Vesely seem like useful young players, and they've been seeing more minutes the last few games. Singleton and Booker may be the two players who demonstrate the most hustle and toughness on the team, and they should unquestionably be receiving consistent minutes. But they are also flawed players and will never be stars. They can be serviceable role players, sure, but that's probably their ceiling.

The Wizards could use a superstar, or even a star, to play alongside Wall. I don't know if Wall can ever be the best player on a great, or even really good, team, but he needs some help. And that group of players after Wall and McGee is really where the problem lies. (Some also think McGee is a problem, and that may be true as well.) And that's mostly Grunfeld's fault. Grunfeld has failed repeatedly in the draft to hit on several players, many of them raw, athletic types.

Grunfeld was hired in June 2003. He's made a few shrewd trades and signings -- piecing Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Caron Butler together, most notably -- but he has not done a good job when it comes to drafting players. Let's take a look.

2003: Jarvis Hayes (10th), Steve Blake (38th). The Blake pick was nice; the Hayes pick was not. Notable players taken in the first round after Hayes: Nick Collison, Luke Ridnour, David West, Boris Diaw, Travis Outlaw, Carlos Delfino, Kendrick Perkins, and Josh Howard.

2004: Devin Harris (5th), Peter John Ramos (33rd). Shipped Harris, Jerry Stackhouse, and Christian Laettner to the Mavericks for Jamison. Defensible move. Notable players taken after "Party John": Chris Duhon and Trevor Ariza.

2005: Andray Blatche (49th). Arguably Grunfeld's best pick. Arguably also Grunfeld's worst pick, because fans have to watch Andray Blatche. The Wizards had no first-round pick after trading that pick and Laron Profit to the Magic for Brendan Haywood. The pick ended up being 20th overall.

2006: Oleksiy Pecherov (18th), Vladimir Veremeenko (48th). Maybe Grunfeld's worst draft. Notable players taken after Pecherov in the first round: Rajon Rondo, Kyle Lowry, Shannon Brown, and Jordan Farmar.

2007: Nick Young (16th), Dominic McGuire (47th). Notable players taken after Young in the first round: Marco Belinelli, Daequan Cook, Jared Dudley, Wilson Chandler, Rudy Fernandez, Aaron Brooks, Arron Afflalo, and Tiago Splitter.

2008: JaVale McGee (18th), Bill Walker (47th). Walker was traded to the Celtics for cash considerations. Notable players taken after McGee in the first round: J.J. Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, George Hill, and Darrell Arthur.

2009: Jermaine Taylor (32nd). The Wizards traded the fifth pick (which turned into Ricky Rubio), Etan Thomas, Darius Songaila, and Oleksiy Pecherov for Randy Foye and Mike Miller. At the time, the Wizards were risking everything on the big three working out. It did not, and it looks really, really bad now. Oh, and the Wizards again traded away a player (Taylor) for cash. So in 2009, the Wizards ended up with zero drafted players.

2010: John Wall (1st). After a flurry of moves, the Wizards also ended up with Kevin Seraphin (17th), Trevor Booker (23rd), and Hamady N'Diaye (56th). Wall is obviously the real prize; Booker seems solid, too. But here are other notable players in the first round picked after Seraphin: Eric Bledsoe (would've made little sense with Wall), Jordan Crawford (current Wizard), and Greivis Vásquez. It's still early, but overall 2010 doesn't seem like a very deep draft class.

2011: Jan Vesely (6th), Chris Singleton (18th), Shelvin Mack (34th). Too early to tell, but this class does have some promise.

There are way too many missed opportunities in those drafts. Of course, it's too easy to look back and see how badly Grunfeld messed up on various picks. All general managers have made bad picks, or at least picks they wish they could go back and change. Hindsight is 20/20, and all that.

It's possible that many of the drafted players who didn't pan out just weren't that good to begin with. But it's also worth looking at Mike Wise's JaVale/Pamela McGee article a little closer. Ignoring all of the "mother protecting her son" stuff, Wizards fans should notice an underlying problem: The Wizards are terrible at developing talent. Who is the best player the Wizards have developed in the last decade? Bullets Forever's Jake Whitacre said a few days ago that it might be Blatche, and he's probably right. How sad is that?

Why aren't the Wizards more open to doing all they can to develop their players? Couldn't they have brought in different coaches or more efficient specialists? Players like McGee seem willing to learn and improve. Every Wizards player may not be like that, but the fact remains that players don't come to Washington and get that much better. And that's an organizational failure.

Just like the organization, the players deserve their fair share of the blame as well. How often have fans complained this season (and previous seasons) about Blatche, Young, McGee, and Crawford? Are all of those guys doing everything in their power to improve their games? At times, it seems like those four only care about their numbers and are willing to sacrifice wins in order to get buckets. That just can't happen.

Regarding the future of this team, lots of questions remain, including: Has Grunfeld done enough to stick around? Has he given his coaches enough talent to win basketball games? Has he kept improving the overall depth of Wizards' rosters? No, he hasn't.

Because of how horrible this team is, the Wizards will have an excellent chance at a top three pick in the next draft, but I don't have much confidence that Grunfeld will select the right player. And unless better coaches are in place, I also don't believe that player will develop at the level necessary to help turn this team around. I also have little trust that even if he does make a strong pick that he'll be able to surround that player and Wall with the right types of pieces.

Grunfeld has used up all of his excuses. He has been around for nearly a decade, and look where the Wizards are now. He's more responsible for this debacle than Saunders ever was, and it's time for Ted Leonsis to clean house and start in a different direction.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

O's bring Betemit aboard with two-year deal

The Orioles have agreed to terms with utility man Wilson Betemit. The monetary terms of the deal have not been reported yet; however, the deal appears to be for two years. Here's The Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly on the signing:
That's right, a two-year deal for a 30-year-old utility man. Betemit will most likely see some time at first and third.

Let's be clear: This deal won't break the bank. But it's the second year that's the issue. I seriously doubt any other team was willing to offer Betemit a second year. So why were the O's? It's not like Betemit is amazing at any one skill. In a part-time role in each of the last two seasons, he's been worth about 1.0 WAR (according to FanGraphs). He's a decent hitter -- .269/.336/.448 for his career. Even though he's a switch-hitter, he's much better against right-handed pitching. Here's the breakdown:

In 1,472 plate appearances vs. RHP: .278/.347/.470, .350 wOBA
In 472 plate appearances vs. LHP: .246/.299/.385, .299 wOBA

He's also a horrible fielder. He hasn't posted a positive UZR at third base since 2005 (2.0 in 431 innings), which is by far the position he's played the most. In 2,775 total innings at third, he has a combined UZR of -29.0. In 389.1 innings at first base, he has a UZR of -4.8, and he's only played about 20 innings total in the outfield (suggesting that it may not be the best idea to stick him out there). Betemit can apparently also play second and shortstop, but he hasn't played shortstop since 2008 and has never received significant time at second (145 total innings).

So the O's gave a two-year contract to someone who can't field well, can't really hit left-handed pitching, and is pretty good from the left side of the plate. That's not the smartest decision, Dan Duquette.

I feel for the O's pitching staff if Betemit ends up seeing considerable time at any position, though the infield defense already has issues. Mark Reynolds is apparently returning to the hot corner next season, which I guess means for now that Chris Davis will be playing first. When you throw Betemit into that mix, the O's could arguably have the worst defensive rotation at the corner infield spots in the majors.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wiz topple Thunder, which everyone totally expected

Heading into last night's lopsided matchup, the Thunder, at 12-2, had only one more loss than the 1-12 Wizards had wins. So of course the Wizards would battle throughout and eventually pull out a tough 105-102 win in front of a home crowd looking for any reason to stand and cheer.

John Wall and Nick Young, who both shot 6-17 from the field, shouldered the scoring load, posting 25 and 24 points, respectively. Wall added eight assists, seven rebounds, and made 13 of 14 free throws. He also committed just three turnovers in a game-high 45 minutes. And Young, who had just two points in the first half, scored 22 points in the final two quarters, including five (of 10) three-pointers. He also didn't turn the ball over in 34 minutes.

I was especially impressed by Wall, who played six more minutes than any other player. He wasn't as good this game as he was against the Rockets, when he put up 38-6-8 with four steals, but he seemed under control and set his teammates up with good shots. It helped that Young actually started making shots in the second half, but again, Wall kept finding him. In his last two games, Wall has made 25 of 30 free throws, which is also a good sign. He still has a lot of work to do on his jump shot, but that doesn't mean the rest of what he does on the floor -- which is a ton for this team -- means nothing. And his shooting will improve.

Jordan Crawford chipped in 18 points off the bench on 4-10 shooting, adding six rebounds, two assists, and a steal. He did turn the ball over three times, but he also frequently passed the ball and wasn't routinely calling his own number out there, which is a positive for him.

The Thunder shot nearly 10 percent better than the Wizards from the field (48.1-38.4), but the Wizards made seven more free throws (shooting an impressive 43 for the game), grabbed nine more rebounds (52-43), and dished out three more assists while committing four fewer turnovers. The Wizards also nailed four more threes, which was particularly surprising.

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined for 69 points, but the Wizards actually made them work for them (at times). Those two combined to hit 25 of 50 shots, but they also made just 2 of 12 three-pointers (including Durant making just 2 of 10). Durant also had seven turnovers, while Westbrook had three.

Keeping things close and only down 82-81 with 8:33 left in the game, the Wizards went with a Wall-Crawford-Young-Jan Vesely-JaVale McGee lineup. When Andray Blatche entered the game for Vesely six minutes later, the Wizards were up five points and made just enough free throws to hold the Thunder off. The length of Vesely and McGee bothered the Thunder, and they tipped several passes. McGee grabbed 11 rebounds (adding two steals and a block), and during the game he repeatedly tried to bat rebounds back to his teammates. His strategy didn't always work; occasionally his batted rebounds ended up in the hands of a Thunder player, which inadvertently started their fast break. But in the fourth quarter, McGee opted to use two hands and actually grabbed the ball more. You have to wonder if the coaches talked to him about changing his volleyball tactics at some point in the second half.

Vesely was also particularly active (mostly on the defensive end), finishing with six points, three rebounds, a steal, and a block in 19 minutes. He had two turnovers, but he also shot 3-6 from the field. I'm pretty sure that all of his shots came right at the rim, which is exactly where Vesely should be shooting from (just like McGee and Trevor Booker). No jumpers, fellas.

For Wizards fans out there who feel good about this game: Guess what, you should. I certainly enjoyed the win. Real fans know it probably doesn't mean a whole lot, particularly because for as nice as that win was, the Wizards are still 2-12. But any positives this season should be relished. And it also doesn't hurt when the team's younger players perform well under pressure. It's all about building and improving, or something along those lines. It's probably about pixels, too, I guess. Right Ted?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Maybe Dan Duquette is on to something

Quotes like this one, from yesterday's article by Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore, are why some have at least moderately high hopes for the Dan Duquette era:
“The challenge, what needs to be upgraded, is the quality of the talent coming through the minor-league system. It starts with good recruiting, and then it also means top-quality facilities in your minor-league system and good instruction. They’re all key components of a good minor-league system. We need to make sure that we have the best facilities for our players to develop in — the best instruction — and we need to upgrade our sites,” he said.

“Our minor-league system is in the bottom 10 percent in the industry in terms of signing players at the amateur level and developing them for the big leagues. That’s what needs to improve over the next couple of years.”
That is precisely what needs to be rectified for the Orioles to be competitive again. Dubroff also notes what Duquette is trying to do to make such an upgrade happen. Duquette is bringing in previous colleagues to rework the front office. He's arguably more devoted to international scouting than any previous O's general manager. And he's also shaken up the team's scouting department, placing an emphasis on amateur scouting. Whether it works or not, Duquette is making wholesale changes and trying to fix the problems that have plagued the O's for decades.

Duquette seemingly has a long-term plan and is utilizing some outside-the-box thinking to attack the organization's deficiencies. And, really, that's what many fans have wanted for years.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Maybe the Wizards were supposed to be bad, but not THIS bad

Like most Wizards fans, I assume, I thought the Wizards would be somewhat improved this season, but overall still a bad team. Unfortunately, they've skipped the "somewhat improved" part entirely. At 0-8, the Wizards have been competitive at times, but far more often they've been a team that plays selfish, uninspired basketball, and that most recently resulted in a 93-72 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In his latest Washington Post column, Mike Wise notes just how flawed this team is:
Some of the Wizards’ problems are obvious: Second-year point guard John Wall, the team’s main reason for hope, is off to a brutal start; Blatche, McGee and other key players rarely make good decisions in the fourth quarter; and the team’s overall talent pool is very shallow.

Others are utterly unfixable. The players with the most heart — Trevor Booker and Chris Singleton among them — don’t have enough skill. The players with the most skill — Blatche, McGee and Nick Young — don’t have enough heart. And the wizened veterans such as Evans, Roger Mason Jr. and Rashard Lewis are almost caught in a culture war between their scrappy teammates who care and their more talented teammates who remain clueless.
I'm not sure it's quite that simple, but it's a good place to start. Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee are two of this team's biggest scapegoats. And there's no question that John Wall has struggled, particularly when it comes to shooting the ball and trusting his teammates when things start going south.

I've been one of the many advocating more playing time for the rookie Singleton and second-year forward Booker, and they should be receiving heavy minutes every game. But that won't change the fact that Singleton's offensive upside is a guy who can knock down open threes, or that Booker can't really hit any shots outside of the paint (it's really a shame that Booker is 6'8 instead of 6'11 or 7'0). That doesn't mean they don't bring something to the table -- they obviously hustle and play more defense than most of the players on the roster -- but neither will transform into the star player the Wizards desperately need. Hopefully Wall becomes that star, but right now that's not the case.

(Random thought: Would any Wizards fans complain about the following starting lineup?

John Wall
Nick Young
Chris Singleton
Trevor Booker
JaVale McGee

That's obviously not the most efficient offensive group, but it's an extremely fast lineup that can go up and down the floor in a hurry. What's so special about a guy like Blatche where he's guaranteed to start and receive consistent minutes every game? He complained early in the season about not getting the ball in the post, yet every time he gets the ball now, he's nowhere near the basket. He's also content to launch jumpers that the defense has no problem letting him take.

Oh, and the Jordan Crawford experiment at point guard has to end. It's unbearable.)

Anyway, here's Wise's big finish:
Give Leonsis credit for transparency: He told us there would be seasons like these. That’s the sad truth that is starting to sink in with each embarrassing loss: This season’s Wizards were supposed to be almost painful to watch.

So as the losses pile up — and with 14 games in the next 22 days, surely they will — and the sentiment that someone must pay grows, consider: This was part of a plan.

That’s why Saunders and Grunfeld and especially Leonsis must stay and endure the pain with the rest of us: to ostensibly see how awfully bad it can be before there’s any hope of it getting good.
Sorry, but I'm not on board with that. This was the season in which the Wizards were supposed to be the worst team in the league? In Wall's second season, playing with guys that Grunfeld either drafted or acquired to make up the core of this team? Certainly that doesn't include Rashard Lewis, who was brought in just so Gilbert Arenas and his massive contract could be shipped out of town. But Blatche, McGee, Jordan Crawford, Young, and Kevin Seraphin all receive a ton of minutes, and they're the players that fans wouldn't mind seeing depart in the near future. Some fans are already starting to give up on Wall, which is unfortunate. (And many have already given up on Jan Vesely, who's played one game.)

I blame Grunfeld much more than Saunders. Saunders isn't the desired coach to lead a bad, young, rebuilding team. The offense is terrible, though that's mostly because the Wizards don't have many shooters and that they don't share the basketball. But Grunfeld is the architect of this team, and he's failed miserably. I won't go through all of the terrible trades and draft picks, but there are many of them. He's made several solid moves as well, sure. But this Wizards team may end up historically bad, and I don't trust Grunfeld to continue this rebuilding process. Why should anyone?

I'm also tired of Leonsis telling fans to be patient. We've been patient. Look at this team's record the last few years:

'08-'09: 19-63
'09-'10: 26-56
'10-'11: 23-59

Would he rather have no one care, or no one show up at games, or no one argue that changes need to be made? And maybe if stomaching lots of losses was the only awful thing, fans would be somewhat more inclined to go along with whatever plan the team is using. But this team is also routinely embarrassing off the court, and there doesn't seem to be much punishment for certain insubordinate acts.

I don't need Leonsis to hop on to his blog after each of the team's awful performances to tell fans to relax and to think of how wonderful everything will be in the future. A team's progress takes place on the court, and that's something Leonsis can't hide from fans. And right now, things aren't working.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Trading Adam Jones makes sense, at the right price

The Orioles may be trying to trade Adam Jones. Their asking price is apparently pretty high, though according to FanGraphs' Dave Cameron, that's exactly as it should be:
Unfortunately for the Braves, Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado aren’t exactly upside plays. They’re both useful pieces who could help a contender by filling in a gap here or there, but neither offer the hope of becoming much more than what they already are. They’re finished products, or something close to it at least. Jones is an untapped well whose performances up to this point show a glimmer of what he could become if he continues to develop.

Given the Orioles present circumstances, that’s exactly the kind of player they need. Two useful players with limited potential aren’t going to make them winners. They need stars to build around, and while Jones isn’t one yet, he very well could become one. If the Orioles are going to part with not only his present value but the hope of what he could become, a potential buyer will need to compensate them for surrendering that unrealized potential.

You can’t judge Adam Jones’ value to the Orioles by what he’s been to date. His value is based on what he could be, and what he could be is worth a lot more than Martin Prado and Jair Jurrjens.
Rob Neyer of SB Nation also weighed in on the topic yesterday:
There's been a great deal of talk this winter about Adam Jones becoming an Atlanta Brave. Names have been floated and everything. Jair Jurrjens. Martín Prado. Pretty good players, already. For his part, Prado's just two years older than Jones, has better career statistics, and is more versatile.

Still, the Orioles -- and new general manager Dan Duquette -- have reportedly spurned such a package. . . . I like Jurrjens, but he's managed only 43 starts in the last two seasons. I like Prado, but he's two years older than Jones. I think if the Orioles are going to trade the guy, they should get someone like ... well, someone like Adam Jones was, four years ago.
I'm not sure if all O's fans feel the same way; some have become rather attached to Jones and would be upset to see him go. I enjoy watching Jones play, but if the O's aren't asking for the moon and get offered the right package of players, there's nothing wrong with moving him. Most fans didn't want the O's to part with Brian Roberts or Luke Scott either, and look how both of those decisions turned out.

The bubble-blowing, the knack for making web gems, his humorous Twitter account -- all of these things make it exciting to have Jones on the O's. But no player is untradable -- especially for an organization that desperately needs as many high-ceiling young players as possible. At 26, Jones may still transform into a star. Unfortunately, he was supposed to be that guy by now.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Markakis had surgery on Thursday, hopes to be ready for Opening Day

So Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun dropped this bit of news a few minutes ago:
Connolly also said that "Markakis is hopeful he will be able to be ready by Opening Day but will have a significantly lighter load in [spring training]." The injury/surgery news is surprising, but maybe not overly so. Markakis, who sustained the abdomen injury in September, had still not completely recovered in November and has not been able to work out.

Hopefully Markakis is ready for the start of the season. Still, it's something to file away as April approaches.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Revisiting the Redskins' draft choices the last few years

Every time fans or talking heads suggest the Redskins should trade draft picks away, it makes me laugh. Not only because the Redskins are deficient in overall team talent, but because they've been trading away draft selections for years, and it hasn't been an effective strategy. Dan Snyder and the team's front office has (until recently, hopefully) completely refused to hold onto their allotment of draft picks.

Is it really surprising that the team's most successful draft in years may end up being last year's draft, when the team traded down a few times and selected 12 players? Time will tell how good those 12 players are, but most of them contributed at least something this season, which is a lot more than can be said about most of the team's drafts in the last decade-plus.

Mike Shanahan may have the final word on personnel decisions, but the Redskins' scouting and personnel departments haven't changed that much. Besides the departure of Vinny Cerrato, the guy previously calling the shots, things aren't much different. And that should be reason enough to hold onto as many picks as possible: More picks mean more chances.

Let's take a look at the last three drafts (2009, 2010, and 2011). In those drafts, starting with 2009, the Redskins had six, seven (third-rounder used in 2009 supplemental draft), and 12 draft choices, respectively. Take a guess which one's better.


1st: Brian Orakpo
3rd: Kevin Barnes
5th: Cody Glenn
6th: Robert Henson
7th: Eddie Williams
7th: Marko Mitchell


1st: Trent Williams
3rd: Jeremy Jarmon (2009 supplemental pick)
4th: Perry Riley
6th: Dennis Morris
7th: Terrence Austin
7th: Erik Cook
7th: Selvish Capers


1st: Ryan Kerrigan
2nd: Jarvis Jenkins
3rd: Leonard Hankerson
4th: Roy Helu
5th: Dejon Gomes
5th: Niles Paul
6th: Evan Royster
6th: Aldrick Robinson
7th: Brandyn Thompson
7th: Maurice Hurt
7th: Markus White
7th: Chris Neild

Again, who knows how all of those 2011 picks will pan out. But it's probably a good idea to stick with the 2011 strategy over the other two years. Yes, I know that this analysis is only looking back at the last three drafts, and the Redskins have obviously picked some talented players in previous drafts. But they've done so without stockpiling picks, which has also prevented them from creating depth at key positions.

The only players from 2009 and 2010 who have really contributed are Orakpo, Williams, and Riley. Barnes has received playing time, but he hasn't been very good. He also may not be on the roster next season because of his overall ineffectiveness. Austin and Cook haven't done much either. Of those 13 picks, only those six are still with the team -- which is hilariously bad. The worst pick of the bunch is probably Jarmon, selected in the 2009 supplemental draft. The Redskins forfeited a third-round pick for Jarmon's services, and right now he's out of the league. Jarmon was originally selected as a defensive end when the Redskins utilized a 4-3 defense, so the selection was at least defensible at the time. But after being traded to and subsequently released by the Broncos earlier this season, Jarmon may not get another NFL opportunity. Either way, I guess, that pick was wasted.


If you're on board with the Redskins trading away future draft picks in order to get Andrew Luck (unlikely) or Robert Griffin III (more possible), that's just fine. I'd be extremely happy if the Redskins finally acquired/drafted a franchise quarterback. That's the team's biggest need. But trading away multiple draft choices, particularly first- and second-round picks, is not something that I agree with, especially when examining the team's draft resume the last few years. Obviously it's a requirement to analyze each trade individually, but trading up in the first few rounds is rarely cheap.

Yes, the NFL is a quarterbacks' league; most great teams have outstanding quarterbacks. But I shudder at the thought of the Redskins giving up the farm for a quarterback who ends up with the skills of someone like Mark Sanchez. Give me 2011's strategy instead, even if that means missing out on Luck and Griffin.