Washington Redskins: Andrew Luck Is Worth 3 First-Round Draft Picks

Rob BrownCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2011

Andrew Luck may be the best prospect to come out of college since John Elway
Andrew Luck may be the best prospect to come out of college since John ElwayJeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

It seems to me that NFL fans overvalue first-round draft picks. It’s always a gamble, especially when we talk about quarterbacks.

This year, you can’t convince any sports analyst in a cheap blazer that Andrew Luck won’t be a good quarterback on the professional level. He is the best “can’t miss” prospect since John Elway to most, which makes him very valuable.

So you would think the Redskins, a franchise which can’t catch a break when picking a signal-caller, would at least attempt to grab Luck, right?

The last time the Skins drafted a quarterback in the first round was Jason Campbell. Although Campbell never made a Pro Bowl, he was a solid quarterback considering the team changed coordinators and schemes every season he was in Washington. He fell victim to the hype surrounding the Donovan McNabb trade, and was quickly shipped to Oakland.

Other than Campbell, the Skins have drafted Sage Rosenfells (2001), Patrick Ramsey (2002), Gibran Hamdan (2003), Jordan Palmer (2007) and Colt Brennan (2008) in the past decade, none of whom left a favorable memory in the minds of Skin fans.

Even if Luck isn’t a “can’t-miss” prospect, he has to be better than that cast right?

It’s a quarterback-driven league—I believe we all understand that. When you look at the division leaders in the NFL, most of them have arguably the best quarterback of their respective division.

And in a quarterback-driven league, the Redskins don’t have a quarterback anyone would put in the top 15 of the league.

With a loss this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Indianapolis Colts will have a stranglehold on the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. Meanwhile, the Redskins can land anywhere between the seventh and 15th pick, depending on their meaningless game against the Eagles.

For anyone to lure Andrew Luck away from the Colts, it’ll cost them multiple picks. Most likely, those picks will have to include multiple first-round selections.

Is that too much for the Redskins to spend?

Your gut reaction is probably along the lines of, “That’s way too much! We have other concerns that we need to address!”

And I’d get your point. The Skins aren’t getting any younger at receiver and need some help in the trenches. I understand that. But if you’re talking about cementing the quarterback of the future, I believe it’s worth it.

As much as the NFL likes to promote that teams are built in the draft, they’re not necessarily built in the first round of the draft.

Let’s pick some good teams and decide if their last three first-round selections really made an impact.

We all agree that the New England Patriots are a good team. In the last three years, they’ve drafted Nate Solder (2011), Devin McCourty (2010) and didn’t have a first-rounder in 2009.

Solder has started 12 games, but you can’t tell me he’s a reason the Pats are doing well. And McCourty is a liability when left on an island. Safe to say the Patriots could play without these guys and be just fine.

The Chicago Bears, who contend with the Packers for the NFC North every season, have only drafted one player in the first round in the past three seasons, tackle Gabe Carimi. If their starting quarterback and running back don’t go down, we’re talking about them playing in the postseason for the second season in a row.

Up the beltway are the Ravens, who have drafted the inconsistent cornerback Jimmy Smith and tackle Michael Oher, who you only know because of a recent movie. Not exactly a star-studded lineup.

My point is the Redskins can survive without first-round draft picks. As you see, multiple teams strike out in the first round and can still be a successful franchise. Sure, teams also hit in the first round, but it’s not impossible to survive without a few high draft picks.

The Colts’ phone will be ringing off the hook on draft day, and the Redskins should be one of the teams calling them up. The asking price will be high, but Skin fans don’t want another year of John Beck or Rex Grossman.

It’s time to get a franchise quarterback that you can’t miss on.