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Mike Shanahan likes to maximize his picks, but he needs to make use of the ones he has this year.
There’s a lot of talk about who the Redskins will take with their second-round pick, and there are obviously a number of worthy candidates. However, it’s also very likely that Shanahan will choose to trade down in the second and pick up extra players in the third and fourth rounds.
Look at the history of his drafts. In his three years, he has selected Jarvis Jenkins in the second round, but that’s it. Admittedly, he didn’t have a lot of picks in the 2010 draft when he arrived, but he made a quick grab for Donovan McNabb and shipped his second-round pick for that year, as well as 2011’s fourth-rounder.
Robert Griffin III was an unqualified success in 2012, so you can’t call that trade anything but a good idea. His injury was incredibly disappointing, but Griffin’s work ethic is immense and he’ll do whatever it takes to get himself back on the field.
The worrying thing about Shanahan is that he seems to put a lot of faith in late-round picks being able to compete for starting jobs. He’s done a great job for the Redskins in almost all areas, but the continual trading down is frustrating.
The draft is a time that brings about the classic line, “best player available.” Shanahan did this with Kirk Cousins and was immediately blasted, so it’s a no-win situation a lot of the time. However, it’s unfeasible to expect the lower-round players to be able to win starting jobs. Just because you have more picks, it doesn’t mean you have a better team.
Back in November, Redskins blog HogsHaven.com broke down Shanahan’s draft dealings and it wasn’t pretty. Over 50 percent of Shanahan’s picks were in the sixth and seventh rounds, which is fine for the first year of a rebuild, but he should be getting to the point where he’s drafting to win.
The 2012 draft was an example of this, and the reason I mentioned that Shanahan and Allen had done a good job drafting since their arrival. The 2012 trend needs to continue, which means not trading away the top picks to get value in the lower rounds.
The combine showed that 2013 is a great class for safeties and cornerbacks, so it could be argued that there is room for a trade to take place. However, it’s essential that the Redskins get starters at these positions, which means they need their best picks.