So, do you remember the Matt Schaub trade? For those that do not I will quickly recap. In 2007 the Atlanta Falcons had a player you might have heard of named Michael Vick. Anyways he was the starting quarterback for the Falcons which made Matt Schaub, the back up at the time, expendable. So the Falcons traded Schaub to the Houston Texans for a swap of first round picks, 8th pick for the 10th pick, and a second round pick in both 2007 and 2008. Shortly after this trade went down the whole Michael Vick dog fighting event occurred and the Falcons fell into the dark ages. Some said it was a dumb trade other thought it was a great trade, obviously before the whole Michael Vick thing happened. So I went back and traced all of the moves that occurred following this trade.
So I went up and looked who the Falcons drafted with those picks. Well it turns out things were far more complex then I ever thought. You see the Falcons traded one of those picks, and another pick they acquired in a chain reaction that affected seven teams. Now none of these moves were that significant a late rounder here and a trade of a few defensive players there, but a lot of things spurred out of this trade.
For starters the players the Falcons traded, or traded the draft position for, were William Hayes, Amobi Okoye, Deangelo Hall, Devin Thomas, Fred Davis, and of course Matt Schaub. Now the reason I added Deangelo hall was because the second round pick we used to acquire him was bagged together with one of the second rounders from the Texan trade.
So who did the Falcons acquire with their picks? Well here is the interesting part. The Falcons, through all of this trading mayhem received, Jamaal Anderson, Justin Blalock, Sam Baker, Harry Douglas and Kroy Biermann. All of these players, except Jamaal Anderson, have had very positive impacts on the current Falcons roster.
So now that we can see the full result of this trade, it only took three years, we can finally see if it was the right trade.
First let us start out with the fact that Jamaal Anderson was a poor choice with the 8th pick. He is a good run defender but aside from that he is relatively useless and for that high of a price tag you expect something special. The funny thing is that the lowest pick acquired, which turned into Kroy, actually has been more productive then the highest pick.
But those two defensive ends are not were the value of the trade comes in. The true value comes from the other three. Harry Douglas in his rookie year was a very important part of the Falcons passing game and with another year under his belt with the playbook you can expect even more. He will fill the slot position perfectly and help out in the return game, again.
The other two are not as glamorous, but appear to be more valuable. These two, Blalock and Baker, make up the starting left side of the offensive line and have, to this point, done a pretty good job in both the passing and running game. Sam Baker appears to be a franchise left tackle which explains why the Falcons were willing to trade back into the first round to get him. Blalock may not be a top guard in the league but he to appears to be able to handle the position for the long hall.
Now on to what the Falcons gave up. Well lets start with Hayes. He is a defensive end for the Titans and has been relatively solid recording 6 sacks in his 2 year career which is more than twice the sacks that Anderson recorded in a three year span. However Kroy Biermann has produced 7 over that same time. Amobi Okoye has been a relatively solid player over the past three years. He is not quite the pass rushing threat the Texans thought they were getting, but they did get a solid starter.
Fred Davis and Devin Thomas have helped with the Redskins passing attack but neither can really be regarded as great players. They are solid players though this cannot be over looked. Deangelo hall has also been solid, but in truth has been no where near where his production was as a Falcon. The funny thing is that he is now in Washington along with Davis and Thomas.
Now here is the part that is hard to swallow. Matt Schaub has become, arguably, one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Now this is not to say that Matt Ryan will not become one far from, but the truth is at this point Schaub is a better quarterback. He has proven that he can make all of the throws and has the ability to lead a team. Last season he lead the league in passing yards and had a career highs in games played, quarterback rating and touchdown passes.
So was it a good trade? Well as far as the players given up compared to the players gained the answer is no. The Falcons received nothing close to the value of a Pro Bowl quarterback, then when you add in the other players it appears like a dumb trade. Now value aside let us consider that without this trade Bobby Paterno would probably not have quit considering that the Falcons would not have gone into the dark ages, which was only a year I know but still it's a cool name. This is all speculation of course so who knows how it would have ended up, but in truth to this point the Falcons are in a very good situation and this trade has played an important role in the franchise. So was it a good trade? I would have to say yes. But only because of Matt Ryan. If he was not part of the Falcons though I would say this trade would have been a steal.