Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Feb 2012

MMQB: Combine Edition

Peter talks the price to trade up for Robert Griffin III, the rise of Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill, and hands the keyboard over to Mike Mayock for half of a page.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 27 Feb 2012

24 comments, Last at 29 Feb 2012, 8:06pm by Marko


by are-tee :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:11pm

"There hasn't been a second pick in the draft this compelling since 1998."

How about Reggie Bush in 2006, after Houston unexpectedly took Mario Williams at #1?

by tuluse :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:23pm

Or Calvin Johnson after Oakland took Russell (who a lot of people were predicting would bust), or Suh in 2010, or the fact that Saint Louis passed on Matt Ryan.

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:24pm

I think he's referring to the pick, rather than the player, and it is compelling because there's so many different ways it can play out. Whereas with Bush, it was basically "the Saints are going to take Bush now". In terms of player, I think I agree with you, in that its been a while since there was a player who has as much potential to be exciting as Griffin. Hopefully he'll deliver on the potential. I don't really care who he ends up playing for, I know I'm going to be trying to catch a few of their games next season.

by Podge (not verified) :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:29pm

Alright, fine, technically there's only two ways it can play out, the Rams pick someone or they trade the pick to someone, but its the fact that there could be a lot of interest in the pick given that the player likely to be available is likely to be highly coveted, which could lead to a blockbuster trade that will almost certainly actually be announced in the the 10 minutes after Goodell announces that the draft has begun. I doubt the Rams make an agreement before they get on the clock, simply because I don't see the price for the pick falling.

And just imagine if the Colts DON'T pick Luck...

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 8:59am

I read it in a more mundane way: there hasn't been a draft in which the perceived second best player's expected value was this high in a long time. Griffin is (rightly, in my view) seen as having a very, very high chance of being a top-tier quarterback. He would be the #1 overall pick in almost any other year. Bush and Johnson seemed remarkable prospects in their way, but neither was a quarterback.

by Sophandros :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 12:21pm

Nobody was calling on the Saints to trade to get to #2.

Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.

by mawbrew :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 4:35pm

It's funny. If you believe what you read the Rams will get quite a bit more for the #2 pick in this draft than the Chargers got for the #1 pick back in 2004 (Eli/Rivers draft). I'm skeptical.

by JasonK :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 6:07pm

I'm skeptical, too, but if I were the Rams, that's where I'd be trying to set expectations.

There's a reasonable case for it. Relative to the '04 Chargers, the Rams benefit from a much more team-friendly salary regime for highly-drafted rookies, could have multiple teams bidding for the pick and player, and the perceived drop-off in QB talent from Griffin to Whoever is probably greater than it was between Eli and RoethlisRivers back in '04.

by mawbrew :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 9:12am

Those points are absolutely valid as is the point about interest from more than one other potential trade partner. And if there really are two or more teams that view Griffin as a can't miss top 12 QB then the trade could be more lucrative. But I've got to believe that when they do all the scouting there will be enough doubt to temper the urge to trade 'anything' to be able to draft him. Also Manning and Flynn are bound to end up somewhere as 'starters' before the draft.

by R ob (not verified) :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 2:50pm

The pick is worth more now because the contract he will get is worth half what it was then. Imagine in 2012 to sign a franchise quarterback for 5 years for $25 million (about what Cam Newton got last year). That's why this pick is worth more now.

by Subrata Sircar :: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 6:32pm

I think they'll get a considerable amount, but not more than the Rams got, for two reasons:
1. Teams have a different appreciation of the risk of QB busts and the value of draft picks
2. Griffin is not viewed as a once-in-a-generation prospect the way that Luck, Leaf and Manning are/were viewed.

If the Colts don't take Luck, though, I would expect the most exciting 15 minutes in the history of the draft as the Rams decide whether to trade the pick or take Luck themselves while the blogosphere goes absolutely batsh*t insane.

by mawbrew :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 9:22am

Yeah all this is based on the assumption that the Colts are committed to Luck. In the unlikely event that the Colts decided to keep Manning, they have all kinds of options. But keeping the first pick and passing on Luck would probably be the least of them.

by Mr Shush :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 9:11am

"Looks like Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd of Notre Dame will be the only wideouts in round one, unless Hill sneaks in there."

Really? Really? I've seen as many as 7 in some mocks (Blackmon, Floyd, Wright, Jeffery, Randle, Hill, Sanu) and I haven't seen anyone else suggest that Hill is now viewed as the 3rd best prospect at the position. It would be nice if King at least explained why he thinks things like this. Is he going of the opinions of NFL types who may be lying, leading draftniks (and if so, which ones) or just himself?

by tuluse :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 11:44am

Floyd's value is skyrocketing. There are quite a few people who view him as the 2nd best prospect now.


by Mr Shush :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 12:19pm

Oh, I fully expect Floyd to be the 2nd receiver off the board after his combine performance. My point is not that King's misidentified the top two (both of whom I think are likely to go in the top ten overall); it's that I think he's undervaluing players like Wright and Randle, both of whom I think will also be first rounders.

by tuluse :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 12:26pm

You're probably right. I wouldn't put too much stock in King's opinions on anything really.

Now, if he's hearing from his sources, that's another story.

by Marko :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 1:29pm

"You're probably right. I wouldn't put too much stock in King's opinions on anything really."

Agreed. And yet, he is one of the 44 HOF selectors. What a joke.

by Guest789 :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 8:20pm

I love bashing PK as much as anyone, but I actually think he does a decent job on the HOF committee. Better than some anyway.


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 02/29/2012 - 6:08am

If nothing else, I think he is at least reasonably impartial, and takes the job seriously. He's an idiot, but I don't think he's keeping anyone out because he personally dislikes them or can't be bothered to do the research.

by Dean :: Wed, 02/29/2012 - 10:40am

I'm no King fan, but I'll give credit where it's due. When it comes to th HOF, he takes the job seriously and tries to do an honest job. I don't always agree with his opinions on who should go in, but I don't think he's running any sort of side agenda or anything.

by Marko :: Wed, 02/29/2012 - 8:06pm

I don't disagree with anything said above and didn't mean to suggest otherwise. I think he works hard, takes the job seriously (probably more seriously than some of the other selectors), doesn't have an agenda, etc. I just think he comes across as naive with respect to many things, including his opinions of current and former players. I acknowledge that the HOF selection process must be incredibly difficult, as it is really hard to choose among the many deserving candidates.

Maybe it just comes down to the fact that I vehemently disagree with some of the things he has written about certain players (either positive or negative). I probably paid more attention than he did to many of those players because they either played for my favorite team or played on divisional opponents of my team. On the other hand, there probably are players that I paid less attention to than he did (Curtis Martin comes to mind), as I didn't watch them play all that often.

by TomKelso :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 3:58pm

Anyone else thinking the Rams are weakening their position by announcing they want to trade? Gotta think they'd get better offers if someone thought they would actually take Griffin

by Dean :: Tue, 02/28/2012 - 4:02pm

Not really. All they're doing is stating the obvious. If Jeff Fisher didn't like Sam Bradford for whatever reason, it makes sense to think he wouldn't have accepted the position in the first place.

They could still put a smokescreen out there about how much they love Griffin in order to drive up the price, but you risk alienating your franchise QB if you do that.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 02/29/2012 - 6:12am

Not only that, but they're not going to be dealing with only one team. If the Browns, Redskins, Seahawks and perhaps others get into a bidding war (or even to some extent just believe that there is at least one other bidder) it doesn't matter whether they believe the Rams will keep the pick. And they always have the option of pulling an AJ Smith and picking Griffin with the intention of trading him.